Type of Document Dissertation Author Goldsmith, Annette Y. Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-04102009-150504 Title Found In Translation: A Mixed Methods Study Of Decision Making By U.S. Editors Who Acquire Children’s Books For Translation Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Information Studies, College of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Eliza T. Dresang Committee Chair Don Latham Committee Member Melissa Gross Committee Member Susan Stan Committee Member Pamela (Sissi) Carroll Outside Committee Member Keywords
- Mixed Methods
- Decision Making
- Children’s Literature
Date of Defense 2008-12-12 Availability unrestricted AbstractForeign children’s books translated into English matter to young readers in the U.S. for intellectual, literary, and pedagogical reasons, yet very few are published. How do U.S. editors select culturally conscious children’s books from abroad to be translated into English for the U.S. market? This question was addressed by exploring the barriers editors encounter, the resources available to them, and their perceptions about the value of publishing translations.
The theoretical framework consists of communications scholar Brenda Dervin’s personal sense-making supplemented by Karl E. Weick’s sensemaking from organizational psychology. Using two similar but not identical theories adds depth to the analysis, providing what anthropologist Gregory Bateson calls “binocular vision.”
The study was conducted in the U.S. from May to July 2008. A purposive sample of 93 children’s editors was drawn from Children’s Book Council member publishers. The study employed the participant selection model, a variant of the mixed methods sequential explanatory design. Phase I was a web-based survey. Phase II consisted of follow-up interviews. Ten subjects whose attitudes were least well predicted by a statistical regression model fit to the survey data were selected for interviewing.
The literature suggested that editors are reluctant to publish translations because of the expense. However, findings showed that the most important barrier is reliance on reader’s reports when editors cannot read in the language of the original. The cost of acquiring books from other countries when the dollar is low was of secondary importance. Editors’ top-ranked motivation was a positive personal response to the book. Editors ranked the Bologna Children’s Book Fair as their most important resource, but it is expensive to attend. The propensity to publish translations was stronger if editors are bilingual or see the industry as more open to translations than five years earlier. Replicating the study at a later date under a different political administration and economic conditions should reveal if editors’ attitudes towards publishing translations remain consistent.
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