You need to say that title line out loud, and try to channel your inner Lady Bracknell as you do.
I was sent some information about a new book from Finland, Me and the Robbersons, by Siri Kolu, translated by Ruth Urbom. It was partly about the translation process, which was what I expected.
Only partly, because I had not realised that [English language] publishers need their hands held quite a bit before tackling a book in another language. This one happened because Daniel Hahn accompanied a group of UK publishers to Bologna and introduced them to people and to the general idea of translated books [for children].
It costs more to publish a translation. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it makes sense. Maybe. The translator obviously needs paying, as does the original author. When dealing with smaller languages from countries keen to spread its literature around, there is often financial help, as there was in this case.
So that’s the production side of the foreign book dealt with. Have the idea, find the right book, get it translated and out there.
I’m so naïve that I imagined that might be it. The book goes to shops and libraries and all the rest, and is read like any other book. No. My source also mentioned a review by a child on a kid’s review site. The child mostly liked the book. But so much seems to have been made of the fact that it was a translated book, that the child focused on this. ‘The fact it had been written in a different language initially made me feel uncertain but excited because I had not read a translated book before.’
That would be because no one had thought to mention that some of the standard childhood classics which many children have read, are translations.
I’m wondering if adults ought to see if they can refrain from pointing out the different aspects of whatever they are offering, be it organic, home made, contains garlic, or has been translated.