Translation for Understanding


Currently there is a movement to translate more non-American young adult literature to English. I think this is mostly because American young adults are searching for a more demanding story. The American adolescent story has become redundant and mundane. Young adults are beginning to look for new material and finding that the compelling stories they want are either targeted towards adults or are in non-English languages. There are also claims that non-American young adult literature should be used more in American middle and high schools. Gretchen Schwarz wrote an article titled The Power of Foreign Young Adult Literature,and in this she explained that “foreign YA literature can open up the world to American readers, creating new understanding of and appreciation for other cultures” (Schwarz). So not only are young adults seeking out foreign literature for better reading material, but they can also learn about other cultures they may not ever have had the chance to. Schwarz also says, “It is all too easy to pass judgment on other nations for their past atrocities and crimes” (Schwarz), when she was discussing that there aren’t many books that discuss the Holocaust from the perspective of Germans or Poles, or even depict them in a good light. Books with the story of the Germans and Poles who helped Jews escape to safety exist somewhere and having the opportunity to share them with American students would be a great first hand learning experience.

Schwarz, Gretchen. “The Power of Foreign Young Adult Literature.” JTE v25n1 – The Evolving Classroom: A Study of Traditional and Technology-Based Instruction in a STEM Classroom, Digital Library and Archives of the Virginia Tech University Libraries,


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