Unless a writer is translated into one of the big languages – English, French, German, Spanish – then it becomes very hard to get translated into the smaller languages.
On June 20th, Michael Stein published an article for Publishing Perspectives about three winners of the EU Prize for Literature and the difficulties they experienced in getting their work translated.
Though winning the prize gave the writers more publicity, the language barrier continued to limit their work to a specific audience. “The US and UK literary worlds are known for the powerful position of agents in connecting writers and publishers.” For writers from smaller countries, translators might be more important than agents. However the process in getting a work translated and then published can get lengthy. The problem according to Zmeškal, is “time management.” Furthermore, Zmeškal said that English is key. Writers must be translated into one of the big languages as a way for publishers to validate the value of the book. Alexandra Büchler stresses “that the amount of work before, during, and after a translation is something a writer shouldn’t have to take the time for.” Read more
Is there a better or faster publishing process for writers from smaller countries?
How can these writers reach a larger audience?
Share your thoughts below!