Universal Translation Services

5 reasons why literary translation is still on top

5 reasons why literary translation is still on top
literary translation
(Last Updated On: April 8, 2022)

It’s probably not the first thing you would think of but literary translation actually generates the most revenue out of any other type of written material. The following article is trying to determine why is that.

Why literary translation is on top

A literary translation requires special skills to be utilized in a creative yet sophisticated manner. There is certain expertise that needs to be connected with the literal translation in order to achieve the required goals of the English translations.

Literary translators are frequently referred to as “double agents,” because they labor for two masters, the original author, and the target language reader. Working with a text in its original language to produce a version in a new language is known as literary translation. If you’re looking for something to read for pleasure, you could be interested in a translation with a writing style you enjoy. Creativity and proficiency in the target language are needed (being a native speaker will greatly help). This is for European Languages and any other Foreign Languages.

Translation has a unique and powerful ability. It’s how we learn to comprehend the world outside our own; that is, the world beyond our own language. The Latin root word for translation is latus, which is the past participle of ferre, which means “to carry.” In Teju Cole’s lovely metaphor, the translator is a ferry operator, transporting words from one shore to the other.

To expand on this metaphor, imagine the translator as a ferry operator, and language as a stream. Ocean currents fluctuate in speed and direction, and some are more powerful than others. The British empire powered the English currently in previous centuries, drawing all of the Commonwealth’s boats towards it; America is the vast ocean current of our time.

Classical Chinese was the major ocean current in East and Southeast Asia before the 19th century. Confucian values, ideas, and knowledge traveled the seas without needing a ferry operator, underpinning societies in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam for centuries. Chinese characters (hanzi / hanja / kanji) were the lingua franca of the ruling class and in diplomatic communications; without needing a ferry operator, Confucian values, ideas, and knowledge traveled the seas, underpinning societies in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam for centuries.

However, as Western imperialism spread across much of Asia and the Chinese flood subsided, translation became more important. The fundamental tool for the oppressed to comprehend a new, Western-defined, and frequently troubling modernity: a means for the powerless to comprehend those in power.

books have no borders

The market transcends groups

Unlike other documents which have a fixed and limited target audience, a book can be read by the young or old, by males or females or any gender in between, by students or professionals alike, by black, white, or any race. Therefore, translation services are being used in order to offer books to a wider audience.

The market transcends borders

A book is not only marketed within a country but it can also be sold in different countries, thus needing more than a dozen different language pairs for translation. That is why literary translation makes up a large chunk of the translation industry.

  • How does translation affect literature?

    Translation makes it possible for people all over the world to access literature. If it weren’t for translation, a lot of people in the world would not have been introduced to world-class literature. Some may question if literature loses its essence in translation but it is worth remembering that translators have amazing writing skills. They keep literature alive in every language. Some literary devices in the source language just don’t work in the target language for whatever reason.

  • Why is literary translation important?

    Literary translation is important for a number of reasons. It helps people in developing an understanding of the world. Some small publishers, which are dedicated only to literature in translation, focus on international literature as a matter of course. It allows people to learn about the history of the world. It is also essential for those who wish to learn about politics. It makes it possible for people to enjoy the plays of Shakespeare and the poetry of Homer. Translating style: a literary approach to translation – a translation approach to literature.

  • What’s literary translation?

    Literary translation is the process in which the works of literature are translated so they can be enjoyed by the speakers of different languages. Books on history and politics are also translated by literary translation. It is the branch of the language industry that makes it possible for people to enjoy poetry and prose written by foreign poets and authors.

    Technical Translation

    A technical translation is always needed if you intend to market a technical product in some other country.

  • What makes a translation great?

    A translation is great if it is:

    • Hundred percent accurate and looks just like the original document with the exception of the language
    • Culturally appropriate so the audience does not get offended by it and can relate to it
    • Free of grammatical errors so the intended readers won’t have any trouble understanding it
    • Proofread so there aren’t any missing words or misspellings

You don’t need special skills or devices to use books

Software may be localized in various countries and just like books it can be used by anyone who needs them but not everyone has the knowledge to use the software or even if they own a computer or console, as the case may be, to use it. Books can be read, or be read to by anyone.

You don’t need to know how to operate it or have an expensive device to use it. Parts of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (about 2000 BCE) have been translated into Southwest Asian languages of the second millennium BCE. Book translation makes readers enjoy novels, short stories, fiction, non-fiction, poems, prose, and other literary works by foreign authors. Japanese, Swedish, Arabic, Norwegian, and Dutch are among the top 10 languages translated, whereas Eastern European languages are underrepresented.

Books have more words

They generate more translation revenue than any document just by sheer size alone.

literar translation

It takes very qualified translators

Some literary works to be translated can be very old, using words that can’t even be found in dictionaries. Highly skilled translators for these would have to be paid for research as well as translation. And unlike other cut and dry factual translations, the literary translation process doesn’t only have to be accurate, it has to emulate the same feeling and impact that the original text has on the target language. If it doesn’t, unlike other translations, this one is scrutinized by critics who also publish their criticism of the translator’s work. Doing well doesn’t just mean getting a paycheck, it means earning the respect of the literary community. The name of the translator often appears prominently in the translated work. You can’t take on the lowest bidders for this kind of work that requires intense study, careful crafting, and subtlety. There are 6,909 distinct languages in the world, according to the Ethnologue list of global languages; this fact alone makes the art of translation to people all over the world.

Translation workshops, seminars, master classes, and translation courses are part of the joint concentration’s growing curriculum, which examines the creative act of literary translation and its relationship to creative writing. The mere essence of the translation cannot be ignored in the process of converting from one language to another because what emotions the text of the books carries need to be translated with proper ingenuity such that the translated text produces a similar emotion to the mentioned stimulus. Literary Translation is a must-have guide for all advanced undergraduate and postgraduate/graduate students of literary translation in translation studies, comparative literature, and modern languages. In other words, Murakami’s fiction, apart from its literary value, became a kind of cultural product representing a certain view of Japan as a futuristic pop phenomenon.

A literal translator needs to be creative and unique such that he can produce the effect that is present profoundly within the text and translated with proper accuracy such that the main notion of the whole document is not neglected. Quality is as important to the text as the accuracy that is often aimed with such translations which is why it is vital that a good translator is approached for such cases.

With these reasons literary translation will always be on top.

We have access to the world’s literature thanks to translation. Because literature differs not only across time but also across cultures, it allows us to enter the brains of people from various times and places.

The complexity and substance of the literary work cannot be captured in a literal translation. A literary translator renders the source text in a non-literal manner. It all depends on how the translator interprets the situation. He/she completely rewrites the material from beginning to conclusion.

The complexity and meaning of the literary work cannot be captured by a literal translation. A literary translation transforms the source text into a non-literal version. It’s all in the eyes of the translator. He or she completely rewrites the text from start to finish.

The translation is the process of conveying the meaning of a source-language text to a target-language text. English Translations are the most used.

Editing and proofreading are the two stages of the translation process.

Above all, creative writing is a translational process. As a result, for creative authors working with foreign-language texts, translation is crucial. Translation Matters. English translations of Chinese poetry are now being published in English.

Translations allow us to see the world through others’ eyes. They show us different perspectives and ideas about life and culture.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us


Our privacy policy

Keep in touch


Contact Us 24/7

Translation office in Miami