Saturday, 22 January 2011

Marsh Award

Letters? No. I never get letters! Just before Christmas. It was a delightful shock. I was nominated for the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. And now I won!

I got the invitation on Christmas Eve and read on the net that The Marsh Award “was founded to highlight the exciting books made accessible to young people in the UK through their encounters with works in translation”. I fully support the aims of the foundation in setting up this award.

It’s such a pity that so many in the English-speaking world know so little about the other languages and cultures. I have spent most of my working life making subtitles in English for Dutch films. That is also how I first came in contact with Toon Tellegen – subtitling an animated TV series of his stories.

I have always been convinced that film, spoken language and subtitling are an excellent cocktail to allow people to get inside a different culture. I think that is also why so many Dutch people, even young ones speak such good English. So I’d like to thank Jan Willem Looze of OJTV for introducing me to the work of Toon Tellegen

I would also like to thank David Bennett and Frances Elks of Boxer Books for the faith they put in me. The road was occasionally strewn with rocks. I would also like to thank my wife and children for listening to me and of course Toon Tellegen for writing such delightfully zany stories and Jessica Alhberg for illustrating them so wonderfully.

So anyway – I got a letter on Christmas Eve. A translator’s dream.

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