Welcome to Outside In World, the organisation dedicated to promoting and exploring world literature and children's books in translation.

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What does a literary translator do?
 
The translator takes a literary text that is written in one language and rewrites it in another. The translator's aim is not only to convey the bare data of the original to the new language but also to recreate its tone, rhythms, voice, cadences, flavour, register, associations, assonance and more. Because the two languages are not the same, a translation that recreates everything identically is of course impossible; so the translator's role is one of the choices, alternatives, compensations and sleights of hand. It is about using words – the tools available in the 'target' language – to create particular effects. It is, in short, a kind of creative writing, albeit one with unusual constraints.

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