There are so many other written languages on this planet, we know it is not feasible that the best books all start in English. We are simply missing out if we don’t find them,” said Emma Langley, an international literature expert at Arts Council England.
If you are an 80’s child you might have shed a couple of tears watching the movie adaptation of Die unendliche Geschichte, and if you have a child of your own you definitely know Der regenbogenfisch. If you cannot recognize these children’s books let me introduced them by a more familiar name The Neverending Story and The Rainbow Fish.
Many beloved children’s characters trace their origins back to literary books in translation. However, with the rise of the Internet and the global dominance of English most editors nowadays have little chance of reading content written in other languages. In a push against the complacent view that work originally written in English is sufficient for England’s children, the country’s foremost early reading charity has launched the campaign In Other Words 2016 to bring over translations of more books from around the globe.
The project is calling for sample translations of “outstanding” foreign literary works for children aged 6 to 12. These translations will be shown to British publishing houses in the Bologna book fair next year. Any publisher that acquires the rights to publish one of these stories will receive a £1,500 grant to promote the author and translator and help market the book in the British market. In a world of savage cuts in acquisition budgets projects like this one give hope to us all!
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