Notes from the Translators


For the Korean of Chapter 2, Saein Park added “a descriptive translation of ‘pantry,’ as there isn’t really anything like a pantry in Korean kitchens, though there is indeed a place to keep preserved food.” She also changed strainers into pots, because “strainers are not metallic in Korea,” and made silver maples into “silver-green,” since maples are “one of the most frequently appearing trees in Korean landscape descriptions,” which means that readers have clear expectations of maples, which “should be either red or green in Korean.”

For the Hebrew of Chapter 2, Ofra Amihay writes that she "changed 'cans' to 'preserved-cans' and 'powders' to 'soup powders' as these sound more typical of a pantry in Israel." In addition, she notes that "Hebrew doesn't have a single word for 'favorite' (instead, you would say something like 'most beloved') and hence no such expression as 'playing favorites.'" Thus she translated "the sentence about Zoe's guilt as 'she felt guilty with every preference.'"

And for the Romanian of Chapter 2, Eliana Vagalau changed the names of the sisters from Amy and Zoe to Iulia and Mariuca, because the only famous Romanian Zoe was Ceausescu's notoriously "debauched and evil" kid.

And speaking of names, Arunava Sinha concluded his email about Chapter 1 in Bangla as follows: “Oh and one more thing, there's no 'z' sound in Bangla, I'm afraid, so the the name written in Bangla will read like Joey. Sorry about that.”

Other expert translations by generous friends include:

Albanian, by Ani Gjika

Armenian, by Lianna Arakelyan and Narine Harutyunyan

Farsi, by Farzad Salamifar

Haitian Creole, by Mario LaMothe

Hungarian, by Andrea Szilágyi

Italian, by Sara Marzioli

Japanese, by Hikaru Ogura

Mandarin, by Inez Zhou

Russian, by Masha Kisel

Serbian, by Jelena Vasiljević

Swedish, by Marie Silkeberg

Turkish, by Sena Akalin and Mert Arslanalp

Ukrainian, by Natalka Sniadanko

Plus visual arts translations by:

Tahir Karmali

Jeffry Mitchell