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Very creative form of translation – a rhyming fairy tale


Fairy tales accompany us from the moment we are born. Told to us at bedtime, passed from generation to generation, and may be also written down. Their function is not only to cheer up and teach, but also to show the truth about the world. This is why translating a fairy tale is quite a challenge. Creative translation meets very high expectations, as it is not a literal translation. It requires the translator to have both linguistic and interpretive skills, as well as being able to adapt the text to a child audience.

A customer from the publishing industry approached us, asking for the translation of a fairy tale into American English. The service included translation and proofreading by a native speaker. We also received a request from the customer that needed to be kept in mind when working on the project:

Please ensure that the translation of the fairy tale is done in a way that conveys as accurately as possible the message of the text. So that the children can understand the message. This is very important to me.


In order to meet the customer’s expectation, it was crucial to find a translator who could meet the linguistic requirements, who was familiar with the subject matter of this type of translation and who also had a knack for the written word. At Skrivanek we have a database of translators who have proven themselves in many areas of translation, such as law, technology or the humanities. In this case, we needed a translator with experience in translating literary texts and skilled in the appropriate variety of English.

The challenge for the translator was to thoroughly familiarise themselves with the original, so that they could adapt the text linguistically, in a form for a child audience. There were rhymes in the original text, which had to be preserved in the translation as well. Another aspect was to adapt the text culturally to the target audience. The translator made sure that the fairy tale hero was given an American equivalent of a Polish name.

The proofreader-native speaker who checked the translation gave this opinion:

The translator did an amazing job, making the text rhyme in English in places where it rhymed in Polish. This is truly commendable and shows that the translator put a lot more effort into this task than into a regular translation.


Every fairy tale has a happy ending, and it was no different in this case. The customer was very satisfied with the partnership and contacted us again soon to complete the second part of this translation. It is worth mentioning that the translator and proofreader working on this project have become dedicated providers for this customer.

If you need a creative translation of a fairy tale, a poem, or educational materials for children, then feel free to contact us! We can offer you tailor-made solutions to translate more than just fairy tales.

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