Updated: Jul 17
As announced a few days ago, we have made our very first language rights sale.
(This means that we as the creators of the Willow the Wonderer picture book series have licensed our copyright to another publisher so they can translate the works and publish them in them in their country, in their language.)
Respected Chinese publisher, Beijing Reader and Thinker Culture Co, has acquired the Simplified Chinese rights to the first two titles in the series.
They will publish the frist two Willow the Wonderer picture books within 18 months in either Simplified Chinese or as a bi-lingual (Simplified Chinese and English) edition across mainland China.
Working through this first language rights sale, it dawned on us how few foreign langage books are available in Australia. This is in spite Australia being home to such a diverse and multi-cultural community.
If there is one lesson we can learn from our colonial past, it's that loss of language bears a very heavy toll; indigenous Australians mourn the loss of their many langugaes to this day.
As migrants ourselves, we feel that it's just as important to respect the values of the new societies we move into, as it is to hold onto the postive aspects of our own culture - and language is a big part of that.
At the end of the day, this is what allows cultures to evolve and thrive - which benefits all of humanity.
Australians are also very well travelled people - famous world over for our long holidays (a good thing me thinks).
Interest in learning and conversing well in languages apart from English has always been looked favourably upon here - how we marvel at Europeans who effortlessly switch between five languages! The options that being multi-lingual opens up for lifestyle, travel and also work makes it a worthwhile endeavour to take up even into our adult years.
So, with Willow the Wonderer quickly becoming multi-lingual, we are happy to commit to stock and distribute the books in all the wonderful lanaguges that its gets translated into.
Yes folks, we will be making available the Simplified Chinese edition of Willow the Wonderer in Australia, within 18 months. And we look forward to making the books available in many other languages over the coming years.
Being very much an Aussie creative enterprise, we would also love to see Willow the Wonderer books get translated into local indigenous languages.
If anyone has connections that can make this happen and/or is interested to be part of this initiave, please don't hestitate to get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!
Hopefully these multi-lingual books become an aid for children from many different communities to learn and keep their languages - and that of other cultures - alive.
And who knows, it may even be what helps us build better understanding between our different cultures, communities and countries.