Translating Children's Literature

  • 09/26/2019
  • 17:30 - 19:30
  • Folio, 93 Pike St. #307, Seattle, WA 98101

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The Northwest Literary Translators invites you to join us at Folio for a special presentation by experienced translator Mercedes Guhl, who focuses on translating books of all types, mostly children's and young adult literature, from English to Spanish. Mercedes will discuss how there is much more to translating a book than simply converting words of one language into another, and explore some of the myths around book translation. Should the translator be a writer or not? Should translators tone down texts for young readers? Should a translator rewrite a text? The talk will provide an in-depth look at how publishers choose a translator, the steps in the translation process, the building of a translation strategy, the interaction (or lack thereof) between the translator and the editor and/or author of the original, and how all of these factors work together to produce a book ready for readers in a new language and make it a success in a non-US market.

This presentation is designed both for translators and for writers who are interested in the translation process. Come with questions!


Speaker Mercedes Guhl translates books from English into Spanish. She holds a BA in philosophy and literature and an MA in translation studies from the University of Warwick (U.K.), and has over 60 published translations to her name. Mercedes has worked in teaching and training translators at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Colombia and Mexico. From the depths of academic essays to graphic novels and self-help books, she has had the opportunity to explore the wide range of translation challenges posed by books in generalSince 2013, she has been involved mostly in translation of fiction for middle-grade and young adult readers.


Image: Books translated by Mercedes Guhl.

The Northwest Literary Translators, part of the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society, meet the third Thursdays of most months at Folio, the Seattle Athenaeum. Note that this meeting is on a fourth Thursday. For more information, join our Facebook group.


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