Think in translation

Our Think in Translation project has been made possible thanks to The Space and Creative Scotland.

It's only natural that different languages produce different cultures: the words we use affect the way we think and the way we live. That's why reading books in translation opens your mind. We've created Think in Translation to encourage people to read books in translation by making them more accessible – to remind readers that translated literature is available to everyone, and not reserved for specialised audiences. In seven podcast episodes and as many blog posts, we'll explore translation from various angles. Use #ThinkInTranslation on social media to join in the conversation. Scroll down for our podcast and blog posts.


Our translations

We call our translations Changelings: A Changeling is not the original child or creation; it has the same appearance, but speaks a different language. And the act of substitution involves a certain magic, a degree of pushing and shoving. Click on the points on the map below (and scroll down in the window to the right of the map) to learn more about our strange book-babies.




Think in Translation Podcast

We interview international authors, translators, publishers and booksellers on all things translation. New episodes every second Thursday, starting 29 March. Please note that episode descriptions may change as we've not recorded them all yet!


Episode 1: Oldest Profession in the World?

We start the series with Allan Cameron, the founder of Vagabond Voices, translator of 24 books, and a writer himself. His most recent novel, Cinico, is a fictional translation of an Italian journalist's travelogue in Scotland. Allan talks about his favourite work of translation, the role translated work has in politics and shaping national thought, and the nuances involved in the act of translation itself. (29 March 2018)

Episode 2: Discovering Diverse Voices in Translation

Available 12 April: We've established that reading in translation can change the way you think about the world. In this episode, Lighthouse Bookshop's Mairi Oliver and Annie Rutherford elaborate on that and go on to explore what it means to be in a gatekeeper position: as publishers and booksellers we have a responsibility to bring diverse voices to our readers.

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Episode 3: Pauls Bankovskis

Available 26 April: Latvian author Pauls Bankovskis reveals his favourite translated book, and what it's like to read his own novels in translation. His novel 18 was published by Vagabond Voices in 2017, and his writing also appears in Comma Press's translation of The Book of Riga (April 2018).

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Episode 4: Matthew Hyde

Available 10 May: Matthew Hyde has translated works from Russian and Estonian – including Vagabond Voices' The Death of the Perfect Sentence (2017). He is also a musician (you can hear his song "Puid Metsa" at the start and end of our podcast). In this episode he discusses his favourite translation and his unusual career path, among other things.

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Episode 5: Waterstones' Angie Crawford

Available 24 May: As the Scottish books buyer for Waterstones, Angie Crawford's knowledge of books spans a broad area. In this episode we get a Scottish perspective on translation as Angie discusses her interests in translation in general, but more specifically, books in Scots and Gaelic.

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Episode 6: Peter Graves

Available 7 June: Award-winning translator Peter Graves works in Finnish and Swedish. In 2016 he translated Lars Sund's A Happy Little Island for Vagabond Voices. In this episode he discusses what most excites him about translation and where he sees translation going in the future. 

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Episode 7: Adam Freudenheim

Available 21 June: Adam Freudenheim, publisher at Pushkin Press, discusses his favourite translated work, what it's like to work in translation, and what he sees as the future of translation.


Think in Translation Blog