The story appears on

Page A4

April 23, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Education

Moms team up to translate books

SOME local moms are translating children's books written in foreign languages into Chinese for their children and working with other mothers online to get the best version.

Publishing houses are pleased to see the new trend and have already started publishing some of the translations.

Claudia Dai, a stay-at-home mother, said she appreciates the creativity of the foreign children's books and has bought a lot of Chinese versions to read to her two kids.

But compared to the original versions, she found interesting details missing or inappropriate translations.

"The pictures are exquisite and complete," she said. "But the translation often loses something."

Dai, an English major in university who has lived in Australia, then decided to translate the books herself.

She said it's not difficult as the words are usually simple. But she works hard to ensure the translation meets the taste of Chinese children.

Her kids were the first readers of her translations. She made amendments based on their response.

Her translation skills improved and she later shared her experiences on her blog.

She translated the English book "Postman Pat," which has since been published in China.

Other mothers are doing likewise. Children's books written in Japanese, English, French and Italian have been translated into Chinese.

Fan Xiaoxing, who is now living in the United States with her two daughters, finds it difficult to buy good Chinese children's books abroad. So she started translating English books for her kids to learn Chinese.

She soon made a lot of friends on, a forum for parents to share translatiing experiences. She recommended some good foreign children's books and posted her translations.

Juvenile and Children's Publishing House reached her on the forum and published two of her translations after obtaining authorization from the authors and overseas publishing companies.

Usually, publishing house editors simply guess which foreign books Chinese children will like and then hire a translator. This hit-and-miss approach often resulted in a mediocre market response.

Thus publishing houses are happy to publish foreign children's books already selected and translated by Chinese mothers, said an industry insider surnamed Ma.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend