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Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction (not all languages do) between translating (a written text) and interpreting (oral or sign-language communication between users of different languages); under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.

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One impressive form of translation is the translation of written works of text. Authors with successful books often make deals for translations of their books to be published. Yet sometimes it's hard for a successful author in another country to market their translated book in a different one. The James H. Ottaway Jr. Award was established as an award to individuals who have shown great devotion to promoting translated works of literature. Drenka Willen received the first ever Ottaway award in 2013 for her relentless commitment of over 50 years to promoting international authors including Günter Grass, Octavio Paz, and José Saramago.

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