TransStar – A Project for Europe’s New Cultural Mediators

„TransStar“ is a new European project which places its focus on smaller Central- and Southeastern languages, its literatures and cultures. Students and young professionals of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia and Ukraine are given the opportunity to become acquainted with literary translation and the basics of European cultural management.

Starting Point

With the eastward enlargement of the European Union many impulses have ensued for European neighbors to merge and coalesce. Despite multiple attempts there nonetheless remains an inequality in the integration of different European cultures. In an increasingly transcultural life world not only specialists with in-depth knowledge are needed, but also knowledge of European cultures will become an everyday requirement for each and every person. In order to enable broad access to cultures, an increased number of cultural mediators is required.


The project pursues a multi-perspectival approach which aims at:

  • training future cultural mediators in six European countries
  • getting participating universities to add practice modules for literary translation to the curricula of study programs
  • establishing a sustainable network between future cultural mediators
  • sensitizing a general public audience for smaller languages and cultures
  • promoting and increasing cultural exchange between Germany and the Central- and Southeastern European countries.


Seminars, discussions and cultural events will be organized on „Different Cultures, a Common History: On the Path Towards a New Europe“ from which the future cultural mediators as well as a broader audience will benefit.

Translation Workshops

Participants will work with professional translators on the translation of texts of contemporary European authors into six languages. The translation will take place both in the pairing of languages and in trans-linguistic analysis. In this way participants will have the opportunity to come in contact with different native and working languages and can profit from each other’s varying cultural backgrounds and together create cross-over spaces of European languages.

Workshops will take place in Tübingen, Freiburg, Krakau, Łódź, Ústí nad Labem, Kiev, Zagreb and Ljubljana.

Part of the work on the translations is the one-on-one supervision by workshop leaders. Each participant will receive mentoring on his or her translations.

Online Network

Within the framework for he project an online network will be established. This network will make it possible for participants to work together on their translations from different locations and exchange information. Furthermore, the network will provide a basis for the continued work amongst participants after the project ends.

Cultural Events

In order to provide access to new authors and interesting developments in European literatures for a broad audience, public cultural events will be organized at all workshops and network meetings such as readings, performances and discussions.

Network Meetings

At network meetings future cultural mediators will receive coaching on European cultural management. In seminars, at presentations and discussions the countries and their regional cultural spaces will be introduced including their artists, agencies, institutions and funding landscapes. The network meetings will primarily take place in Prague and Krakow.

Module for Literary Translation at Institutes of Higher Education

One of the goals of the workshop is that modules for literary translation will be integrated into respective study programs at participating institutes of higher education. Experiences gained from the work conducted in the pairing of languages and analyzing cross-linguistic influences will flow into the development of modules.


The „TransStar“ project started in January of 2013 and will receive funding for a three-year period.

Pariticipating Partners

The project was initiated by the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Tübingen which is the coordinator of the project. In addition to the University of Tübingen, partners include the Charles University in Prague, University of Lodz, University of Zagreb, University of Ljubljana, Shevchenko National University of Kiev as well as the Literaturbüro Freiburg, the Goethe Institute Kiev, the Collegium Bohemicum in Ústí nad Labem and the Villa Decius in Krakow.


The project is funded by the EU program called “Lifelong Learning” and the participating partner institutions. Other funding partners will cooperate.

Further links on information on the project in the particular language of participating countries:





Translating cube