Many people in the UK consume translated text without thinking about it. From instruction manuals to classic children’s books, from news reports to foreign films. Languages and cultures other than English tend not to have a high profile, and the same applies to the means of moving between them – including translation.
When prompted to think about it, many people will realise that if the text is from somewhere where they speak a different language, then a translator was probably involved in producing the English-language text. Once they appreciate that a translator played a role, they can start to appreciate the work that went into the translation.
There are several newish ways to raise awareness and show appreciation for translators. It’s important to make sure their name features on the work alongside the author. The translator is in many ways a co-author of the translated material, who writes it in the target language. If a translator’s name doesn’t feature on something and you think it should, you could ask the publisher to #NameTheTranslator.
Imaginative solutions that draw attention to translation include wearing badges and sticker bombing! There are also various social media campaigns, such as targeted hashtags like #IConnectWorlds, Love Your Translator on Twitter or Facebook, or Translated World on Twitter.
These are small steps towards increasing respect for translators’ work: let’s spread the love.