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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!
PhD, is docent in the universities of Tampere and Helsinki, Finland. She is senior lecturer (University of Tampere), and senior scientist (2001–2002, Finnish Academy). She is the author of several books, two in English, e.g., Translating for Children (2000). She has also edited books on translation studies. In addition, she is advisory editor of three journals as well as editor and board member of three publishing houses. Her most recent book Kuva kääntäjän kädessä (2003) deals with translating the verbal and the visual in picturebooks. She has written over 100 articles on, e.g., translating for children and teaching translation. She has been teaching translation in several universities in Europe and North and South America. She is also translator of children’s books, illustrator and artist, and has produced 30 animated films. Her current interests include multimedia and translation, translating picturebooks, and translating Finnish children’s literature into English.