Translating Children’s Literature Using a Pivot Language


Any attempt to translate a text may result in distortion(s) of the meaning intended by the original author, and sometimes it may even lead to loss of original meaning. This effect may be amplified if it is necessary to work through a pivot language. However, communication between the translators and, if possible, the authors of the original texts will facilitate the process of translation and may eliminate much of the possible distortion of meaning and other unwanted translation flavors. The phenomenon of “mediated translation” is explored here through reflections on translated works of a variety of children’s literature from and into Arabic through English into Gaelic and vice versa. The study first provides a brief introduction to and definition of mediated translation, and then gives an account of the pros and cons of mediated translation, before proceeding to consider the main challenges of translating for children, in particular, when a pivot language is involved. The study will also focus on such issues as cross-cultural communication and translation.


Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah


Arabic-Gaelic mediated translation, translating children’s literature