I've been offered work translating some creative works into English. Is this kind of work likely to push my creative boundaries, and teach me how to be a better write of my own original creative writing?

Will having this kind of work under my belt buy me any kind of credibility, as part of attempts to approach publishers with requests to publish my own creative work?

2 Answers 2


I don't know about creative, but I imagine it will help strengthen your facility with the language. You will be working to re-create a thought, an image, a sound from a foreign language into English, keeping faithful to the original somehow while making it work in the new language. Your vocabulary and diction will certainly get a workout.


Late answer, but to anyone still reading this, a note from an occasional translator: Yes, it will 100% push your creative boundaries! The task of searching for the right way to say something, the realization that some things have to be reworded because there's no true equivalent, and the interesting work of entering someone else's head (and voice) to try to help them say what they wanted to say all yield lessons that are very applicable to your own writing.

Whether publishers will be able to see that connection I don't know. :)

  • 2
    As a full-time translator (of things like press releases, not fiction), I want to second this. Having to adapt the 'mechanics' of one language into your native language gives you a real feel for how the mechanics of your own language actually work, because you have something to compare it to. If you grasp this correctly, it will improve your intuition on how to craft clear and powerful sentences in your own work.
    – manyaceist
    Feb 23, 2017 at 8:08

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