Coming from a country where the majority of sold books are translations, I grew up reading fiction from all over the world. Thanks to it, I developed the desire to learn foreign languages and build cross-cultural friendships.
When I moved to the UK more than a year ago, I was happy that I could re-read all English books I knew in their original language. I enjoyed browsing through English authors, as I wanted to get to know more about British culture, and the best way to do it was through literature.
Only recently, after a few weeks of having started the Publishing course at Edinburgh Napier University, I realised that translations are not that popular among British readers. That was a big surprise for me; I like the idea of mixed cultures in one place, which I believe should also be visible in literature, not only in the choice of restaurants. It helps to broaden horizons, be more tolerant, and ditch stereotypes, which are not necessarily true (and if so, you understand why). At the same time, you can visit another country without buying a plane ticket, learn what shaped people of that country, and get to know its best writers – all in one.
At the lecture about translations the presented data revealed that the UK mainly exports the books abroad, which are either translated or read in original, and only 3% of foreign literature is translated into English. Luckily, there are publishing houses that try to introduce books and authors from abroad to British readers, and I am glad that I have chosen one of them for my case study. After all, you can’t say that you’re well-read if you don’t broaden your literary horizons.
In overall, I am happy that I got to know so much about the publishing industry in the UK. Starting this course with the idea that publishing is all about editing, I’ve learnt that there’s more to it. I’ve broadened my horizons and now I know that my future job should be in foreign rights, not in editorial.
Image source: http://www.aventure.ac.in/