Veli Jože in English


Veli Jože EnglishFor the first time ever Vladimir Nazor’s tale of the legendary giant Jože and his struggle against his oppressors, centred around the Istrian hilltop town of Motovun, is available in English. I am very proud to have translated this extremely important piece of Croatian literature. I was helped by Andrea Gnjato who gave me linguistic advice with some of the dialectic structure of Nazor’s writing.

istarski-boloviThis edition has been translated and prepared according to the edition of the Collected Works of Vladimir Nazor book no. 12 – Istarski Bolovi (Istrian Pains) which was most probably published in 1930. It includes the translation of Nazor’s original foreword in which he explains the origins of the story and the development of the character of Jože the giant.
It is published by Naklada Kvarner (ISBN 978-953-7773-55-7).
Contact Naklada Kvarner direct to order a copy: naklada.kvarner(at)

Martin Mayhew English translator of Veli Jože


Tales and Legends from the Kirija

tales from the kirija‘Pripovesti i Legendi zi Kirije’ / ‘Tales and Legends from the Kirija’ is a delightful collection of stories, legends and myths from the area of Crikvenica (locally known as ‘Kirija’) by Đurđica Ivančić Dusper (Sanja Škrgatić – editor). I provided the English translation for this dual language book published by the Centar za kulturu Dr. Ivan Kostrenčić in Crikvenica (ISBN 978-953-7532-15-4). The centre wanted to record some of the old stories and tales narrated by the elderly inhabitants of the Crikvenica region, for prosperity – before they are lost forever.

Lipa pamti – memorial centre

lipa-pamti-logoLipa is a small village on the Croatian side of the Slovenian-Croatian border in the municipality of Matulji. On Sunday 30th April 1944 it was the scene of a horrific retaliatory attack by the occupying Nazi German forces trying to quell the Partisan resistance in which 269 men, women, children and old people were killed, the village ransacked and their houses torched.

lipa german fotosOne eyewitness’s account:

“Here is where a terrible massacre took place when they burned people alive. About 260 people were slaughtered. On the following days, 1st, 2nd, 3rd May they collected the corpses from the village and transported them down to a little house into which they were stuffed and also burnt.”


After World War II the village was partially rebuilt whilst some buildings were left as ruins. In the 1960s a memorial building was established and in April 2015 it was reopened after a complete refurbishment and redesign by designers Gamulin & Sevšek as the Memorijalni centar Lipa pamti  (the Lipa Remembers Memorial Centre).

memorial centre lipaInside is a modern museum space which tells the story of Lipa and the surrounding area, the events of 1944 as well as a growing ethnographic collection.

pic courtesy of Novi list

pic courtesy of Novi list

I provided the English translations of some of the exhibition’s captions and documentation on behalf of the municipality of Matulji and the museum organisers PPMHP.

lip pamti interior museumYou can find more info on the memorial centre’s website here.

DE-helmets-lipaPhotos by Damir Gamulin, PPMHP, Novi list, German State Archives.

The Sails of Kvarner – catalogue translation

Jedra Kvarnera (The Sails of Kvarner) is a permanent exhibition at The Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka (PPMHP).
The exhibition presents an historical overview of the development of the shipping industry and shipbuilding in the region of the Northern Adriatic in the period from Late Antiquity, through the Mediaeval development of the shipping industry of the Eastern Adriatic and the Modern Age, to the beginning of the 20th century.

jedra kvarnera sails of kvarnerI provided the English translation of the accompanying catalogue which features a snapshot of the exhibits on show and a description of the sections of the exhibition such as the types of vessels, navigational and ship equipment, paintings of ships, anchors and the history of the shipping industry in the Northern Adriatic, Kvarner and Rijeka areas.

You can find more info at the museum’s website: PPMHP


Vinodolski zbornik – translation

For several years I have been translating the summaries of articles into English for the Vinodol region’s collection of historical, archaeological papers and reports collected every year in the ‘Vinodolski zbornik’.

Vinodolski zbornik 2014The 15/2014 edition contains 280 pages of fascinating research with detailed photography and diagrams of this important region of littoral Croatia. Contributors include Amir Muzur, Branko Blažević, Mirjana Randić, Katica Barbarić and Tea Rosić. With every edition I learn more about the Crikvenica and Vinodol area, and it is always a pleasure to work with the journal’s editor Sanja Škrgatić.

It is published by the Centar za kulturu Dr. Ivan Kostrenčić, Crikvenica: ISSN 0351-5516

The Stepfather and the Bastard – novel translation

stepfather and the bastard‘The Stepfather and the Bastard’ by Aleksandra Hampamer (original Croatian language version ‘Očuh i kopile’) is the latest book by this author from Čakovec. I am very happy to have translated this novel into English.

This is a harrowing story about the life of a young girl, Aiya, and an old lady, Tara. While Aiya suffers beatings every day from her stepfather, Tara tells healing tales that help her and many others to overcome the fear and loneliness can be present in any family behind closed doors. After many years the two old friends meet when Tara is nearing the end of her life. Told through the autobiographical narrative of the author’s childhood, the tales speak of a battle against domestic violence, and shed light where darkness blocks the way of love and the courage for change, forgiveness, compassion and support.

This is the first novel that I have translated and I am glad to have had the chance to be involved in such a brave, heartfelt and touching story.

The book is available via Amazon, as a Kindle edition here: ‘The Stepfather and the Bastard’

Kisha – the umbrella you’ll never lose

I’m very proud to have been involved in the world’s first Bluetooth technology umbrella, developed in Rijeka.

The hi-tech, top-quality umbrella has an in-built chip which uses Bluetooth technology to connect to an app on your smart phone. In this way it will alert you if you walk away or forget your umbrella wherever you are. Plus it also gives you the weather forecast so you’ll know whether to take your Kisha umbrella with you when you go out.

kisha_app It has been developed by a team in Rijeka and I helped them with the English language of their app, website and supplied the voice-over for their promo youtube video above. :)

Psst! If you were wondering why they chose the name “Kisha” – in Croatian the word (spelt “kiša” and pronounced “kisha”) actually means “rain”. 😉

kisha_openAll the info, how to order an umbrella and download the app is on their website here

Kisha umbrella survives the Adriatic’s infamous “bura” wind in Rijeka harbour:

Kisha umbrella test in Poland:

Petar Grabovac – Rijeka – monography

petar grabovac rijekaPetar Grabovac-Ćućo is a legendary photo-journalist who worked in the industry from 1948 until his retirement in 1990. He worked for Rijeka’s ‘Novi List’ newspaper for 40 years and photographed every major event that happened in the city. He captured the visits of international statesmen such as Che Guevara, Nasser, Nehru, Khrushchev, Brezhnev as well as Yugoslavia’s President Tito.
Grabovac’s work has been published all over the world and he has been awarded numerous international prizes. His eye for detail and quality of his work is presented in this monography which features his studies of the city of Rijeka, which has changed over those four decades, and it has brought memories flooding back for its inhabitants.

I provided the English translations of the summary and the author’s biography.
This 320 page hardback book simply titled ‘Rijeka’ can be ordered direct from the publisher Adamić d.o.o. here.
ISBN: 978-953-219-489-0

Primorsko-goranska županija iz zraka – monography

Primorsko-goranska županija iz zrakaThe monography Primorsko-goranska županija iz zraka (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County from the air) is a lushly illustrated book featuring aerial photography of PGŽ County. Some of the countries finest photographers have captured many parts of the region with beautiful shots from all seasons of the year. Towns, islands, beaches, forests, mountains all lavishly presented in this 320 page hardback volume.
I provided the English translations for the summary and photographers’ biographies. A full English language edition has yet to be published.

Primorsko-goranska županija iz zraka

Stunning aerial photography of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

The photography is by Petar Fabijan, Nenad Reberšak, Damir Škomrlj and Silvano Ježina and the accompanying text is by Edi Jurković.
Published by Adamić d.o.o, 2014
Buy it online here or look for it in bookshops.
ISBN 978-953-7221-46-1

Theatre on a plate – cookbook translation

dragan grbić theatre on a plateI am very proud to have translated ‘Theatre on a plate’ by Dragan Grbić. It is a traditional Dalmatian cookbook with a modern twist. The original Croatian language version ‘Teatar u pijatu’ by the well-known chef from Trogir was very popular and so an English version was a logical step.

The book features traditional Dalmatian recipes from starters to meat and fish dishes, to desserts and marmalades. There are also historical notes about the origins of some of the ingredients, including those which are highly prized or simply overlooked in modern cuisine. Dragan gives insights to many ‘lost’ recipes and foodstuffs which are extremely tasty and nutritious and at the same time easy to find.

theatre on a plate pagesThe recipes are accompanied by high-quality, mouthwatering photographs of the dishes, and the foreword of the book is by Veljko Barbieri, a giant in Croatian cooking and writing. If you want to experience a true taste of Dalmatian gastronomy, not just sardines and polenta, then this book is the ideal starting-point to indulge yourself in everything from soups to scallops, from macaroni to braised lamb. There’s even a brief guide to making your own flavoured rakija!

The book 232 page is published by Redak and is available online here.
ISBN: 978-853-336-177-2