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Translating Comic Books
Thread poster: María Teresa Taylor Oliver

María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 16, 2006


I'm not sure if this would fall exactly under the title "Literature" [although there are those who say that everything that is published it's literature, but I don't know about that], but it's something I've been thinking about for a while now...

In recent years I've become a big fan of comics. Not exactly superhero mainstream comics, but more of the type that's published nowadays under the name "graphic novel" aka "comics for adults" (not necessarily erotic, mind you).

A prime example would be Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, and Alan Moore's V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell (the three of which have been turned into films). Also, two recent ones that have me completely on the edge of my seat, so to speak, waiting for the next issue, are Y, The Last Man and Fables.

I find this genre fascinating, and I'd like to know how would one go about translating some of these graphic novels.

I'm not sure if it's the same procedure as with a proper novel or any other kind of book, as these comics are usually the work of several authors, commissioned through a comics label, such as DC Vertigo (which publishes almost all the comics I'm most interested in).

Is anyone out there familiar with this type of work?


[Edited at 2006-06-16 04:15]

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Local time: 17:58
English to German
+ ...
A great idea Jun 16, 2006

Hi! I have been doing this all along since 16-18 years, starting with superman and stuff, hulk stories, well some adult touch too. What I find so interesting is the cultural interpretation of the original. Now that would be a talent to bring that dimension to a localizing. It it mostly as I find is interesting either for younger working generations or the very old that passively just enjoy the thoughts, and do not have anything on hand. The world statistics around this area are about 89% aged adults, because the health security systems maintains these and it is only human to have unfulfilled wishes furnished in some form or the other. I have an idea, contact me if you can through profile page. Best Brandis

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Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:58
French to English
Let me know! Jun 16, 2006

Hi Maria and Brandis,
Let me know if you come up with a strategy, because I've been interested in doing this for a long time but have found that a lot of publishers have existing contracts with translation agencies, whereas I would rather work directly for the publishers.

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How to translate comic books and Graphic novels Jun 10, 2015

María Teresa Taylor Oliver wrote:

"I find this genre fascinating, and I'd like to know how would one go about translating some of these graphic novels.

s anyone out there familiar with this type of work?


[Edited at 2006-06-16 04:15] [/quote]

Hi Maria,

My name is Ricardo Cachoua and I have been a comic book and graphic novel translator for almost 20 years in my native Mexico. Specifically in Mexico comic book translators are freelance. Most of the professional comic book translators are fans that approached the licencee publishing house in Mexico and asked for a translation test. I have been working freelance Medical Document translation for several years, but was fascinated by comic books, through chance encounters I ended up writing articles for DC comic book translations in Mexico and from there i was able to ask for the chance to translate books like the Dark Knight Returns the Ultimate Batman Graphic Novel. Right Now I work for the Italian Comic Book Corporation Panini Comic in their Mexico Branch translating Star Wars Comic Books.

You should know that:

1.- Comic book translation does not pay very well. Right know we get like $25.00 mexican pesos (about $1.60 USD) per page.

2.-The word count varies immensely. It can be a single word "OUCH" or a whole page full of word balloons. The pay is the same.

3.- Almost all comic book translators do this as extra income, having day jobs that support them. I myself am a Translator and Interpreter for the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico.

4.- It is not easy work, there is the problem of space, the word balloon is all the space you have for text, so you always need smaller words to convey the idea you are translating.

5.- Vast Popular culture knowledge is a must, you must also master the details of characters, locations, technology and everything else in the comic book.

If you have specific questions I am at your service.



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