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Between worlds: in praise of the literary translator

Translated fiction now sells better than English fiction. It’s time to celebrate the linguistic detectives who make it all possible

By Miranda France   April 2019

There's no guarantee that the translations we get are the best possible ones—but that's not the point. Photo: PH

Here’s a translator’s tale: it’s early morning and I’m working on a scene from an Argentinian thriller. A woman has discovered her husband’s infidelity and leaves him a chilling message on the mirror written in rouge. In rouge. That doesn’t sound right. Although I’ve never tried it, I think it would be hard to write on glass with a cream rouge and impossible with a powdered one. Surely…

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