The Translation of Literature for Children

Gillian Lathey

in The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199239306
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

The Translation of Literature for Children

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  • Linguistics
  • Translation and Interpretation



Adaptations of children's texts occur because of assumptions that children lack the knowledge and experience of adults and have only a limited capacity to assimilate the unfamiliar and the foreign. Translators should be aware of the stylistic features and modes of address appropriate for different age groups. In recent decades translators have generally demonstrated a greater faith in children's ability to accommodate difference. Since the youngest children hear stories rather than read them, sound and rhythm play a vital role as they discover the power of language and narrative. Translators address the visual element when rendering captions to line drawings or vignettes, or attempting to preserve the intricate relationship between image and text in the modern picture book. Current developments in research into the translation of children's literature are interdisciplinary and aim to contribute to an understanding of theoretical issues, historical developments, and professional practice in the translation of children's books.

Keywords: adaptations; stylistic features; difference; sound and rhythm; image and text; children's books

Article.  6482 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Translation and Interpretation

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