In literature, there are exciting worlds to be discovered beyond the realm of the cut-price supermarket reads that are more readily promoted for our attention.
With a little effort on our part and the experienced hand of sensitive publishers who are willing to seek out and share modern works from beyond borders, it is possible to enjoy and be enriched by some fascinating books.
Istros Books is a leading publisher of literature in translation. In a relatively short time, this London-based book house has become a reliable source of contemporary authors and modern classics from South Eastern Europe, and opened an English-speaking audience to a wealth of Balkan literature, poetry and political commentary.
Humour is a funny thing. What can have one person in fits of laughter can leave another entirely dumbfounded. Add cultural and social differences and the recipe often falls flat, as evidenced by the number of hit UK TV comedies that have failed to survive a trip across the pond.
As a case in point, take the misjudged US version of the phenomenally successful UK sitcom Gavin and Stacey, which was reportedly put on the back burner after the social comedy nosedived stateside.
Whereas the written word can be translated well on the page, if the translator is worth their salt, films can often find it more difficult to find an audience abroad.
Comedies have any even harder job to be accepted across borders. It is not surprising that one of the most successful comedy crossovers, Mr Bean, is devoid of dialogue that can be lost in translation.