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Polish Your Translation Skills – Top Books That Helped Hundreds of Translators


A translator is as good as his words. There is no way you can be a good translator if you do not have exposure to good literature in your second language. The Human mind is very strange, it stores things that we have no intention of every thinking again, it remembers things that we need to know the most and it has a queer mechanism that allows us to polish our skills. Anyone who works in the writing industry will know the importance of reading. There is really no other substitute for it. It is the direct and most important connection that we can forge with our second language.

Through these books, we can learn new trends, fad words and even the current conditions of the economy and cultural fluctuations. These are your best friend. However, there are books that allow you to sharpen your translation skills and make you a better translator. Before you purchase any of these books, please remember that they are not miracle books. They are full of advises and tips that can help other translators, you will have to implement the tips in these books and see the results for yourself.

So without further ado, let’s jump into the top books that helps the translation community at their best.

Why Translation Matters by Edith Grossman

Edith Grossman is a celebrated translator who made her mark in the translation world by translating the French novel Don Quixote. Her French to English translation service is considered to be the best by many French writers, including Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. Why Translation Matters is a book about the cultural importance in any kind of translation and what a translator has to do to keep it accurate and interesting. She talks about the significance of a translator and his role in a work of fiction. She is also giving out tips and insights about interpreting the original text and how to engage the reader in the text.

This is definitely a book that every translator who provides literary translation services must read.

Mouse or Rat?: Translation as Negotiation by Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco is an Italian writer and a professor at the University of Bologna. His book Mouse or Rat?: Translation as Negotiation takes a fun turn and makes you smile while he talks about the cultural differences and how they affect the translation. He has a certain wit and charm that makes the topic a lot more entertaining and very approachable. He gives examples of funny little quotes and words and how machine translations totally “annihilates” the actual meaning of the words and sentences.

This is one book that will make you appreciate your talent more and give you some insights that will help you translate better.

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything by David Bellos

David Bellos is the Man Booker International Translator’s Award winner and a professor of French and director of Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University. The book Is That a Fish in Your Ear? actually stresses upon the potential of translations and translators. He tells the world through his funny lens what the translators do and what the world would be without them. Through these little things, the translators can learn what their craft is and how they can improve them.

These books are entertaining and very good to boost a translator’s momentum. These translation service providers know what they are doing, but a little help from these good folks cannot hurt. They will definitely improve what you know and enhance your knowledge.