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Translated Children’s Fiction in New Zealand

History, Conditions of Production, Case Studies


Anne Siebeck

In 2005, a new publisher entered the New Zealand market – the first to specialise in English translations of children’s books. The notion of «homegrown translations» was a new departure for a post-colonial book market dominated for several decades by literary nationalism. This study aims to illuminate the history of translated children’s books in New Zealand and the sociocultural context in which the translations of this new publisher are produced and received in order to account for the peculiarities of marketing and reception associated with them. For this purpose, diachronic and synchronic perspectives are combined with case studies of individual books and series.
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2 Specific Conditions of the New Zealand Children’s Book Market


2Specific Conditions of the New Zealand Children’s Book Market

When applying a target-oriented approach that regards translations as products of the target culture, the conditions of the market in which the translations in question are produced must be considered. In the context of this study this will help to understand the way the Gecko Press translations examined in the case studies presented in Part 3 integrate (or fail to integrate) into the New Zealand children’s book market. As explained in Part 1, the production, promotion and reception of translations highlight specific conditions of the receiving market. The three aspects examined in the following, cultural nationalism, educational publishing and gaps in the market, have been identified as significant conditions of the New Zealand market during research on the case studies which look at a number of translations into English recently produced in New Zealand.

The postcolonial process of nation-building has meant that notions of nationalism have influenced the definition, demarcation and support of New Zealand cultural products. Chapter 2.1 looks at how this has affected the marketing of Gecko Press and their translations. For this purpose, the publisher’s epitext such as such as press releases, marketing material, the website and statements by the publisher in the media will be examined. To put the publisher’s marketing strategy into context, New Zealand’s cultural policy, particularly of the last decade, will also be discussed by drawing on government publications and political speeches. Based on marketing research, Gecko’s marketing will then...

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