Translation Workshop: Translating Children’s Literature (4 May 2016, University of Liverpool)

— “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
— “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
—“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass (1871)
The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool invites you to attend its third annual Translation Workshop on Wednesday 4 May 2016, beginning at 1pm. This year, the workshop focuses on children’s literature, and our special guest is the prize-winning writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn. Come along and have some fun talking about and translating words for children… No knowledge of foreign languages necessary!
Daniel Hahn is the author of several works of non-fiction, including the history book The Tower Menagerie (2003), as well as one of the editors of The Ultimate Book Guide, a series of reading guides for children and teenagers (the first volume of which won the Blue Peter Book Award). Other titles include Happiness Is a Watermelon on Your Head (a picture book for children, published in 2012, which was a CBeebies bedtime story in 2013), and a new edition of the Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature (2015). Daniel is a translator of (mostly) literary fiction from Portuguese, Spanish and French. His translation of The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. He is also the translator of Pelés autobiography, and of work by novelists José Luís Peixoto, Philippe Claudel, María Dueñas, José Saramago, Eduardo Halfon, Gonçalo M. Tavares, and others.
The event will begin with a talk by Daniel, before we all tackle some translation of childrens literature ourselves. Postgraduate students, early career translators, and all interested more generally in translation and/or children’s literature are invited to attend. Please note that, while workshop groups will translate texts from (at least) French, German, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, we also welcome those with no knowledge of languages other than English, for whom we have special plans… All materials will be provided.
There will be a small charge of £5 to cover administration and refreshments, payable on the day. The workshop will end by 5pm.
Please e-mail Kay Chadwick ( to reserve your seat and receive further details. Places are limited, so book early. Falling off walls is optional (but note unlikely to be covered by the University’s public liability insurance)…