A Research Field Was Born

Today (aug 26th) marks the birthday of my field Children’s Literature Translation Studies. It established itself as a field in 1976 at the 3rd congress of IRCL. The congress was titled Problems of Translation in the Field of Literature for Children and Young People. Children’s Literature scholars and translators gathered in Sweden. They agreed on the importance of Children’s Literature Translation as a discipline and on its scientific potential.

Children’s Literature Translation Studies is an intersection of three disciplines. They are Creative writing, Children’s Literature Studies, and Translation Studies. This interdisciplinary nature has created a fruitful platform for various research opportunities. 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

Following Toury’s Descriptive Translation Studies (1995) and Reiss and Vermeer’s Skopos (1984), Children’s Literature Translation Studies introduced the concept of translation for children. The former translation studies scholars used to disregard the translator as an individual. The new paradigm called for more attention to the translator. They were now seen as “invisible storytellers” (Lathey, 2010), and their voices were heard.

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