A Research Field Was Born

Today (Aug 26th) marks the birthday of Children’s Literature Translation Studies as a field, which was established in 1976 at the 3rd Congress of IRCL, titled “Problems of Translation in the Field of Literature for Children and Young People.” At the congress, Children’s Literature scholars and translators gathered in Sweden and agreed on the importance of Children’s Literature Translation as a discipline with scientific potential.

Children’s Literature Translation Studies is an interdisciplinary field that intersects with Creative Writing, Children’s Literature Studies, and Translation Studies. This interdisciplinary nature has created a platform for various research opportunities, and this field pioneered in separating translators from the original text.

Here’s a short profile of Children’s Literature Translation Studies

  • Key Qs
    • What is children’s Literature (from the translation viewpoint)?
    • Who are the children?
  • Key methods
    • Comparison analysis
    • Qualitative analysis
    • Reception Studies
    • Interviews
  • A few more details:
    • Big data < Small corpus
    • Prescriptive < Descriptive
    • Translation difficulties < Translation as Literature
    • Macro context < Micro context

Children’s Literature Translation Studies emphasized the importance of considering the target audience in translation. The Skopos theory, which focuses on the translation purpose, was also adapted to the translation of children’s literature. The theory states that the translation process must consider the purpose of the translation, which is determined by the needs of the target audience. This is particularly important in the translation of children’s literature because children have different reading levels, language proficiency, and cultural backgrounds.

In addition to the Skopos theory, Children’s Literature Translation Studies also introduced the concept of “cultural transposition.” This concept refers to the adaptation of cultural elements in the source text to make them understandable and relatable to the target audience. Cultural transposition involves not only language translation but also the adaptation of cultural references, values, and norms.

Overall, Children’s Literature Translation Studies has contributed to the development of translation studies as a discipline and has shed light on the importance of considering the target audience in the translation process.

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