A Book Fit for a Royal

Aug 11, 2022 | Language

It all started with a call…

Back in January, when we were only dreaming of the summer sun, our Editorial Project Manager Melanie received a message from the publisher DK, asking for a video call to discuss an exciting new project. Melanie was intrigued but it wasn’t until the call that she found out what exactly this new project would be…

“I was thrilled to learn that DK were working on the creation of a book for children, all about the upcoming Jubilee for the Queen,” Melanie says. “I was very impressed to learn that every primary school child in the UK was going to receive their own copy!”

The book Queen Elizabeth – A Platinum Jubilee Celebration is a wonderful biography of the longest reigning British monarch told through stunning illustrations from her early childhood through her succession to the throne, then her dutiful service. The publication also includes the history of the kings and queens of England and Scotland, as well as the House of Windsor, together with some accounts of most of the royal household. It’s truly a spectacular book that kids will definitely enjoy and learn a lot from.

Ironing out the details

Our excited Project Manager did not waste a moment: after the call, she prepared a quote for translating the book with adorable illustrations into Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, including an editing stage. The book was to be typeset by the publisher themselves and returned to First Edition for proofreading.

We had a month to create the Welsh and Scottish Gaelic versions of the text. We were told there would be a printed version of these languages as well as an audio version.

But the exciting project news didn’t end there. As Melanie explains, “shortly after we made a start with these two languages, DK asked if we could also translate the book into Irish Gaelic and Ulster-Scots. We could! For these two languages, however, only an audio version was planned. The whole project was completed in April/May – just in time for the Jubilee celebrations in June.

A royal project

When we asked Melanie what her favourite part was about the project she said “the project was a pleasure all round, really. Everyone at DK was so friendly and easy to work with, not to mention our own teams of translators and editors. I got to know a few new people and worked with languages I had never worked with before in my 14 years at FE, which was great.”

Of course, just like with any project, there were some challenges along the way: “The biggest challenge probably was to find a translation team for the Ulster-Scots production. Ulster-Scots is not a language we have worked with before and it wasn’t easy to locate suitable translators – but we succeeded in the end.”

“I wouldn’t use anyone else!”

We also asked Francesca, who looked after the project from DK’s side, about her experience of collaborating on this book.

“DK has worked with First Edition for many years now,” she explains. “First Edition Translations are a leader in their field and we trust them with our award-winning Co-Edition Publishing.”

She found that Melanie made the experience easy from day one of the project: “We had constant updates, calls if needed and quick turnarounds on text throughout the process. This was a project that meant that everyone involved had to be flexible while remaining thorough, and Melanie ensured this happened whilst going over and above throughout. I can’t thank her enough and we’re so pleased we got to work on this incredible special title with her.”

She also added that she would absolutely recommend FE to a colleague. “I wouldn’t use anyone else!” she adds.

Thank you, Francesca, for your kind words!

We hope you liked reading about this special project as much as we enjoyed working on it. If you have any questions or queries, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of Project Managers at translations@firstedit.co.uk, they’ll be more than happy to answer!