Thanks to a dedicated Swedish-Indonesian fan of Astrid Lindgren Indonesian children can also get to know the little red-haired, naughty and headstrong girl from Villa Villakulla and other of the legendary characters like Karlsson on the roof, the Bullerby children and Emil of Lönneberga.
Purnawati Olsson – a native of Yogyakarta with a passion for Swedish literature – has translated the world-famous children’s novels to her own mother-tongue. In the beginning of the 1980’s she met her future husband Leif Olsson and moved with him to his native country of Sweden. Here she worked as a secretary in a publishing house, where she was asked to translate some of Astrid Lindgren’s celebrated books into Bahasa Indonesia.
In translating Lindgren’s books Purnawati Olsson didn’t change any of the names of the cities or the characters. She made the titles as similar as possible to the original. But that wasn’t easy because there were some Swedish idioms and special plants and food which were difficult to find similar phrases for in Indonesian.