Margaret first came to Evington in 1994, and is married to Ben, a former college lecturer. She says: ‘I love Evington, it’s a lovely place to live.’ An interest they share is writing poetry, strictly for their own enjoyment, and to add to their interests they are both having lessons to improve their knowledge of French.

Only one year after receiving her OBE Margaret has been awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Leeds. ‘It was particularly pleasing to receive my doctorate because it was the first time the University had ever awarded such a degree to a translator, so it was a tribute to the work of literary translators in general, as well as to me.’

Margaret translates mainly novels and some poetry by authors who are well known in their own countries but not necessarily here. This is a highly specialist and complex task. Of all the books published in English only about 3% are translations from a foreign language. She translates literature from Spanish and Portuguese into English and attributes her success not only to her competence in all three languages, but also to an ability to replicate the original writer’s style in English.

Margaret explains: ‘You need to have read very widely in both your own language and in the other languages. You also need to continue to read widely to keep your knowledge of all three languages up to date. I realise how fortunate I am to have a job that I love and enjoy and can carry on doing.’

For a more comprehensive list of Margaret’s many honours and translations search: Wikipedia Margaret Jull Costa.

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