FAIR LAWN, N.J. — The Armenian School of St. Leon Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, New Jersey in conjunction with Cascade Press is proud to present the first-ever Armenian language translation of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series. The title is translated into Gorteh oo Dodosheh.
This translation project started about a year ago and seeks to set a new standard for Armenian language learning. From February to May of 2019, the upper school classes were engaged in interactive language workshops. During these sessions, these classic children’s books were translated by the students under the guidance of their teachers. In this fashion, the classroom truly came alive. As students sought to find the perfect words to capture the spirit of the original English text, they would often act out scenes from the book. Lively discussions would often ensue about word selection or about striking just the right balance between grammar correctness, colloquial speech/slang, and overall readability.
Since these books are heavy on dialogue, the students had quite a bit of fun as they channeled their inner frog and toad. But more importantly, these students were actively creating in the Armenian language. Through brainstorming, intense use of the whiteboard, and intimately connecting with the source material, the students showed that they too can create in the Armenian language.
Following the initial translation, the texts were first edited by the Armenian school teachers and then passed to Armenia for a second round of editing before yet more proofreading and final editing. The paperback books are now available in both Eastern and Western Armenian. If read out loud by a parent, these stories are perfect for ages 2 and up. As “easy reader” books, Frog and Toad is recommended for students ages 6 and up.
The Frog and Toad series consists of four books that chronicle the lives of best friends Frog and Toad. Each 64-page book consists of 5 stories that capture the essence of their friendship in clear, simple terms. Some examples of the simple adventures that these friends go on include learning how to fly a kite despite being bullied by some mean birds, tracking down a lost button, telling scary stories and tending to a vegetable garden
Although seemingly simple, each story has quite a bit of depth that will appreciated by students and parents alike. Themes of kindness, caring and mindfulness are skillfully woven throughout the books. Despite the overwhelming digital distractions that a student encounters today, Frog and Toad shows that sometimes what is most important is listening to your thoughts and truly understanding who you are.