Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Readers Educated About Reading Translations

Many of my friends read and speak more than one language.

Alas, I have but English

So, I became interested in an article by Alane Salierno Mason called, The Attraction-Repulsion of International Literature.

From the article:

“It remains true that American publishing houses tend to translate far fewer titles than European houses. Still, says Mason, America is becoming both more diverse and better educated. As the trend continues, the hint of the foreign should, she believes, become less challenging for readers.”

Apparently, Americans (and, here, I assume they mean folks from the United States and not all the Americans in South America) have some prejudices about “foreign” authors.

The article sums up a potential resolution through education with:

“It’s pretty simple in the end, says Mason. In fact, it is almost unbearably obvious. ‘We are all related’, she says. ‘Our lives and fates are interdependent’.”

Mason founded Words Without Borders, which says about itself:

“Words without Borders translates, publishes, and promotes the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages.”

And, to peak your interest a bit more, here’s a short video about it all :-)

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3 responses to “Readers Educated About Reading Translations

  1. cmmarcum January 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Once upon a time, I belonged to a large writing site. There were many writers from all over the world. For reasons that I didn’t understand, the writers from other countries attempted to write as if they were natural born English speakers. I always encouraged them to allow their country, native language and background to flow through their words.

    As writers, we often forget that our surroundings may seem to be mundane to us, but will sound exotic to others. And–taking my own advice–I always try to give my prose a little southern wang.


  2. Alexander M Zoltai January 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Fascinating concept, C. M.


    I’ll be bringing that up in the Writers’ Chat and Readers’ Chat I moderate on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life—many folks from various countries :-)


  3. Pingback: Books and Translations | Notes from An Alien

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