Translated fiction – where is it? Part 2

Okay, so in this second part of my translated fiction post, I will be looking at what publishers, agents and translators can do to bring foreign fiction to us English-speaking readers. Let's hope it's something, because things weren't looking too good in part 1! So, publishers. They are tricky because they are to be credited with publishing all the translations that are out there, but at the same time they are largely responsible for the lack of transla

Translated fiction – where is it? Part 1

Back in November 2011, I wrote about the popularity of translations in English. In my next two posts, I'll look in greater depth into whether they really are unpopular, and what can be done to increase the number of translations published in English. So... Where is all the translated fiction? Well, the short answer is, it's in non-English-speaking countries! I've been reading a lot recently about the dearth of translated fiction in English-speaking c

Should legal translations be written in plain English?

This blog post is inadvertently timely, as I discovered that in the UK, last Friday was National Plain English Day! Campaigners for plain English argue that information meant for the public should be clear and concise, and they want governments and companies to write their documents using simpler language. Legal language has unsurprisingly gotten caught up in the debate, as it’s notorious for its opacity. To give you an example of the changes campaigners w...

The popularity of translated literature in English

Next Tuesday, a series of workshops and discussions on translating children’s literature is taking place in London (click here for details). One of the workshops, translating extracts from Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, caught my eye because I love Hans Christian Andersen, and have done ever since I saw the biopic starring Danny Kaye when I was about 5. (Incidentally, I’m not sure it really counts as a “biopic”, as from what I can tell the life story p

The Translation Process

This week, I thought I’d give you a peek behind the scenes by writing about what I do when working on a translation. While every project’s different, I’ll go through some variation of the following process when translating: Read the document for understanding, and getting a feel for the style and intention of the piece; think about how it should be translated Draft a translation and put in initial formatting, if required Research the topic to under...