Literary translation

Did you know that, other than religious books, Pinocchio has been translated into 260 languages? Written by the Italian author, Carlo Collodi, the book has also been translated and adapted into film & theatre versions.

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Translation matters. It affects the reader’s response lớn a literary piece. But literary translation is not an easy endeavour.

Literary translation involves translating dramatic và creative poetry và prose inkhổng lồ other languages, & it is a hugely important task. It helps lớn shape a reader’s understanding of the world, their history, philosophy, politics, & more.

So, exactly why is literary translation such a tough task?

Why is literary translation difficult?

Literary translation is significantly different from any other kind of translation. Just the volume of the texts sets this translation endeavour apart. Tackling a piece that runs in the region of hundreds of thousands of words is not an easy task, nor is attempting lớn recreate poetry in another language without losing the magnificence of the source text.

One of the biggest challenges in this aremãng cầu of literary translation is the balance lớn remain true lớn the original work while creating an entirely chất lượng piece that evokes the same responses as the original piece. Ask any literary translator, & they’re sure to tell you that even a single word can be a bother. The author has chosen a particular word for a particular reason, so it’s up khổng lồ the translator lớn ensure it’s rightfully delivered in the target language. But, what happens there is no direct translation or even several options with different meanings?

Literary translation’s most comtháng mistakes?

When it comes khổng lồ literary translation, it’s important to capture the feeling and emotion, as well as the meaning of the piece of work. It can be tough trying lớn translate a book accurately without losing the soul of the book.

Here are 7 mistakes literary translators often make and how khổng lồ avoid them.

Literal translations

Translating a script word for word is almost sure to lớn change the meaning of the translation from the original.

Exaggerating the meaning of words

An effective sầu translation shouldn’t over-emphakích thước any word so that it alters the intended meaning.

Depending too much on translation programs

Software programs can’t always determine context or recognize tones or determine emotional states.

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Misunderstanding the context of a word

If the translator misunderstands the context that a word is used in, he will translate it differently which can alter the original meaning.

Getting the tone wrong

It is most times very difficult to lớn accurately convey the tone used in the source text as it can change constantly.

Ignoring cultural differences

Translating without considering cultural differences can result in uncomfortable or even offensive situations.


Regardless of the skills & abilities possessed mistakes are always possible even aước ao the best. Not having work proofread is not only over-confident but also foolish.


How are things progressing in the literary translation industry?

More than a decade ago, it was estimated that just 3% of the books published in the U.S. were translations. However, the industry has seen in steady growth, with the LAF highlighting the diversity of source languages, particularly for English and Irish readers. Aý muốn the top ten languages translated, Japanese, Swedish, Arabic, Norwegian, và Dutch make the các mục, while Eastern European languages remain somewhat underrepresented. What that means is that there may well be huge scope for translation inlớn those languages.

However, it seems that change is afoot. In 2016, the Man Booker International Prize was on par for both the translator of the winning novel và the author, showing how increasingly important literary translation is becoming in our world.

Another telltale sign that literary translation is on the rise is Amazon’s keenness lớn take on literary translation. AmazonCrossing, the translation publishing division, accounts for approximately 10% of all translations last year. Today, that division is the most productive publisher of translated fiction in the United States, covering 15 languages in 2016, including Hebrew, Indonesian, Finnish, Chinese, và Russian.

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Where khổng lồ from here for literary translation?

The growth in literary translation is an exciting one, & it seems lớn bode well for the future. In our modern society, translation of literature is playing a bigger và bigger role, & Amazon has become well positioned khổng lồ play a big part in promoting the sharing of literary works between countries. With so many economic, religious, cultural, & political injustices and schisms in our world, it seems that anything that could bring us closer to understanding one another certainly deserves some sort of celebration.

Chuyên mục: literature