Hi! Recently I’ve discovered a company called Smartling, a translation software company that translates website content into many languages so that businesses can effectively communicate with their audience. This company raised several thoughts in my head. After all, there are so many books that have been translated, to and from so many different languages! How would the world be today if these books hadn’t been translated? Completely different, wouldn’t it be?
I recently finished re-reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and I loved it! I might even consider one of my favorite childhood books, but how would’ve I read this if it had not been translated from German to English? I wouldn’t have, and I would’ve missed out on a quite wonderful story. Another example would be Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, a book also originally written in German. I quite enjoyed this story, and I would’ve missed out on it had it not been translated. For other good examples, you should check out Poulami’s post.
Translation is wonderful, in allowing us to have access to pieces of literature and novels that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. As translation is so crucial in sharing literature with the world, there are of course several issues that must be addressed. When I read books translated from another language, I often worry about whether the same story has been translated, and whether the writing style will remain the same. After all, a different language means for a whole different way of communication, and there are of course language slip-ups that happen when translating a whole story. I know from my personal reading as well as from other readers’ opinions that translated books do not always provide satisfying reading experiences. If this issue could be resolved, translated books would have a larger value and would reach more readers.
So those are my thoughts on translation and literature! We all know the value of the written word (or so I hope!), and the world would definitely be different if books hadn’t been translated; they wouldn’t be accessible to many people today. What are your thoughts on translated books? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!