Uldis Bērziņš

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Uldis Bērziņš
Uldis Bērziņš.jpg
Born (1944-05-17)17 May 1944
Riga, Reichskommissariat Ostland (Now Latvia)
Occupation Poet, translator

Uldis Bērziņš (born May 17, 1944 in Riga) is a Latvian poet and translator.


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.[1] From 2002 on he has been teaching Turkish at the Modern Languages Department of the University of Latvia.[2]

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.

Bērziņš has received various awards and honours such as the Three Star Order (1995), the Zinaida Lazda award (1994), the Baltic Assembly Prize for Literature, the Arts and Science (1995) and the Spidola Award (2000).

In 2009 and again in 2010 he was named one of the World's 500 most influential Muslims in survey conducted by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center[3] (though Bērziņš is actually Lutheran).

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.



  • Izšūpojušies. Bibliotēka ostmalā. [Rocked. Library on the Levee]. Riga: Neputns, (2014)
  • 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) [4]

Awards and Honours[edit]

  • 1994, Zinaida Lazda Award
  • 1995, Three Star Order
  • 1995, the Baltic Assembly Award
  • 2000, the Spidola Award
  • 2009, Poetry Days prize for translations
  • 2009, the Annual Latvian Literary Prize for his collection of poems Conversation with a Postman
  • 2016, The Dzintars Sodums' Award for his translation of the ancient Icelandic Songs of Edda [4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ translated parts: http://www.zagarins.net/korans.htm
  2. ^ Translations
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-18. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Latvian Literature - Uldis Bērziņš". www.latvianliterature.lv. Retrieved 17 March 2018.