Children’s Literature Themes Come Across in Any Language

Adults are picky about the books they read. Often, translations of popular books in other countries don’t become popular in the United States because readers find it difficult to connect with the characters. The English translation of a story about a woman’s strife in Africa to keep her family healthy is interesting to many people, but it is not going to fly off the shelves. Those themes are difficult for a busy professional woman to relate to between picking her kids up from school and making steak for dinner. Children on the other hand can relate to each other easily from anywhere across the globe. Whether a kid is reading the German translation of a Spanish children’s book or the Chinese translation of a book from Portugal, he or she will likely understand the themes and relate to them well.

“Scaredy Squirrel” to be Released in Iran

Though the United States and Iran certainly have their differences, there will be a professional translation of a children’s book from English to Iranian. The book is called “Scaredy Squirrel,” and it’s the first in a series of books about a squirrel seeking courage to take on events in his daily life. Though adults from the two countries disagree on many points, children in both places can all innocently relate to the universal themes of courage and friendship.  So far, only the first book has been translated, but other books in the series have been released in the United States. These include, “Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend” and “Scaredy Squirrel at Night.” The books were written by Melanie Watt and have received numerous awards.

Translator Known for Her Children’s Books

The translator responsible for the release of “Scaredy Squirrel” is known in Iran for the many translations of children’s books that she’s completed. Her name is Mahboubeh Najaf-Khani and she was born in Tehran in 1956. She studied at the Supreme Translation School and is now a professional translator of English.

It’s easy to forget about children’s literature when examining the importance of translation from a global perspective, but in many ways it’s just as important as business, legal or technical translation. It gives children the opportunity to connect with each other from across oceans through books. Kids can learn that, even though they are miles away, people in other countries are just like them and sometimes they struggle with the same problems but in different ways.

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