what we do

Translations for Literature, Theatre & the Arts

The arts transport us to new worlds and language is our guide

What does a writer want from a translator? Acclaimed Indian writer, critic and musician Amit Chaudhuri interviewed by Guildhawk Advisory Board Member Roger James Elsgood.
Listen here or Read the transcript.

Literature, music and the arts transport us to new places. Artists inspire us to think, dream and hope. They make us see ourselves.

Customers in a book shop

What are the two main things literature, theatre and art all have in common? Intent and style. Writers, producers and artists all have something to say and choose specific ways in which to say them. It’s natural, once you have poured your heart into a project, to want to push it out as far and wide into the world as you can. But it’s equally natural, for the very same reason, to be wary of how you go about it.

For a brief overview of how we translate a book, please visit our FAQs.

Working on everything from novels to academic books; musicals to gallery materials, we work with creators to make sure everything that’s important to them is clearly communicated to those translating their work, and establish a continuous feedback loop to guarantee the translations are hitting precisely the right mark.

When writers and artists come to us, their primary concern is that any translations remain true to the original – both in terms of meaning and style. They want the multilingual version of them to communicate just like they do.

This is why Guildhawk only work with linguists with literary qualifications and specialist experience. It’s also why we work so hard to truly understand the individual creator’s perspective – their experiences and context, what they are trying to achieve.

(Photo by Roland Tanglao)

(Photo by Geoff Pugh)

For instance, when working with author J M Dalgliesh, we had a lot of discussion early on to get to the root of what was important to him, including why he chose Germany as his first non-English-speaking audience.

When working with Stage Entertainment on translation of musical scripts, on the other hand, we were fascinated to learn how translation can actually inform and shape the process, something that, in turn, contributed to our translation approach.

If you are trying to decide which markets to publish or work in next, download our Markets Guide. In this guide, we give a brief overview of 10 of the world’s biggest markets, with information on their cultures, economies, and business prospects. Use the information to narrow down the field, and we can provide more in-depth research on the countries you’ve chosen based on the specifics of your work, as we do for a number of our clients.

Alternatively, get in touch right now with our Literature & Arts team by clicking the contact button below. They’ll be happy to discuss your aims, intentions and concerns, and put together some proposals specifically for you.

Guildhawk’s work is done on a royalty-free basis as standard.

Glass sculptures in a gallery

Delivering projects for

View case studies