Guess what? There are some amazing non-English-speaking authors out there that are well worth reading! Thanks to excellent translators, I’m reading them.
I’ve read several translated books and have been impressed with the fact that they didn’t seem like translations. In fact, once into the book, my hesitancy to read a non-English-speaking author vanished. The translations are that good.
I’m not sure where the hesitancy comes from; is it an innate feeling of superiority over foreigners or because of the awkwardness of different grammatical rules between different languages.
I’ve even steered clear of British authors because of that bias. But I have a feeling that I’m not alone in my hesitancy.
Today’s modern translators are unsung heroes of the literary world. Think about it. They must not only translate the actual words. They must also accurately convey the authors intentions for every passage. And, perhaps most importantly, the reader must not be aware that it is a translation.
Most of the translated books I’ve read have been wonderful.
- The whole of Swedish author Stieg Larssen‘s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” series held me like few books can.
- “The Unit”, a haunting book by another Swedish author, Ninni Holmqvist, left me wanting more.
- I’m about to read Haruki Murakami’s just-published “1Q84”.