By Edward Nawotka
In today’s lead story about the bottleneck in Icelandic translation Amanda DeMarco writes:
Though it’s customary to speak of English as a gateway language for translation, in the case of Icelandic, Germany has clearly supplanted it. “As there are only a handful of titles being translated from Icelandic into English every year, the gateway language for Iceland is indeed German,” commented Agla Magnúsdóttir, Director of the Icelandic Literature Fund (ILF).
The German-as-gateway-language concept has its weaknesses; English functions (or functioned, or was supposed to have functioned) as a gateway language (in large part) because so much of the world learns English as a foreign language. A better model might be the viral spread of literature among related countries and languages, with important ‘carriers.’
Based on this assertion, are there other languages where German is serving as an alternate gateway for translation?