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

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. (12 April 2018)

Episode 3: Naked Thoughts, Strangely Dressed

In this episode Latvian writer Pauls Bankovskis explores the delightful strangeness one can find in translated works. He also discusses the author-translator relationship, and what it's like to read his own novels in translation – including the feeling he gets when a translation is right (even if he can't read in the target language). His novel 18 was published by Vagabond Voices in 2017, and his writing also appears in Comma Press's Book of Riga (2018). (26 April 2018)

Episode 4: Finding the Rhythm

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. (10 May 2018)

Episode 5: Language and Self-Discovery

How does language shape us? Exploring our language's history and structure can help us discover who we are and what makes us unique. In this episode, Angie Crawford, Waterstones' Scottish books buyer, discusses Gaelic and Scots writing, how literature in each language is now being received, and the important role literature plays in keeping languages alive. (24 May 2018)

Episode 6: Courageous Decisions

Katy Derbyshire is an acclaimed translator from German to English, but her entry into the profession was sort of accidental. In this episode she details how she discovered her dream job, and provides insight into the fine art of literary translation. The theme for this episode is courage: both in pursuing your passions but also in finding your artistic voice. (7 June 2018)

Episode 7: Bright Futures

Adam Freudenheim took over Pushkin Press in 2012 with the aim to start a imprint focused on translated children’s books. That's now something that sets Pushkin apart from other publishers, but with titles for all ages translated from over 24 languages, it's not the only thing that makes Pushkin stand out. In the final episode of Season 1, Adam discusses his favourite translations, how Pushkin discovers new books to translate, and how translation helps us connect with an increasingly interconnected world. (21 June 2018)


Think in Translation Blog