17 May 1944|
Riga, Reichskommissariat Ostland (Now Latvia)
He studied Latvian philology at the University of Latvia and published his first collection of poetry in 1980. Bērziņš studied Turkish in Leningrad University Oriental Studies Department (from 1968 to 1971), and also studied in the Asian and African Studies section of Moscow State University (concentrating on Persian and Turkish), at Tashkent State University (Uzbek), Reykjavik University (Icelandic), as well as in Czechoslovakia, Sweden and other countries.
Bērziņš has taken part in the international Bible translation seminar at the Amsterdam Open University and Lund University forum over questions regarding Koran translations. From 2002 on he has been teaching Turkish at the Modern Languages Department of the University of Latvia.
Bērziņš' poetry has been translated into German, Swedish, Estonian and Lithuanian. In 2009, Bērziņš finished the translation of Quran into Latvian, an enormous work that took him fifteen years. He remembers with fondness of the half of year he spent working in an Istanbul library. During his work, he was also in correspondence with numerous specialists of the Quran and Islam.
Awards: Three Star Order (1995), Zinaida Lazda award (1994), the Baltic Assembly Prize for Literature, the Arts and Science (1995) and the Spidola Award (2000).
Bērziņš translates from Polish, Russian, Ancient Icelandic, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Persian, Ancient Hebrew and Arabic; he also knows Ivrit (Modern Hebrew), Tatar and Chuvash language.
- Saruna ar pastnieku ["Conversation With a Postman"], Rīga: Neputns (2009)
- Dzeja ["Poems"], Rīga: Atēna (2004)
- Maijs debešos ["May in the Heavens"], Riga: Preses Nams (2002)
- Daugavmala ["The Daugava’s Edge"], Riga: Nordik (1999)
- Nozagtie velosipēdi ["Stolen Bicycles"], Riga: Minerva, (1999)
- Dzeja ["Poems"], Rīga: Artava (1995)
- Kukaiņu soļi ["The Footsteps of Insects"], Riga: Rainis and Aspazija Foundation (1994)
- Laiks ["Time"; with Juris Kronbergs], Riga: Zinātne (1994)
- Nenotikušie atentāti ["Assassinations That Never Happened"], Riga: Liesma (1990)
- Poētisms baltkrievs ["Belarusian Poetics"], Riga: Liesma (1984)
- Piemineklis kazai ["Monument to a Goat"], Riga: Liesma (1980)
- translated parts: http://www.zagarins.net/korans.htm
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