Book translation procedure
Thread poster: egunn
| | egunn
Local time: 05:58
French to English
I recently read a non-fiction book in French which I’d love to translate. It was published this year, and, as far as I can see, there is no English translation available as yet. I’ve been working as a freelance translator for about three years, but have no experience of translating books and have no idea of the procedure. I was thinking of contacting the French publisher (or even the author) to see if anyone is working on an English translation of the book, and, if not, perhaps translating a sample chapter and approaching UK publishers. Is that the standard procedure? If not, how should I go about it? Any advice greatly appreciated.
I’m sure the same question must have been asked before in this forum, but I haven’t been able to find a relevant posting, despite using a variety of search terms, etc. It’s great that there’s so much here, but it does seem to make it difficult to find things. So, apologies if this has all already been covered - links to previous discussions would be equally welcome.
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| contact the publisher || Dec 10, 2005 |
That's what I would do. The French publishing world is (for the moment) more open to direct contact than the Anglo-Saxons, who expect you to grovel when you so much as dare to ask if you can send them a manuscript. Anyway, the French publisher will no doubt hold the translation rights and there's no point starting a translation if someone else is doing it.
The French government has a scheme for financially assisting translations from French to other languages, but the request has to come from the publisher. I have the forms and info somewhere on my computer. I'll send them to you by email if you are interested.
Then, if you get the go-ahead, if I were you I would translate a few chapters and submit the project to a publisher or an agent. Increasingly these days you have to go through an agent in th UK and USA. The French publisher may or may not help here - don't expect it. You need to be careful about targeting publishers so as not to waste time and money - lots of advice on the internet about that.
I know all this from working with a Congolese writer who publishes in France.
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| | Rafa Lombardino
Local time: 21:58
English to Portuguese
| | xxxPuicz
Local time: 06:58
Swedish to English
Thanks for the tips everyone!