Are Children More Tolerant to Translationese?

Ever since I discovered that kindle paper white is compatible with Chinese characters, I have been reading Chinese books like mad at the speed of a book a day. Being a bit nostalgic, a friend of mine sent me a book of Andersen’s fairy tales, one that almost every Chinese kid grew up reading. However, after a few pages, I was very disappointed to realize that the book that I used to love so much is now putting me off with its strong translationese.

I am not sure if it is because I am fussier with languages now as a result of studying languages for years, or because children are simply more tolerant to translationese. As a child, I read the stories of the brave tin soldier, the new clothes of the emperor, the flying trunk so many times that I could almost recite every single line in the book. Now I can’t even bear skimming for a few minutes.

If you are interested, please pick up the book, read a few pages and tell me if the younger us were kinder to translationese.

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)

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