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  • Riitta Oittinen

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You are holding in your hands the first META issue ever concentrating on translating children’s literature and translating for children. What is especially interesting in the double volume is that the contributors come not just from different countries but also from different disciplines: children’s literature, linguistics, and, of course, translation studies. This makes me especially happy, as I have expressed several times that what we need now and in the future is more collaboration: we need more discussion on the problems of translation in the congresses and seminars on children’s literature and more discussion on the problems of translating for children in the congresses and seminars on translation studies.

In March 2002 the first international congress on translating children’s literature was held in Las Palmas, with participants coming from different corners of the world. There were scholars both from translation studies and children’s literature. This double volume is one step further on the road of working together; for example, several of the contributors also attended the Las Palmas congress. As a whole, translating for children is clearly getting more and more appealing to scholars internationally. I can also see another trend: we are moving from the prescriptive toward the descriptive and take an interest in what translations of children’s literature tell us about our children, ourselves, and the world around us.

As to the topics dealt with in this double volume, it seems that every contributor is, one way or the other, interested in the strategies of domesticating and foreignizing. Some contributors look at the issue from the angle of pedagogics or denaturizing children’s literature; others are interested in solving the problems of cultural differences. The volume consists of a vast variety of topics, ranging from reading aloud and the visual in comics and picture book translation to the roles of the publishers and the different child images translators have. Individual authors are discussed too: Lewis Carroll, Astrid Lindgren, Gabrielle Roy, Maurice Sendak, and others.

The 25 contributors of this volume come from different parts of Europe, North and South America as well as Africa: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Jordan, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Unfortunately, despite my considerable efforts, I did not manage to have any authors from Asia or Australia – hopefully next time. And yet, this mixture of various angles and cultures and disciplines opens a window for us on the fascinating world of translating for children. Please enjoy!

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