Russian Language & Literature

Русский язык и русская литература в Рид–колледже

Translation Comptetion

The Russian Department is happy to announce its 2017 Translation Competition.

This competition is open to all members of the Reed community and no previous knowledge of the Russian language is required!

The goal of the competition is to bring to light one of the most neglected parts of the Russian literary legacy – the works of female poets of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

The competitors will be asked to translate a poem by one of 18-19 century female poets. At the time of their lives, their works were described as “women’s”, or “ladies’ poetry”, and thus, inferior to the “real”, professional poetry – that is, the poetry of men. Very few of them received any recognition, and barely any of their works are known to the public nowadays, let alone having been translated into foreign languages.

Therefore one of the goals of this competition is to introduce and make available to a wider audience this unknown spectrum of Russian poetry and create new translations of previously translated works. 

The winners of the competitions will receive awards, and the best submissions will be published by the Russian department in a special anthology.

How It Works

Email Gleb Vinokurov ( with your name, the category you want to participate in, and add a few words about yourself. You will receive three poems to choose from. You can choose to translate more than one. Once you have finished your translation, email it to


Translations are due: March, 15, 2017, 12 AM.


The submissions will be accepted in the following categories:

1. NON-RUSSIAN SPEAKERS. Anyone can enter the competition in this category that doesn’t require any knowledge of the Russian language. First year Russian students may also choose to participate in this category.

The competitors will receive three literal, verbatim translations of poems (or fragments) to choose from. All approaches to translation are welcome, and the style chosen is absolutely a matter of the competitor’s preference. The translations will be judged by how the translator managed to convey the original content, and by the artistic quality of the resulting text. All the characteristics of the original text (meter, number of syllables, rhyme scheme, an audio recording by a native speaker) will be provided along with the literal translation.

2. RUSSIAN SPEAKERS. This category is open to everyone who has studied Russian for at least one year, and to speakers of different levels of fluency, including native speakers. The contestants in this category will receive a choice of texts in the original Russian and will be provided with voluntarily tutoring sessions to ensure that their understanding of the texts is complete.

3. ALUMNI. Reedies who studied Russian back in their glorious student days are welcome to participate as well.

4. Additional category: languages other than English. If you speak any languages other than English (including Ancient Greek and Latin), you can translate a poem into them. This is not a part of the main competition, therefore applicants can participate in one of the main categories along with this one. The best translations will also be published.


The winners will be selected by the Russian faculty. All submissions will be kept anonymous during the judging process.