At Friends House Moscow we often talk about our published books, but usually not much is said about what goes on behind the scenes.
- What is the thinking behind this outreach work?
- Who are the intended audience?
- How is it decided what to choose to translate?
- And what are the particular challenges of translating “Quaker-speak”, especially if it is something from the seventeenth or eighteenth century..?
Recently the American magazine Friends Journal published an excellent article that tells the inside story of translating into Russian (as part of a whole magazine issue about “Quakers in Translation”). It’s a fascinating insight into the publishing process, and into doing outreach in a very different cultural environment:
“Sometimes the prevailing social experiences of Russian society prevent readers from believing in the meaning of what is written. We hear distrustful questions of this sort: “I just didn’t understand; who is in charge of your meetings?” “Why didn’t I find anything about the required membership dues?” “And all the same, what should I do at the time of meeting for worship?” Probably the two most popular are these: “What do the Quakers think about Jesus Christ?” and “What do I have to do to become a Quaker?” ”
The article can be read here:
Or read the whole Friends Journal issue here: