Translating English into English

There was an interesting article in The Globe and Mail Book Section on Saturday Nov 14th written by J.C. Sutcliffe. He said that many of the novels that we read in English are actually “translated” for different English audiences. We all know that titles are often changed according to where the book’s audience lives – Harry Potter for instance (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone became Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US edition) but the main focus of the article was the actual wording in books.

Commenting on this he said : “What, after all, is so bad about being exposed to the English of different regions? Isn’t learning about the differences in our languages, and by extension our cultures, part of the fascination with reading?”   I just finished The Heart Specialist by Claire Rothman and it surprised me to see the word “grippe” used when referring to “the flu”. Having grown up in Montreal, where the writer has set her novel, and being familiar with the word, I found it totally acceptable, and it made the book more authentic to me than had she written “the flu”. I think it definitely enriched the language of the literature.

If you would like to read the entire article “They order these things differently” by J.C. Sutcliffe go to :

Leave a Comment