Literary translators on World Book Day

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Literary translators

Every year since 1998, children in full-time education in the UK and the Republic of Ireland are provided with vouchers to be spent on books.
Depending on the household, parents spend weeks (or literally minutes!) working out how to send their child to school dressed as their favourite character. Not so difficult if it is Harry Potter. A wand – a stick, a cloak – a dyed sheet, round glasses – Amazon? But what if your child’s favourite character is Dave Pigeon? Our literary translators take a look.

Dressing Up for World Book Day

According to The Guardian, some schools have had to ditch the idea of dressing-up, citing the cost of the living crisis In response, teachers in affected areas are suggesting the children simply arrive in their pyjamas

The 5 Most Translated Children’s Books

In celebration of World Book Day, we investigated the 5 most translated children’s books:

  • The Little Prince. Originally written in French, published in 1943 and has been translated by literary linguists into over 300 languages.
  • The adventures of Pinocchio. Originally written in Italian, published in 1881 and translated into over 260 languages.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Originally written in English, published in 1865 and translated into over 174 languages.
  • Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales. Originally written in Danish, published between 1835 and 1852 and now translated into around 150 languages.
  • The Adventures of Tintin. Originally written in French (Belgian), published in 1929 and translated into 96 different languages.

Being a literary translator for children’s books is hugely challenging. Consider the 2024 World Book Day’s theme – “Children are more likely to enjoy reading when their choices are championed and we make reading fun. Read Your Way calls on everyone to let go of pressure and expectations, giving children a choice – and a chance – to enjoy reading.” Not only must the literary translator reflect the spirit and flavour of the book in order to respect the author’s intent, they must also do this in such a way that young readers of the translated version will love the book as much as the children reading the original.

Our Literary Translators

Do head over to to find out how our team of qualified literary translators can make your book accessible to readers worldwide.

Do you need translations? Get in touch.

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