Thursday, June 18, 2015

Children's Books In Translation

In a guest blog titled "Go Global: We Are The World" over at the Children's Book Council's CBC Diversity blog, Veronica Grijalva writes of the power of works in translation:

Children who have read the stories of many countries would have a stronger foundation for understanding international diversity. They’d be better able to respect differences and react with sympathy. Many would be able to experience the stories from the countries of their family origins. Young readers today have an unprecedented access to children and media from other countries. I moderate a forum for teens with registered users from over 30 countries, and it’s not unusual to have to step in and explain cultural differences during inevitable arguments. Imagine if those children had a frame of reference for those interactions, if they had lived in that culture in the pages of a book.

Educators might worry that young readers would be hesitant to read stories that aren’t set in their home country but, if a child can enjoy stories set in fantasy worlds, their unfettered imaginations can imagine and enjoy fantastic experiences set half a world away. Books in translation could also offer unique teaching opportunities, as supplements to social studies, geography, and history lessons. They could act as a foreign exchange trip without having to leave the classroom. 

Veronica acknowledges the challenges of books in translation, and cites a number of resources in the article to "help you Go Global." They are worth checking out.

Also, if translation is something you want to learn more about, there will be a breakout workshop on the Saturday August 1st of the upcoming 2015 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, "The Art and Business of Translation," offered by Nanette McGuinness.

Nanette is the translator of two dozen books for children and young adults, including the popular Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novel series, Dinosaurs Graphic Novels, Thea Stilton Graphic Novels, and the recently-released middle grade novels Mystery of the Scarlet Rose (Sherlock, Lupin & Me, #3) and Map of the Passages (Enchanted Emporium, #3).

You can find out more about the 2015 SCBWI Summer Conference here.

Illustrate and Write On,

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