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Literary Translation
Thread poster: xxxYxz
xxxYxz
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 15, 2003

Hello folks,

I would much appreciate if someone could give me any advice on the following issue.

I would like to translate a book from English to Russian which has never been translated before. This book is VERY popular all over the world and actually is popular in Russia too, because of the movie.
I am pretty sure that the reason why it has never been translated in Russian is a copyright issue.

Does anyone have any experience contacting the author (and in this case the author's relatives) in regard of the copyright? Any ideas how to do it?

[Edited at 2003-10-15 23:57]

[Edited at 2003-10-16 00:18]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:43
Member
English to Turkish
Author + potential Russian publishers Oct 15, 2003

Info on who represents author's rights can be found in the book itself, but you should also check with the copyright agencies in your country. The fact that book remains untranslated doesn't mean no one in Russia owns its copyrights. Maybe someone in your country has purchased the rights of this book, but has not have it translated and/or published yet for whatever reason. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is contact and seek collaboration with a publisher in your country.

Good luck

[Edited at 2005-01-10 08:40]


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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:43
English to Russian
+ ...
and from my personal experience - be ready to face problems Oct 16, 2003

The translation you've mentioned - well, the idea - is sitting in my head for a long, long time. See what has happened to me:
I wanted to translate a book, but from Russian into English. I found the Russian publisher, knowing that the author passed away not so long ago. It turned oit that publisher held copyrights for the book. Good sign, eh? indeed, and I was in high spirits. More good things - that publisher had a representative in the States who could be an agent and, actually, there was a real possibility for the book to be published. We have agreed already that I start translating, then, probably, with one translated Chapter we can see the American publisher and sign the papers... I was happy, everything worked just fine.
Then, suddenly, the Russian copyright holder told me that the book copyrights were taken from them in favor of the author's relatives and I was prompted to contact those relatives with all issues re. translation and publishing. Finally the relatives warned me not even try to publish anything as they have the rights and they don't want it. Finita.
The only good thing - I did not translate the whole book, just started. But what if I'd translate the whole 500 pages?
And even if everything would work fine, there is no real earnings here for a translator.
Better to be a good writer...
All the best,
V.


[Edited at 2003-10-16 00:50]


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xxxYxz
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
There's no doubt in my mind about that :) Oct 16, 2003

Vladimir Dubisskiy wrote:
And even if everything would work fine, there is no real earnings here for a translator.


I just really like the book and would like to do it... well, just for fun. I know it will be hard to have it published. But what if ?


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:43
Member
English to Turkish
Wrong! Oct 16, 2003

Marfusha wrote:

Vladimir Dubisskiy wrote:
And even if everything would work fine, there is no real earnings here for a translator.


I just really like the book and would like to do it... well, just for fun. I know it will be hard to have it published. But what if ?



There's no such thing as book translation doesn't earn you money. I lived exclusively with book translation for almost ten years, and as a single mother on rent, and in Istanbul, a city where dwellings are more expensive even than in Beverly Hills. And then again, this also means in Turkey where decent copyright laws were only recently introduced, and where pirating activities constitute 54% of all book publications and only 2-3% of the population buys books! (These figures are no joke.) Just put your heart in it, and don't give up, as in anything else. But my humble recommendation is that never do a translation without a contract -and if I can take the liberty of assuming that writers, translators etc. may not be as well protected in your country as in Western Europe or North America- make sure that written arrangements are done beforehand about the payment for every new edition of the book you translate. Also, don't forget that you're living in a country where literacy and reading habits are extensive and well-established. This must be giving you a high chance to make a living with translating books into Russian.

And once more... good luck


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xxxYxz
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, that's what gives me hope. Oct 16, 2003

Xola wrote:
You're living in a country where literacy and reading habits are extensive and well-established.


And I know for sure that this particular book would be sold out in a heartbeat. Xola, thank you very much for your advice! I'll be trying hard. Who knows?

[Edited at 2003-10-17 21:38]


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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:43
English to Russian
+ ...
and i only encourage you to go... Oct 17, 2003

I have simply shared my experience, but I feel very much like you. And probably I will continue trying as well.
Good Luck!


[quote]Xola wrote:
You're living in a country where literacy and reading habits are extensive and well-established.


Ah, it would be so nice if the "paying habits" become extensive and well-established as well.


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