Monday, 26 November 2012

A New Translation!

The Housemaid's Daughter continues to leap into new languages!
This one "arrived" last week. And it certainly is impressive because it took the translator only 3 months to finish; the publishing company bought the rights in August and have been hard at it to produce the fully translated version in time for Christmas. Well done to the poor soul who must have laboured night and day to get it done!

And the language?
It's Icelandic. Well now, it seems a very long way from the volcanoes and snows of Iceland to the heat and dust of the Karoo and a small town called Cradock... But perhaps it's not such a stretch? After all, both are extreme environments, both are not for those who want a soft life. Perhaps the readers in Iceland, accustomed to the challenges of their own country, will understand the harshness of the Karoo - and also appreciate its stark beauty.

Translations are strange things for an author to get to grips with. I have been working my way through the recently-published Dutch translation, De Kleur Van Haar Hart. My Dutch is rudimentary, but I can kind of make out what's going on. Even so, you constantly wonder whether your carefully constructed turn of phrase, or the passage you agonised over for days, is actually coming across to the foreign reader in the way you intended.

You may not know an interesting fact that I have discovered about Iceland: it has the highest literacy rate in the world. That's a good omen. It hopefully means that many, many Icelanders love to read. And that means that The Housemaid's Daughter will get a good airing up amongst the fire and ice.
Gangi per vel!

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