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Translation of litterature/books
Thread poster: Mette Kragholm
Mette Kragholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Spanish to Danish
+ ...
Aug 25, 2005

I am a professional translator of business texts and the likes - i.e. the usual user Manuals, contracts, reports, etc.

However, I have started a little private project which is to translate a children's book that I read and enjoyed many times as a child.

I want to promote the translation of the book to publishers in my country, by sending them the first three chapters translated, and telling them about the wonders of the book.

I am not sure, though, how to handle the financial aspects. What is the usual rate when translating a book? Do you ususally get paid by source word, as in business translations, or is there a standard arrangement of a fee per sold book or something like that?

I hope that someone can tell me a little about their experiences, so I don't seem like a complete novice in promoting the book...


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 17:13
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
payment Aug 25, 2005

kragholm wrote:

I am a professional translator of business texts and the likes - i.e. the usual user Manuals, contracts, reports, etc.

However, I have started a little private project which is to translate a children's book that I read and enjoyed many times as a child.

I want to promote the translation of the book to publishers in my country, by sending them the first three chapters translated, and telling them about the wonders of the book.

I am not sure, though, how to handle the financial aspects. What is the usual rate when translating a book? Do you ususally get paid by source word, as in business translations, or is there a standard arrangement of a fee per sold book or something like that?

I hope that someone can tell me a little about their experiences, so I don't seem like a complete novice in promoting the book...
Usually the publisher pay you by page...


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meladui
Local time: 17:13
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes, and what do we do about copyright? Aug 25, 2005

Hi, sorry I don't have an answer. I'm just replying because I have been thinking of doing something similar.

My problem is how to get started: i.e. do I need permission from the authors and original publishers before I contact local publishers to propose a translation?
And how do I find out if a book, although not yet published in my country, is already being translated?

Those of you who are more experienced, I appeal to your kindness in showing me the right path!!


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 18:13
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
The publisher must aquire the rights first Aug 25, 2005

Those who have the rights decide, who does the translation. With old books I doubt if publishers would be interested. Small publishers are easier to deal with than the big guys, "who are only in it for the money".
Good luck!


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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 09:13
English
You need permission from the copyright holder Aug 25, 2005

kragholm wrote:

However, I have started a little private project which is to translate a children's book that I read and enjoyed many times as a child.

I want to promote the translation of the book to publishers in my country, by sending them the first three chapters translated, and telling them about the wonders of the book.

I am not sure, though, how to handle the financial aspects. What is the usual rate when translating a book? Do you ususally get paid by source word, as in business translations, or is there a standard arrangement of a fee per sold book or something like that?



Before you can do more than translate for enjoyment, you MUST get permission from the copyright holder (usually the author or publisher) to make a "derivative work". You can't start selling translations without it.

The payment to the translator may be a royalty - a certain % of the sales of that book in that language - perhaps with an advance. If you are approached by a publisher, they usually pay a flat fee, and you sign over all rights (work for hire).

Usually publishers work out the details - they themselves will be paying the original publisher and the author for the right to publish. They usually get the permissions, too.


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xxxPuicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Swedish to English
Charging Aug 26, 2005

It has been interesting reading about copyright and so on. Meanwhile, if I were in your position, I would consider the following, for instance:

1) Does the rate I propose give me a living? Where my interest
is great, does this matter?
2) Does the quantity of work (i.e. length of employment)
compensate for the rate?
3) Will this translation further my own (professional) interests
or will it lead to nothing? Does this matter?

Maybe by a series of similar questions you'll be able to arrive at a rate you can propose to publishers. Good luck!
Mike Parsley


[Edited at 2005-08-26 07:17]


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