Contemporary translated children’s literature in Sweden with a focus on literature from French-speaking regions
Keywords:translated literature, children’s literature, Sweden, literature from French-speaking regions, emerging literature
This article sheds light on translated children’s literature in Sweden during the period 2015−2020. A relatively large portion of children’s literature in Sweden (36% in 2020), from books for toddlers to young adult literature, comes from translations. It has been shown in polysystem research, that ‘semi-peripheral’ countries such as Sweden, or places having a so-called ‘dominated language’, are known to import much literature because, for example, their internal production is rather limited, which a priori is not the case in Sweden. We first present a panorama of the kinds of books that are translated to Swedish and the languages they are translated from. We then focus on the particular position in Sweden of African children’s literature from French-speaking regions and assume that French is used as a tool that enables this literature to reach a Swedish audience, as part of the global phenomena of serial books and the emerging wimmelbooks. We conclude that even if Sweden’s national production is greater than book importing and translation, there is still a not insignificant number of translated picturebooks through which authors and illustrators from French-speaking regions occupy a stable share of this production, and may in this way transport cultural values from more peripheral countries.
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