A Serbian language teacher by profession, Ana Jovic loves to translate books. One of our language champions, Ana has played an important role in our #FreedomtoRead 2019 campaign and has just reached her goal of translating 50 stories into Serbian. In an email interview, she tells us how she hopes to build a repository of stories, by being a part of this campaign, for children from the Serbian diaspora and how much she enjoys the process of translation.

Tell us something about yourself and you connection with Serbian?

I am an English and Serbian teacher. Serbian is my native language. I studied the English language and literature, and teaching Serbian as a foreign language, so I hold two Master’s degrees. I’ve been teaching for 18 years now both online and in brick-and-mortar schools. Teaching is both my passion and profession. I love teaching and I hope to never stop doing it. I live in the countryside with one husband, two sons, four dogs and ten cats. In my free time, I enjoy a good book, a cup of black coffee, and furry company in the form of my cute cats in my lovely backyard.

What are the benefits of creating a hyperlocal library in your mother tongue?

As a Serbian teacher, I realised there are very few online books in Serbian for children. Besides, these resources don’t cater to different levels, ages or interests. Creating a hyperlocal library at Storyweaver will tremendously help children of Serbian diaspora to preserve Serbian as their heritage language. It would also help them develop their language skills and enjoy fiction in their mother tongue. This would enrich their personal experiences and allow for wider use in their heritage language schools. Such a library would also provide material for family reading time when parents and children share the language while reading and discussing stories.

You have now translated 50 stories to Serbian. How was the experience?

I loved it. I easily lose myself in translation, so the time stops for me then. I enjoyed each and every book both as a reader and translator.

Of the 50 stories that you translated, which story would be your favourite and why?

This is hard to answer. All of them are special. But if I had to choose one, let it be Counting Cats. It’s about a boy who rescues cats and brings them all home. He ends up with a bunch of cats. I can relate to this story since I’m like the boy – I have ten cats. I couldn’t resist their cuteness and helplessness so I rescued them all. Now, I have ten cats and still counting. Just like the boy from the story.

Did you face any challenges while translating a particular text and how did you overcome the same? 

I have to admit that translation is an enjoyable and easy process for me. However, I find it hard to translate rhymes. You have to find rhyming words in Serbian that can keep the meaning of the original rhyme. That’s the hardest part which takes most time and energy. The way to deal with it is to think hard, play with words and try as many combinations as possible to find the one that works. However, once I find a solution that sounds good and means the same as the original, I feel immense satisfaction. 

Do you plan to share the stories you have translated?

I would like to present the platform and the stories to a Serbian audience. I do hope that the stories will soon reach all children of the Serbian diaspora who would like to read but can’t get hold of books in Serbian easily. I hope that this Serbian library will become the families’ favorite resource of Serbian storybooks.

You can read the Serbian stories translated by Ana Jovic here

 

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Update: StoryWeaver Freedom to Read 2019

Posted by Amna Singh on December 27, 2018

Written by Amna Singh

StoryWeaver believes that every child deserves to have access to joyful reading material in her mother tongue. In November 2018, we opened applications to educators, translators, literacy organisations, and everyone else working with children to promote reading -- in our quest for partners to help build a 100 local language libraries of children’s books in underserved languages by International Mother Language Day on February 21, 2019 .

We were seeking partners with relevance of work and expertise in language and translations, and above all, a shared vision of equity in access for all. We got over 225 applications from all over the globe – each application inspiring us with their exemplar work in the field of literacy and language for the under-represented communities.

Based on our guidelines, relevance of work and a rigorous evaluation, we have selected 16 organisations and 28 individual language champions to partner with us to build these digital local libraries.

Selected Organisations: Target Languages

  1. Azad India Foundation: Surjapuri

  2. BookDash: 11 official South African languages

  3. SNS Foundation: Marwari

  4. CODE- Ethiopia: Amharic, Afaan Oromoo

  5. African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA): Igbo, Hausa, Fante, Ewe, Yoruba, Kikiyu, Luganda and Swahili

  6. Global Forum 4 Literacy: Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Tswana and Arabic

  7. Suchana Uttor Chandipur Community Society: Santali, Kora, Bilinguals

  8. Aripana Foundation: Maithili

  9. Little Readers' Nook: Tulu, Kutchi, Marwari …

  10. Unnati Institute for Social and Educational Change: Korku

  11. North East Educational Trust: Assamese, Bodo

  12. Brightstart Pre Primary school and Learning Centre : Marwari

  13. Libreo.ph: Tagalog, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Tausug/Maranao and Ilokano

  14. Darakht-e Danesh Library: Pashto

  15. Every English: Brazilian Portuguese

  16. REHMA: English-Urdu bilinguals

The selected language champions will help build local libraries across 24 languages.

Target Languages: Selected Language Champions:

  1. Amharic: Kaleab

  2. Bambara: Kirsty Paxton

  3. Basa Jawa (Javanese): Maharani Aulia

  4. Bundelkhandi: Ankit Dwivedi, Krishna Murary Upadhyay

  5. Chinyanja: Agnes Nankhoma Singine Nyendwa

  6. Dari: Aisha

  7. Filipino: Kaye

  8. Garhwali: Shweta Rawat

  9. GSB Konkani: Sujith Kamath

  10. Kirundi: Melchiade Ntibazonkiza, Adolphe Ndagijimana

  11. Kui: Shruti

  12. Kumaoni: Somya Budhori , Richa Pathak Pant,

  13. Kuvi/Jatapu: Markose K C

  14. Malay: David Loiuson

  15. Malvani: Rupali Bodekar

  16. Malvi: Omprakash Kshatriya

  17. Ndebele: Ntando Titus Ntaka

  18. Pawari: Amit Dudave

  19. Pashto: Nighat Kamdar

  20. Sanskrit: Meenakshi Sundaram K B, Priya Bhakthan

  21. Serbian: Ana Jovic

  22. Sindhi (Devanagari Script): Bharti

  23. Sindhi (Arabic Script): Zaib-un-Nisa

  24. Vietnamese: Nguyen Dac Thai Hang

 

Thank you for your initiative, we will get in touch with all selected partners for the next steps.

And a BIG thank you to everyone who applied. StoryWeaver is truly a result of your constant support, and contributions. We will do our best to reach out to you and explore alternate ways to collaborate. Thank you, again, and happy holidays!


 

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