We hear over and over that the biggest hurdles to translating books from other countries are:
a) hearing about books from other countries and other languages,
b) the cost of getting a reader’s report, a gist or a full translation,
c) finding translators or agents to help in the first place!
Well, here at Team World Kid Lit, we want to solve all these problems here on this website!
a) how to hear about new kids’ books from around the world
In most Translate This! posts, you’ll find contact details of the translator or original rights holders, and many have synopses and sample translations. For more info, just email the translator pitching the book or us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put you in touch.
For picture books, there’s also dPictus where you can explore the world’s most gorgeous illustrated texts.
b) getting a report
As you’ll see from interviews and guest posts here, children’s book translators are often passionate and keen to tell publishers about new books from their country of interest. It’s true that many countries don’t have a literary agent representing even adult fiction on the international market, let alone children’s writers, but translators can do a lot of what an agent would do.
Here at Team World Kid Lit, we maintain a spreadsheet of children’s book experts who read a range of world languages. View the spreadsheet here and contact these brilliant people if you want to hear about new books in their language, commission a reader’s report or a translation.
Many countries cover the cost of translation samples and funding schemes like English PEN are also available for children’s and YA literature. Please email us if you need specific information about funding and we will try to help! email@example.com
c) finding a translator
In the UK, you can find a literary translator via the Society of Authors’ subgroup, the Translators’ Association: https://www.societyofauthors.org/Our-Members/Translator-Search. You can search by language or keyword e.g. children’s to find translators with specific experience.
In the USA, many literary translators are members of ALTA or the Authors’ Guild. Their websites don’t have such an easy ‘Find a translator’ function, but you could try emailing ALTA to ask for recommendations among their members: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Australia, the literary translators’ organisation is called AALITRA.
Follow the hashtag #worldkidlit on Twitter to see what translators, teachers, librarians and booksellers are reading in the way of global, diverse and translated children’s and YA literature.