Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Ruth summer 2019 close up.jpg

I’m a literary translator working from Arabic, German and Russian into English.

I translate fiction and nonfiction for English-language publishers worldwide. I have a particular interest in history, historical fiction, diverse and inclusive literature, including literature by authors of colour and immigrant writers, and works for children and young adults.

My translations include books from Germany, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Switzerland and Syria, including several award-winning or shortlisted translations. See my full publications list here.

I’m a passionate advocate of world literature for young people and diversity in children’s publishing and education. I’m co-editor of ArabKidLitNow! and Russophone Kid Lit blogs, and I write about global reading for young people at World Kid Lit, Words Without Borders, and World Literature Today. I also promote language learning and creative translation for young people through my workshops in schools, especially in September which is #WorldKidLitMonth and International Translation Day.


  • MA in Translation and Interpreting (University of Bath, 2006)
  • CIOL Diploma in Translation: from Arabic (2013), from German and Russian (2004)
  • MA Oxon Modern and Medieval Languages (University of Oxford, 2003)


Professional memberships

  • ALTA (American Literary Translators Association)
  • IBBY UK (International Board on Books for Young People)
  • ITI WRG (Institute of Translation and Interpreting Western Regional Group)
  • SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
  • Society of Authors (including the Translators’ Association)