by Mar 8, 2020

A Simple Dogma of High Quality Literature Translation

A Simple Dogma of High Quality Literature Translation

To make a written text shine you need to trust it to the hands of a knowing polisher


Exquisitely written books not just tell you a story, they speak it to you as if this very story is the echo of your own life. Exquisitely written books have logical flow and don’t tolerate meaningless words on their golden pages. Just like in the creation of life, in exquisitely written books all elements are important for healthy functioning of the whole organism (whether it is life or a story).

But what has it to do with book translation, you may ask?! And the answer to this questions is rather simple.


Unlike technical, commercial, scientific, etc., translations, literature translation is not just about converting information from one language to another. Literature translation is as well about delivering a new form of ‘life’ (message) from one culture to another.

And during that process, the quality of editing has a direct impact on the quality of final translation.

Book Translation is a tricky business. All languages are connected to some cultural ethnicity and what is nice and flowing in one language, can be stammering and broken in another. Which bring us back to the importance of editing.

Good editing helps to deliver story in a better shape and yet, the job of a book translator slightly goes in hand with editing as well.

Dry translation will not work in literature.

If your book went through a dry translation only, even if in your native language it is eloquently written, the quality of your story and writing in general, can be lower because of it.

This can be even more tricky, if your book has not been through a heavy editing. In this case, make sure to mention this detail to your translator, because not all literary translators do additional editing to their translations. By this simple act, you will increase your chances at finding the right translator for your work which as a consequence will be beneficial for both you and your translator.

If you would like to get more information on book translation and translation in general, please, follow me on my social media or subscribe to my blog to not miss my posts on the subject in future.

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My appreciations to each and every of you.

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Scott B. Heaton

Scott B. Heaton Mar 13, 2020

Thank you for this post. Inspiring, poignant, and educational.


Franka Mar 14, 2020

@Scott B. Heaton, I'm happy you found this post useful! Thank you :-)

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