Cathy is a Canadian who lives in Japan and translated an award winning book by Yumoto Kazumi, The Friends, among many others.
Cathy says, "Books in every language capture unique character and experience." Because of translation we can see into other cultures. Following are notes from her session.
1. Translations can nurture and inspire minds.
We only know of Socrates because of translations. Cathy shared that from reading Heidi, which was written in 1881 and translated from German, she learned she can talk to God.
In Japan, they wanted to be like the West. So classics such as Alice in Wonderland were translated. During the war, Japan censored what could be translated. However, a lady secretly translated Anne of Green Gables, published in 1952.
2. Translation can inspire and nurture new authors.
The author Cathy translated for was inspired by Stephen King. Another Japanese writer wrote the first Japanese fantasy, which was inspired by C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. These authors wouldn't have been inspired by Western authors, if their books weren't translated.
Issues of translating:
Time and money
Publishers are reluctant to take risks. Translation takes a long time and is harder to sell if the character is a different nationality. You must have a quality translation. However, most translators receive low pay and no fame. It would be ideal if the translator also had their name on the cover and received copyright.
I'm so glad I sat in on Cathy's class. It's been fun seeing my author friends' books get translated into other languages, especially Korean. Translating is indeed an art and as difficult as writing the original story. Lately I was able to help critique my friend's English translation of a Korean story they hope to sell to an American publisher. Choosing the right English words and ideas is difficult. Translating isn't word for word, but more thoughts and ideas for thoughts and ideas.
|Author friend Julie Hedlund's book translated into Korean: My Love for You Is the Sun|
So thank a translator, and if you are bilingual, perhaps you can step in and translate so children can glimpse into your culture.
For more on translating, read this from SCBWI--Translation: Some Frequently Asked Questions. There are also awards given to translated works, mentioned in these FAQs.
To see an interview of Cathy Hirano, check this link at Cynsations.