Literary TranslationBookworm Translations’ main area of expertise is literary translation. Literary translation requires specialist skills because a simple word-for-word translation would not do justice to the original work. Bookworm Translations has a successful track record in the following types of literary translation:

  • Lyrics
  • Poems
  • Short Stories
  • Books

Please take a moment to consult our list of books translated by our registered literary translators, as well as the list of films subtitled by our bilingual subtitlers.

Some of the lyrics and poems translated by Bookworm Translations rhymed and had a very structured meter, which made the translation all the more complex. While there is no one rule on how to translate prose or verse, the translator must try to retain as much of the original essence of the work as possible.

The brief is agreed in conjunction with the Client, so that the final result meets their expectations and needs. Some of the questions which must be answered include:

  • How close to the original must the translation be?
  • Is content or form more important?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the turnaround time for this project?

When carrying out literary translation, we do not use translation software, or computer assisted translation (CAT), for the simple reason that a good literary translation calls for a deep understanding of the target and source languages, cultures, history, current affairs, synonyms, homonyms and humour – all of which are far beyond the capabilities of today’s translation software. It is the knowledge, sensitivity and understanding, which can only be gained by living in the countries in question, which help the translator create a good translation.

At Bookworm Translations, we will only take on as much work as we can confidently complete in a given timeframe, and ensure that responsibility for each translation is given to the person commissioned to do the work. As such, each client is assigned their own dedicated translator(s) who will undertake the work and be available for regular updates throughout the project.

The rate for literary translations will depend on the nature of the source text and the extent of adaption required (for example, play to film). For a quotation for a particular project, please contact us directly, or alternatively, please pop in to our office to discuss this further:

Bookworm Translations Limited
Planetree House
21-31 Oldham Street
M1 1JG

We hope to have the pleasure of working with you shortly!