Found in translation

To the uninitiated, the prospect of having your book translated into different languages is daunting and exciting, but how does it happen?
Translation. 'Many of the writers ArtsHub canvassed had to simply trust that their words were faithfully translated' Photo: Shutterstock.

So, you’ve published a book or two and sales are fair to middling, but Australia is a small country in terms of readership potential. Imagine your book reaching a wider network of readers by being recast into a non-English tongue.

ArtsHub reached out to some industry professionals, as well as a number of writers who’ve had their works adapted in different languages to try and demystify the process and vagaries of book translation.

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Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy