How-to books – Translation

When you’re looking for reformulation ideas, particularly for a specific language pair, then there is a wealth of translation literature that can be extremely useful. Translation, like interpretation is, after all, concerned with how best to say the same thing properly in a different language.

Below is a very small selection of books aimed at inspiring you to find similar publications relevant to your own language pairs.



A general textbook for translation outlining the differences between several languages and the translations issues those differences create. Includes examples and comparisons from several languages including French, German, Russian, Arabic and Japanese.

French – English

La Stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais

Vinay et Darbelnet

One of the definitive texts of French-English translation for over 50 years.

Also available in English

La traduction raisonnée, 3e édition: Manuel d’initiation à la traduction professionnelle de l’anglais vers le français

Jean Delisle

Ce manuel, dont la visée est essentiellement pratique, propose une méthode d’initiation à la traduction professionnelle 

Guide anglais-français de la traduction

René Meertens

Nouvelle édition d’un grand classique, la bible des traducteurs.
Il propose un large éventail d’équivalents d’une sélection de mots et expressions de la langue anglaise dont la traduction en français pose des problèmes particuliers. 

A Linguistic Handbook of French for Translators and Language Students

Paul Boucher

“in-depth contrastive study of French and English based on recent theories of linguistics and discourse analysis.”

German – English

Thinking German Translation: A Course in Translation MethodGerman to English

Hervey, Higgins, Loughridge

Polish – English

Successful Polish-English Translation – tricks of the trade

Aniela Korzeniowska & Piotr Kuhiwczak

Practical and useful guide to translating some of the inherent differences between Polish and English, covering the nature of the languages per se but also the (different) stylistics of various registers.

Ways to Translation

Piotr Stalmaszczyk, Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski, Łukasz Bogucki

This volume aims at disseminating up-to-date knowledge about translation and interpreting and providing easy access to a wide selection of … translation fundamentals (e.g. equivalence, translating procedures, translation competence … etc. )

O przekładzie na przykładzie

Elżbieta Tabakowska

Examples and explanations from Tabakowska’s epic translation of Norman Davies’ equally epic history of Europe.

Chinese – French

Manuel pratique de traduction : chinois-français, français-chinois

Pascale Elbaz & Linlin SHEN LAO

“Ce manuel de traduction chinois-français / français-chinois entièrement bilingue… permet à la fois de se former à la traduction, de renforcer sa pratique de la traduction et d’approfondir les codes linguistiques et culturels du français et du chinois qu’il est indispensable de maîtriser pour réussir tout exercice de traduction dans le supérieur.”

Arabic – English

Advanced English-Arabic Translation – a practical guide

El Mustapha Lahlali & Wafu Hatab

“Learn all the skills you need to translate from English to Arabic in this clearly structured guide. The extracts from a variety of authentic, contemporary texts have been carefully selected to introduce you to important stylistic features so that you can develop your skills across a range of genres.”