Translator of the Month: Agata Bal

Article published on Dec. 2, 2014
Article published on Dec. 2, 2014

Agata Bal is a character full of surprising paradoxes. She is Polish, not sipping vodka - instead, flamenco dancing and reading T.S. Eliot. It happens that doing fatalistic dreams about Mary Migotce on ominous slide. Meet our translator of the month.

cafébabel: Tell us something about yourself.

Agata Bal: I am at the beginning of the end of many years of adventures with my Philology and Cultural studies at the University of Warsaw. In the meantime, I have earned a Master of Arts at City University in London, as part of a programme in pop culture translation.

CB: How did you hear about cafébabel?

AB: I heard about cafébabel from my studies in London. Our professor forwarded us a message from Kait Bolongaro explaining the possibility of being a part of the magazine.

CB: What is your favourite saying?

AB: Although I do not have any favourite sayings, I enjoy seeing interesting translations of expression in movies. At the top of my list is Notting Hill, in which "oopsie daisy" is translated into "cube with a dog" in Polish. 

CB: If you could have dual citizenship, in addition to your own, which country would you choose?

AB: Spanish or British.

CB: What fascinates you recently?

AB: I think fascination is too strong a word in this case, but recently I try to find pleasure in the things that have always, at least for the past few years, sparked my overwhelming reluctance - cooking and T.S. Eliot's poetry.

CB: Where can we find you on a Friday night?

AB: In the evenings, I am usually at a flamenco dance school.

CB: What advice would you give to Janusz Korwin-Mikke (An extreme right wing politican from Poland — Ed.)?

AB: I recall the words that Spanish King Juan Carlos once said to Hugo Chavez: ¿Por qué no te callas? (Why don't you shut up?)

CB: What is the worst stereotype of Poles?

AB: The stereotype that in some way has touched me personally is the common belief of our nation's love for vodka. I have had to repeat several times, to everyone's surprise, that although I am a Pole, that I don't touch this drink.

CB: What is the strangest dream you ever had?

AB: As a child, I had a recurring nightmare of a monstrous amusement park. There was a scary rollercoaster that attacked Miss Piggy.

CB: Imagine you won an Oscar. Who would you acknowledge in your speech?

AB: My imagination is not so great. But in my mind's eye, I see myself on the red carpet responding to the most important question: "Who are you wearing?"