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Translation is possible at any age. A series of picture books, which were originally created by four Spanish painters and writers, have been translated from English into Chinese by a group of children in Beijing.

17 children from the Western Academy of Beijing, one of the city’s largest international schools, were involved in the translations.

The books, which have already been translated into English, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan, tell stories about children’s adventures in countries including the USA, India, Japan and Senegal.

The books introduce children to the cultural and historic features of the countries in a simple yet effective manner.

The twelve books in the series have been divided into themes, such as on my way to school, and the Chinese children have translated all but four of the books. The remaining four were related to fine arts, a topic that the children were less familiar with.

The young translators explained that when they first started translating, they thought it was really easy, but as they got further into it they found it more difficult. 

Their main issue was with the grammar, as English grammar is completely different to Chinese grammar. However almost all of the children who took part in the translation project come from bilingual families and therefore have a good knowledge of both the Chinese and English languages.
The children have received fantastic feedback about their translations. Deng Xiaoxia from Peking University Press prefers the children’s translations to those of professional translators as the words they use appeal to young users. He explained that the words that they used were “childish but interesting”. Their school principal explained that he was amazed by the creativity of their imaginations and said that their work truly amazed him.

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If this is anything to go on, these budding translators are clearly going to be a great asset to the translation industry in the future!

Here at Lingua Translations we make sure that only the best and most experienced translators work on your projects. Before allowing a translator to work on children’s books we ensure that they have a background in literary translation specifically for children with a proven track record of excellence.

Our experience has shown that the translators chosen are key to ensuring the correct tone, style and register are transmitted in the translated version.

For more information about our translation services, click here.