The Translation of Children's Literature A Reader Edited by: Gillian Lathey

Paperback - 272 pages
Related Formats:
21 Sep 2006
Topics in Translation
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148

Key features

- Critical interest in the translation of children's literature has increased over the last few years, including the issue of cross-cultural influence

- This Reader brings together articles which reflect the development and range of writing on the translation of children's literature


Since the late 1970s, scholarly interest in the translation of children’s books has increased at a rapid pace. Research across a number of disciplines has contributed to a developing knowledge and understanding of the cross-cultural transformation and reception of children’s literature. The purpose of this Reader is to reflect the diversity and originality of approaches to the subject by gathering together, for the first time, a range of journal articles and chapters on translation for children published during the last thirty years. From an investigation of linguistic features specific to translation for children, to accounts of the travels of international classics such as the Grimm Brothers’ Household Tales or Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio, to a model of narrative communication with the child reader in translated texts and, not least, the long-neglected comments of professional translators, these essays offer new insights into the challenges and difference of translating for the young.


In the last few decades a number of European scholars have paid an increasing amount of attention to children’s literature in translation. This book not only provides a synthetic account of what has been achieved in the field, but also makes us fully aware of all the textual, visual and cultural complexities that translating for children entails. Apart from few important Scandinavian studies of children’s literature in translation, students of this subject have had problems in finding a book that attempted an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the field. Gillian Lathey’s Reader does just this; it investigates a whole range of textual, visual and cultural issues that translating literature for children entails.

- Dr Piotr Kuhiwczak, Director, Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies University of Warwick.

This reader will offer valuable information and inspiration to scholars familiar with the field and newcomers alike.

- Jochen Weber, Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, Vol 45, No. 3, 2007

Covering almost three decades of research in the wide field of writing and translating for children, calling into play the contributions of scholars involved in the study of children's literature, of the translation of books but also audiovisual texts and, last but not least, the reflections of several distinguished translators, the volume provides a thorough overview of the most significant steps taken in the exploration of this often neglected world. On the whole, resulting from an accurate selection of contributions to the hardly-ever-explored field of translating for children, the volume manages to bring to the fore all the relevant issues and theoretical standpoints, providing thorough background while also highlighting the latest research paths. Furthermore, it proves to have an additional –and uncommon– twofold value: it makes an essential reading for those who approach the translation of children's literature for the first time, but it also stands out as a compendium of the most relevant contributions by scholars inside and outside Europe.

- Elena Di Giovanni, University of Macerata, in JOSTrans Issue 8

Author Biography:

Gillian Lathey is Reader in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University and Acting Director of the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature. She currently teaches children’s literature at undergraduate and Masters levels; supervises PhD students undertaking children’s literature projects; researches the practices and history of translating for children, and administers the biennial Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. Publications include a comparative study of the representation of war in German and British children’s literature, and articles on translation for children and the reading histories of German-Jewish child refugees in the UK in the 1930s and 40s.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Undergraduate

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