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The A to Z of Literary Translation: W, X, Y & Z

By Georgia de Chamberet

Worldwide web development and the long-tail phenomenon offer new opportunities for the visibility of literary translation. Electronic translation software is to be avoided. Postcolonial and new immigrant writing benefit from cross-frontier digital exchange. And lesser known cultures and languages can become more familiar to wider audiences—Ala Al Aswany's runaway seller The Yacoubian Building (translated by Humphrey Davies), comes to mind.


Xenophobia feeds off ignorance and prejudice. Often fueled by the arrival of new immigrants in local neighborhoods, a positive counterbalance is to make available translated fiction in local libraries; on the school curriculum; and through tours like the Children's Bookshow. To quote George Orwell, íIf thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.ë


Yob culture is the antithesis of cultural exchange, and a prime example of the fundamentally racist íbloody foreignersë mindset.

Zeitgeist is moving on from Scandinavian crime writing, so what's the Next Big Thing?

Published May 2, 2008   Copyright 2008 Georgia de Chamberet

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