Asked • 07/16/19

Do publishers really need to translate between UK and US English?

Is there really a need for a book to be translated from UK to US English? I'm nearing completion on my own great work, and just want to know if it is truly worth doing a British and an American version, or just release the current version in its UK form, as I am British.I personally feel that works of fiction become truly great when the writing becomes invisible. When you're so lost in a novel that you don't even notice the sentence structure and intricately constructed prose.So while I can't see an American throwing an otherwise enjoyable book away in disgust just because there's a 'u' in 'color', is it jarring? To an American, would the odd British word, (Grey, mum, offence, theatre) actually cause them to not be engrossed in a novel as much as they could be?I'd like to think not, I'd like to think a British book with British spelling would make it a little bit more interesting, especially considering it's set in a post-apocalyptic UK and narrated by a British person. But publishers spend thousands of pounds translating UK books to US English, so why do they do this?

1 Expert Answer


Breanna C. answered • 07/16/19

New to Wyzant

Italian/Spanish Teacher & Writer

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