Author Archives: Editor

Children’s Literature for Indigenous Populations in Australia

The following free resources provide information about children’s literature relating to indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand:  

  • Free data base of children’s books, provided by the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature Inv.

This data base is currently for primary (lower) school children, but the NCACL hopes to increase the database during Stage 2 (for secondary school children) if funding is provided. 

Center for Children’s Books Webinars

A crossroads for critical inquiry, professional training, and educational outreach, the Center for Children’s Books (CCB) at the iSchool at Illinois is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. In its dual role as research collection and educational community, the Center has a national impact on the future of reading and readers.

The CCB supports its mission by providing space, staff, and other support to affiliates; housing collections and other research tools; and sponsoring outreach, scholarly conferences, and instructional activities. Affiliates include School and University faculty and academic staff, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and the iSchool’s School Librarian Licensure Program.

To commemorate its diamond anniversary, the CCB is holding a virtual lecture series featuring iSchool youth services faculty and alumni speaking about the Center’s history and activities, with an emphasis on children’s literature, storytelling, diversity, and literacy as a public health issue. The lectures, which are open to all, will be held at 12:00 p.m. CT. Speakers and presentations will include:

  • February 25: “CENTERED: The Life and Times of a Book Review Journal,” presented by Professor Emerita Betsy Hearne.
  • March 3: “Storytelling: From Story Times to Epistemological Information Divides,” presented by Associate Professor Kate McDowell (MS ’99, PhD ’07).
  • March 23: “Advocacy and Infographics: Doing the Work for Diversity in Youth Literature and Librarianship,” presented by Sarah Park Dahlen (MS ’09, PhD ’09), associate professor of library and information science at St. Catherine University.
  • April 6, “Books Build Better Brains: Sharing Books as a Public Health Intervention,” presented by Dipesh Navsaria (MS ’04), pediatrician and medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.

“Given the focus on the Center’s history, it is especially appropriate that three of the speakers were students of the fourth, longtime CCB director and Bulletin editor Professor Emerita Betsy Hearne,” said Professor and CCB Director Sara L. Schwebel. “The Center for Children’s Books has been led by a series of remarkable women who enjoyed long associations with the Center and its Bulletin, including Zena Sutherland, Betsy Hearne, and Deborah Stevenson—all of whom commanded tremendous industry-wide respect in the world of children’s books. During the most recent decade, the iSchool has welcomed four new youth services faculty members with diverse research interests and disciplinary backgrounds. As we celebrate the many successes of the CCB over the past 75 years, we are also engaged in strategic planning with an eye to the future.”

More information about the anniversary celebration is available on the CCB website.

Literary License vs Literary Translation – Translating Books the Right Way

Meta Description: How can you assess the quality of book translations into foreign languages? When it comes to accessing literary translation services, these tips should help.

The translation of books into foreign languages can open up the world stage when it comes to marketing, but authors need to know a thing or two about book translation to get started. Generally speaking, professional translation services are instrumental in global communication. This is as true in the publishing industry as it is in other global industries. But in this context, authors specifically need literary translation services for proper book translation.

This article will help those responsible for acquiring new international books to understand why paying careful attention to literary translation is so important. You’ll also learn about how to assess the quality of book translation services when you don’t speak the language in question, to support the acquisition of well-translated tomes.

Why Specifically Literary Translation?

Professional translators have stellar language skills. But it’s how they use them in specific contexts that sets translators with different specializations apart. You wouldn’t want a legal translator to handle medical translation work in a hospital, for example. Nor would you want a business translator to be in charge of translating a literary work. This means that all those who want a translation need to understand why sector specialization is so important in delivering quality and accurate translation work and why this is such an important part of the decision as to which translation agency to hire.

Ultimately, for books, what authors need is a literary translator. They have the proper literary expertise, background, and nuanced language skills to cater to creative works ranging from novels to poems. We consider here why literary translation is such a unique and challenging form of language translation.

A. Literary Translators Find the Best Interpretation, Not the Most Accurate Translation

What I mean here is that literary translators avoid literal word-for-word translations. In fact, if they do attempt to do literary translations, the resulting translation would be even more inaccurate. They have to take into account the linguistic nuances behind every language.

Simply put, they know that creative expressions such as idioms, humor, slang, metaphors, and other references are endemic to each language. Many of these just can’t be translated in other languages. Instead, they scour for the most appropriate interpretation by finding a suitable substitution in the target language. It doesn’t have to match the source’s context but it can match its essence.

A good example are the multilingual editions of Harry Potter. Translating Harry Potter is notoriously difficult since J.K. Rowling incorporated Latin, Greek, and distinctly British references. Many literary translators have decided not to literally translate them as they were and instead localized a number of the book’s lexicon. These include the spells, names of specific characters, locations, and other references. You might know Hogwarts as Hogwarts but some international readers won’t call it by the same name.

B. Literary Translators Try to Replicate the Original Work’s Rhythm and the Author’s Voice

This is what makes literary translation particularly challenging. Translating creative expressions is a complex process on its own. But matching the original work’s musicality and the author’s writing style is a job that can only be done by a literary magician.

Matching the work’s musicality means mimicking the rhythm, cadence, and charm. This alone is very difficult as many languages don’t share the same linguistic mechanics. This challenge is prevalent in works that rely on precisely chosen syllables, namely poems.

But replicating the author’s voice also has its own challenges. Authors worked for years and years to develop their own voice. They write in a certain way and phrase distinctively to the point that their work can be easily identified as their own.

To sum up everything, literary translators have to juggle a lot of factors to translate even just one word. That is to find the most suitable substitution for the work’s distinct lexicon that’ll resonate well with the target language and dueince, mimicking the original’s work’s essence and musicality, and lastly, to replicate the author’s writing style.

The Value of a Professional Translation Agency for Literary Translation

Professional translation agencies render a multitude of translations and have a global network of translators with native-language abilities. They can even render translation for specific industries. To name a few, these include legal translation, medical translation, app translation, marketing translation, etc. As you can expect, they also render literary translation services.

Professional agencies’ vast linguistic networks mean that they can quickly source translators for the language pairings that authors need. They will have set standards in place for all those with whom they work. This means that those acquiring the resulting translations have a strong degree of assurance regarding the quality of the work.

The same applies with literary translation associations. These organizations have literary translators as their members. The members are given the resources and networking opportunities to improve their overall translation skills and to also provide them recognition.

Why Good Translations Are So Important

Why pay so much attention to whether or not an author has used the perfect literary translator? Because quality matters. Consider some of the best works that you’ve read in translation – how the copy shone, despite not being in its original language. Now think about the clunky language and poor grammar of inferior translations. Would you read an entire book that was translated poorly? No? Exactly.

Poor translation serves to alienate the reader. Someone who needed a specific piece of information might put up with poor translation on a short blog post, but it’s too big an ask for an entire novel. Quite simply, poor literary translation will turn readers away from a book. This means that those acquiring books have to pay very careful attention to the translation quality.

An International Book Marketing Strategy Involves Localizing the Book

Although a lot of work goes into translating a book, it’s actually just one of the stages to help prepare it for a global audience. Authors also have to localize their books to different markets. We actually discussed this earlier under the scope of linguistic localization. But this time, we’ll dive into the marketing aspect of a book localization strategy.

Localization involves adjusting to the tastes of the target market. The first obvious choice in a book marketing strategy is to localize the book cover. Book covers in general are important for marketability. Although it’s quite unfair to judge a book by its cover, making a good visual first impression is essential in book marketing.

Marketing a one-size-fits-all book cover with the translated text being the only difference might work on specific markets, but this is not guaranteed. Take a look at this informative article on Hunger Games’ various book covers worldwide. See what I mean? Look how different the Japanese book cover is. The publishers took into account unique Japanese norms and adjusted the book cover to make it appear as a Japanese comic or manga to be more specific.

In short, localizing the book cover means incorporating cultural preferences specific to the target market. But localizing also involves avoiding specific cultural, social, political and even religious references. Some audiences are critical of specific references and would find it distasteful if they were on the book cover. Some countries have gone even further, legally enforcing these taboos.

How Can You Assess Translation Quality When You Don’t Speak the Language?

One thorny problem that acquiring books in translation gives rise to is how you can assess the quality of the translation if you don’t speak that language natively. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can tackle this.

Ideally, you can involve someone bilingual who speaks the language of the original as well as your own tongue. By discussing the prose with them and considering their views, you should be able to form an assessment of the quality of the work you’re acquiring.

If you don’t have a bilingual contact involved, you could source the services of a proofreader in the translated language or a literary translator. Both should be able to provide you with a fair and knowledgeable assessment of the quality of the translation.

Top Publishing Markets and Profitable Languages

The most profitable language in which to publish any book is English, with the top English publishing markets being the U.S. and the U.K. But since we’re in the context of foreign languages, authors can definitely find more success in other publishing markets. Here are a few noteworthy countries where authors may find success as a result of literary translation:

1. China

The Chinese publishing industry, along with the U.S., produces the most titles annually. This is not really that surprising since they’re both the world’s dominant economies. Mind you that translating creative works from English to Chinese is extremely complex since both languages are completely unrelated.

But it’s worth a shot since you’ll be making your work known to an additional hundreds of millions of Chinese readers in mainland China. You’ll also be tapping into the tens of millions of Chinese expats worldwide.

2. Germany

Being the leading economy in Europe, it’s also not surprising that Germany is also the top publishing market in mainland Europe. So it’s worth translating your book from English to German. You’ll also be making your book accessible to regional German speakers that live in countries bordering German.

3. France

The next leading publishing market in mainland Europe is France. You can widen your success in mainland Europe if you also translate your book from English to French and not just English to German. Doing this also means making it accessible to French speakers in Canada.

4. Japan

Japan has a vibrant publishing market. Although it doesn’t boast figures equal that to China or the U.S, it’s still a lucrative market. So yes, translating your book from English to Japanese is worth it—if done right. But like the Chinese language, translating to the Japanese language is also challenging and so is localizing your book cover to accommodate uniquely Japanese tastes.

Don’t Stop With Just One Translated Edition: Final Takeaway

Translating and localizing a book to one language is difficult enough, especially for indie authors when they have to shoulder all of the expenses. But to truly enjoy international success means going beyond just one translated edition.

If the author finds success with a translated edition, they can use the royalties they’ve gained and invest it in their next publishing market. This sharing of their work and creativity means as many people as possible have the chance to read it. By focusing on translation quality for every edition, authors will be doing all they can to impress those acquiring their novels, whether that’s someone buying for individual use or for library stock.

Provided by Shiela May Pulido <[email protected]>

Call US | +1 (985) 239 0142  


European Read On Project

The “READ ON guide”, produced by the partners of the European READ ON project, is a guide for teachers, youth workers, festivals, creative writing tutors and anyone working with young people aged 12 to 19. Inside you can find 15 IDEAS THAT YOU CAN ADAPT

 The READ ON project gets young people reading, writing, illustrating, creating graphic novels, interviewing authors, offering their own spin on their favourite book, and curating events at literature festivals, both in their own country and across Europe.

 READ ON is a four-year project bringing together seven organisations in six countries working in six languages, funded by the EU Creative Europe programme.


From June 2017 to December, these organisations are working with young people aged 12-19 at public events, through their schools, youth groups and writing clubs or by themselves.

You can find more information, as well as get involved as a school, youth organisation or individual, at and

  Read more about the project partners, following the link:

African-American Read-In

The 2021 National African American Read-In (AARI) begins on February 1. AARI is the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature. It was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month. Although most participants won’t be able to gather in person to celebrate, NCTE encourages schools, libraries, bookstores, and community and professional organizations to host virtual events for this year’s AARI. The AARI toolkit contains several resources for getting started. With many AARI events moving online, this year’s virtual celebration will transcend geographic boundaries. Visit the AARI map to find events across the United States.

For details, go to