Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Women in Translation Month Is Here!

It's August 1 today, which means that Women in Translation month is officially here!

So what is Women in Translation month? Well it is a month to celebrate translations of books written by women, started by Meytal Radzinski. I was so excited when I came across this challenge in April, because it encompasses a lot of things I'm passionate about.

As a native English speaker and monolingual anglophone through and through, I realize how privileged I am to have so many books available to me. But it's also frustrating, because there are a huge number of books out there that are written by people all over the world that I just cannot read because they are not in English, and they haven't been translated.

I think translation is so cool, because through translation I can have books available to me from countries and perspectives that I would never have access to otherwise. Own voices and diverse North American books are cool and important, but I'm still very familiar with North American culture and the perspective behind it. But I don't want to read from just the perspective of North Americans and the people that experience North America, I want to be able to read from the perspective of everyone around the world. (Can you tell that I am a cultural studies major...)

Unfortunately, translation is another thing caught up in privilege and politics like everything else in the publishing world. The world favours anglophones, and therefore way more books are translated from English than into English, and of those translations, there is an even smaller amount of translations from women authors. Meytal has some more statistics on her blog. Did you know that only 30% of new translations into English are of books by women writers? And there aren't a lot of books translated into English in the first place. Thus, Women in Translation month, celebrating the translations of books authored by women!

My blog is going to be WITMonth-focused all of August, and I'm going to try to do at least one review of a translated book per week. Let me know if you're going to join me, and any recommendations you have for translated books written by women! (Bonus points if they are translated from non-European languages!)

You should also check out this Women in Translation Month Bingo which might help you as you're picking out books to read.

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