Title translation. It often baffles me. Why, for instance, is the German title of this book Sophie and the Forest Fairies (translated), when the title of the original is Stella, Fairy of the Forest? The English title implies that Sophie is the fairy, while the German title implies that she meets with fairies (the latter is more in line with the story). OK. I can live with that. But why change the character’s name? It is not like Stella is a name so foreign, so unpronounceable to German speakers that it would have made this book’s sale impossible.
When changes like this happen in translation, I begin to lose faith in translation itself. I begin to think of translators as a wall that keeps me from the text instead of a door that brings me to it. I don’t want to think about translators like that. Their work is an art; their work is an important art that shouldn’t be diminished with that kind of thinking. Without translators I never would have read Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Julio Cortazar or Mikhail Bulgakov. And that would be truly tragic.
But the story. As the photo shows, I read this in German. This magical little story follows Sophie and Theo, two little kids, on an adventure into the woods. I really enjoyed the illustrations as they saw snakes and butterflies in field and forest. I am also a big fan of books that put a little magic into the real world, and this book does it. My favorite moment: Theo asks Sophie who planted the wild flowers and she replies: the birds and the bees. The magic of reality. I love it. This is a friendly, happy, magical little book that is a lot of fun to share with little kids.
Four out of five porcupines.
Where I got it: The fleamarket
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