Are you looking for some good books about translation to add to your holiday reading list? We picked 11 of our favourites from several different genres. Interested in history? Looking for romance? Suspense? It’s all here, so go get yourself a cup of hot tea and get ready to curl up by the fire!
Found in Translation
How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche
Through a series of carefully chosen anecdotes, industry legends Kelly and Zetzsche show “the surprising and complex ways that translation shapes the world.”
This is a fun read for translation-industry insiders and language geeks alike. It’s smart, but also entertaining and accessible. It’s on the reading list of every localisation sales team I know and there are stories in there which anyone in the language industry can relate to.
If you work in this industry, it’s one of the best books about translation to recommend when people ask “So, what is it you actually do again?” If the translation professional in your life doesn’t have this, I recommend you ask Santa to put it in their stocking this year.
You can buy it on Amazon here.
Lost in Translation
An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
In this New York Times bestseller, Ella Frances Sanders illustrates more than 50 words without direct English translations. For example, take the German Kabelsalat, meaning “a tangle of wires.” Here, it is illustrated by multi-coloured wires, tangled like spaghetti.
Razliubit, a Russian word for the bitter-sweet feeling of falling out of love, is illustrated by the figure of a person tumbling off a giant rose, with rose petals falling all around. It’s a beautiful piece of work.
Available on Amazon here.