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Literary Translation

Experts not only translate but interpret the text taking into account cultural, historical and mental realities of the target audience, transforming the original, substituting, deleting or adding individual elements.
Our translators specialise in this type of translation and have experience in writing articles for magazines, their literary works are published, so we offer you this service in answer for the beauty and artistry of translation.

We translate:

  • Literary works (poetry, prose) of various genres, volume, and topics;
  • Popular science articles and books;
  • Promotional videos, audio and more.
  • Children literature;
  • Epistolary novels, memoirs;


  1. Your request is received and a suitable coordinating manager is appointed for the project
  2. We process the request and analyze the specific requirements, keeping you abreast of the options available
  3. We give you an estimate of the costs involved and work out the logistics of delivering you the finished product
  4. The client confirms the order and makes an advance payment
  5. We start working on the project and deliver the finished order to the customer

Need a quality, professional translation of your literary project? Get a free estimate

Literary Translation

Literary translation is traditionally understood to mean the translation of books and journalism. However, this concept is much broader: it also covers language interpretation and localization of texts of musical works, cinema, and advertisements.

Despite the apparent simplicity and lack of strict frameworks and special terminology (as occur for example in technical translations), work with literary texts is the most difficult type of translation activity. Such work requires that a specialist has not only a high level of a foreign language and deep philological knowledge, but also a literary talent.

The fact is that authors’ texts are various in form. They are often figurative and rich in means of artistic expression. Each work is original and carries a certain emotional and aesthetic stamp. The most important task for the translator is to convey this stylistic character to the reader in the form conceived by the artist, and at the same time to adapt the material to the linguistic and cultural characteristics of the country of translation. To fully understand this special talent, imagine Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” written in the style of Ernest Hemingway – it would be a good story, but it would not be Shakespeare!

That is why literary translation is regarded as one of the types of literary creativity, and the names of talented translators such as Irina Tokmakova, Boris Zakhoder, Petr Ganzen and Samuel Marshak are on a par with the names of the authors whose works they translated. Book translation, and especially poetry translation, is an artform in itself.

Where You Can Order a Professional Literary Translation

Publishing houses and authors of works; advertising agencies; periodicals and their employees; dramatic directors and actors; students of higher educational institutions. All these really need a language interpretation and localization service. Today, the most popular services are the translation of advertising and magazine articles, subtitles for films, lyrics, play scripts, and novels. Due to the complexity and specificity of the work of a literary translator, you should entrust the service only to a specialized translation agency.

Agenda Translations online agency translates the following materials into all European and Eastern languages:

  • works of various genres and forms;
  • journalism, opinions, essays;
  • memoirs;
  • children’s literature;
  • texts for commercials;
  • audio and video materials.

The agency collaborates with the best translators from all over the world and guarantees the quality of the executed work.

For each project in Agenda Translations, a hand-picked team of performers is selected: translators, literary editors, and, if necessary, cultural experts, philologists, and literary critics. Before handing over the finished project to the customer, the text is checked and read by a native speaker.

Such an integrated and multi-level approach to the work allows us to achieve the highest quality and adaptability of the translation. It guarantees accuracy in conveying the author’s style and narrative manner.

Particularities of Literary Translation into English

In translating literary texts, the essential element is not only the accuracy of information transfer. The full disclosure of the author’s intention and the delivery of the emotional component are of equal significance. To do this, the translator often has to act as a writer. He or she must choose the appropriate speech collocations, idioms and means of expression. Such work requires the performer to be expert in both Russian and a foreign language, and in ideal case to cooperate with a native speaker.

Agenda Translations uses this very pattern. Through the professional tandem of a native speaker and a translator, the English version of the work is as adaptive as possible and has the same emotional impact on the reader as the original text. Collaboration with a native speaker allows retention of an individual author’s style and form of work, and delivery of accurate contextual rendering.

Translation of Literary Texts from English into Russian

Translation of a literary text from English requires the utmost comprehension of the original source by the translator. It demands correct interpretation of the English stable expressions, the exact analogues of which often can not be found in Russian.

Working with humorous writing saturated with subtle English humor is even more time-consuming. For the domestic reader the literal translation of English jokes, often based on a pun, will be completely incomprehensible. In such cases, the translator should completely recycle the material (effectively re-write the text of the jokes) and interpret the work for the Russian-speaking reader. It is necessary to take account of the idiosyncrasies of the Russian sense of humor, thinking and mentality, while always preserving the author’s style.

Understanding the complexity and specificity of literary translation, Agenda Translations agency employs only experienced translators and literary editors to work on such projects, and collaborates with literary and cultural experts. This allows us to reveal the idea of the work in full, and preserve its formal characteristics.

Cost of Literary Translation

The cost of working with literary texts depends on the following factors:

  • volume (number of pages, words or characters);
  • language pair (work with Oriental languages is more expensive than with European);
  • the number of specialists who participated in the work;
  • completion time;
  • the need for layout of text, design;
  • any other wishes of the client.

The final proofreading of the text is included in the price.

In order to accurately calculate the total cost of the service, please contact the Agenda Translations managers in any convenient way: via e-mail, by phone or by filling out a special form on the website.

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