Monday, June 15, 2015

Translated Books

Hey friends! Let's talk about books being translated from or into different languages.

First of all, I am all for books being translated! If they weren't, I would feel very left out. There are a lot of books out there in the world, and I want to experience stories that are being read and told in other countries. Can you imagine if Les Miserables was never translated? Oh the tragedy!!! 

23129712One of my favorite things about books is that it brings people together. I recently read a book called The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain. It is a short and fun chick lit book that was translated from French. Despite it being a traditional chick flick kinda story, I enjoyed it. I loved the culture, the French references, and a lot of the language used in the book. I loved that I was able to read a foreign book in English. But the one thing I truly loved about the book was this epiphany I had. The story is very similar to the movie Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. It got me thinking that even though France is so far away across the Atlantic ocean, the people of France are enjoying the same types of stories that we enjoy here in The United States. People love stories, whether they are being told, read, or listened to, and no matter where we live or what language we speak, we enjoy the same types of stories and characters. It makes me feel a little more connected people across the globe.

On the flip side of loving translated books, as an American, I wish the books from the UK weren't translated into our form of English. I would love to have read Harry Potter in it's natural language. How awesome would that have been? I love reading classics like Austen and Dickens, and they are not translated. At least, I'm pretty sure they aren't. Do we really need to translate English books into other English speaking books? I vote no! British movies and TV shows aren't translated, so why do books have to be? 

*step off soap box*

Should some of my favorite books be translated into other languages. I would hope that the character's personalities aren't changed, and the general feel of the story isn't changed. If certain events are words need to be fixed, fine! My overall hope is that readers across the globe will fall in love with the same characters and have similar feelings I did when reading. 

What do you think?
How do you feel about book translations?
How do you feel about British books having translators?

This post idea was influenced by Smartling.
It is a company dedicated to connecting people by translating books, websites, etc. I think it is a worthy objective, and I hope they succeed. You can visit their website here.


  1. I've read a few translated books that I really liked. So, yes! I'm all for translated books. So sad to think about missing out on stories that weren't translated.

  2. I am definitely for translated books! The Ruby Red trilogy was translated from German and I am so very glad. As Jenny said, it would be sad to miss out on stories. Plus I love the idea that books that I love by English authors can be read in other languages and that means more people to fall in love with them. Never a bad thing!