Maryam Saqr Al Qasimi
The method I use in translating children’s literature is the same as that I use in writing that literature, and it is to respect the intelligence of the reader. When I translate any literary text, I take into account the culture of the target audience. In this article, I will highlight the differences in cultures in writing children’s literature.
We all know that translation is a bridge of cultures between peoples, but the problems of translation are not only in the standards of social culture in terms of customs and traditions, but also in linguistic terms and the culture of the target audience.
From China to Sudan there is a difference in the content of the message of children’s literature. For example, the Russian Federation is strict in the elements of children’s and young people’s literature and bans books that incite violence and the like. They respect human values that contribute to building a child’s personality to grow up in a healthy way, unlike the Scandinavian countries where there is no censorship on young people’s literature.
In Africa, as a result of the environment, we notice the spread of animal embodiment and imaginary myths, taking into account the biodiversity and unique animal life, and this is not surprising, of course. On the continent of Asia, literature is different, as there is wisdom and guidelines for young children to prepare for socialization. In the Middle East, there is usually the use of religious concepts and values in children’s literature, such as honesty and other matters.
Europe adheres to highlighting its rich heritage in tales based on nature, its myths, history and tales, such as Harry Potter, which is inspired by historical places in Britain.
Dealing with concepts is one of the main challenges of translation, an example of ethics in Chinese children’s books that may seem strange to Western children. Which inspired a team of researchers to prepare a study on how literature differs from one country to another.
From this point of view, the psychological researcher in children’s literature Professor Cecilia Jung from the University of California says: “The difference in literature stems from the different concepts of each culture. For example, there is a famous story in China about the cat that eats letters.” Cecilia points out that the child in China will understand The message, as most of their stories revolve around challenging obstacles, unlike children in America, whose stories are about happiness.