Art books, museum exhibitions, exhibition catalogues, exhibit descriptions.
Ever since starting up in 1997, ad Astra Translatører have translated art books and texts for museums and institutions in connection with exhibitions.
This is a job for a “native-speaker” translator—that is, a person who speaks the target language as his or her mother tongue. There are many linguistic nuances that need to be reflected in the translated text. At the same time, there are many linguistic conventions that have to be observed in this type of text. The translator needs to display a flair for creativity, and invariably has to have an interest in the field as well as a knowledge of art in general.
We have translated books about artists belonging to the European avantgarde movement COBRA, like Carl-Henning Pedersen and Asger Jorn, and about the Swedish national treasure Carl Larsson, as well as the northern lights and much more besides.
Translating an exhibit description calls for insight into the artist’s work and a knowledge of what the various techniques are called in the different languages. This is not the type of assignment that can be handled at typing speed. It calls for subtlety and authorial aptitude. It’s an assignment that differs hugely from the rest of the specialized language translation we pore over, and that’s why art translation is an assignment which, in a nutshell, we find really interesting. Everything need not be equally dry after all!