Two languages, two children’s literatures: Translation in Ireland today

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


The Anglosphere has a reputation for being unreceptive to fiction in translation, and this also applies to Ireland. Some of the reasons for the relative paucity of translations in Irish children’s literature in English are indeed the same as for other Anglophone countries, but the situation and development of children’s literature in Ireland differ so significantly from theirs that it calls for a more differentiated look. Ireland is not just an Anglophone country; the first official language of the state is Irish, a Gaelic language, spoken daily today by only a small percentage of the population. It is therefore a case of one country with two languages and two children’s literatures, each with their own tradition, into which books are (or are not) translated under different conditions. While Irish-language publications (including translations) have been heavily state subsidized since Irish independence in 1922, those in English have to survive in economic competition with the huge publishing conglomerates on the neighboring island. This chapter discusses the conditions under which both traditions have developed and examines contemporary Irish publishers who issue translations into English and Irish.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren's Literature in Translation : Texts and contexts
EditorsJan van Coillie, Jack McMartin
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationLeuven
PublisherLeuven University Press
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-94-6270-222-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6166-320-7, 978-94-6166-326-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020