Book translation
Thread poster: madleen
madleen
United States
Local time: 03:34
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Mar 24, 2013

Dear all,

I need your advice on the following matter: when you are offered a book to translate, don't you get a confirmation or guarantee that in case the book is published in any way, then you will have your name as the translator on the book? and if the book will not be published (according to the translation agency, which is not a guarantee at all) don't you think that they should provide a statement about the future/potential use of your translation? I think otherwise you can sell the translation later to someone who wants to publish this same book! what do you think?
Also, when it comes to money issues, do you think that you should get compensated for the number of copies sold if this book is published?
Do you accept to translate a whole book just like you are translating a regular medical /legal document without any further agreement on usage?
The agency sent me the book and requested that to be translated and turned back....just like a regular document that needs translation.
Your input is greatly appreciated!!

[Edited at 2013-03-24 09:24 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gad Kohenov  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 12:34
English to Hebrew
+ ...
A word of advice Mar 24, 2013

Madleeen,

I translated dozens of books. The whole business there is tricky. Without a contract you can be ripped off. No advance payment? Tell them bye bye. Your name as a translator of the book? I have my name on dozens of books it never brought me any new work. But anchor that too via a contract. I am sure there are lawyers who can help here. They will want you to sign a contract drawn up by their lawyer? Tell them "I will go over it and come back to you", and let your lawyer insert all the necessary changes he/she thinks must appear there.
If you don't you might live to regret it.


Hope this helps,

Gad Kohenov


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:34
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A book? Mar 24, 2013

I'm afraid I don't have any advice as I've never been involved in this type of project. But there's a question that comes to my mind, so it'll probably be one that others would like the answer to: What exactly do you mean by a book?

I've already translated a 27,000-word e-book. I treated that exactly the same as any other translation, but then it wasn't likely to pay massively in royalties and it was quite a bit shorter than the average hardback!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:34
Russian to English
+ ...
Your name has to definitely be inside the cover. You can use a pen name, if you'd like, I think. Mar 24, 2013

Make sure it is in the contract, although even if it were not, you can still demand it, because this is the standard procedure.

It would be wise to also find out if the person requesting the translation has the rights to go ahead with the translation. Some agents requesting e-book translations, especially, do not have the author's permission, which is a serious violation of the copyright laws.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
madleen
United States
Local time: 03:34
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
book type Mar 24, 2013

Thank you Mr. Kohenov for the valid input.

Dear Sheila,
It is a hard copy published book. It is somewhere around 250 pages. The client says that they don't have the intent of publishing it now!! They say they would pay for the translation, and then they are free to use it as they please!

[Edited at 2013-03-24 21:25 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
madleen
United States
Local time: 03:34
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
reply re name on cover Mar 24, 2013

Thank you Lilian for your advice. The client is refusing to be clear about name on the cover insisting that there is no plan of publishing it, and also saying that the book is for their client and not directly theirs, which is a lame excuse.
Should I request agency's confirmation that the book is licensed for translation? The agency would go back to their previous excuse saying that the book is not to be published at this stage!! However, I have told them many times that they should account for the potential use of the translation.

[Edited at 2013-03-24 21:55 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A few ways of translating books Mar 24, 2013

The normal one, I translate the book for a publisher, my name appears on the cover and the suggested library card. If price is an issue, the deadline goes beyond the horizon, there are partial deliveries and partial payments on the way, and my rate goes down by some 30% or more. I handle it as a "filler" between more profitable commercial projects.

For a translation agency. I do it exactly as I'd do any other commercial translation project, charge accordingly, and the agency's name appears on the cover as the translation provider..

As a ghost-translator. I translate a few - or all - chapters for a colleague who for any reason can't handle it, and my name doesn't appear anywhere.

This should explain why my list of translated books on this page is so skimpy. All the books listed there have my name on them.


I get queries every other day from people who need books translated for their graduate studies, i.e. for individual use. The cost is, of course, prohibitive, and most overly wealthy people of this kind usually speak several languages, learned in the countries where their yacht or private airplane took them. So I never did any of these.

However my guess is that if someone buys a book in a language they don't understand, and pay a translator for the service of getting it into one language they can read, there wouldn't be any copyright infringement.

As long as I charge a fixed amount for the service of translating a book, I won't be exploiting it commercially (viz. receiving royalties), so if my translation is ever published in breach of someone else's copyright, I'll have nothing to do with it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 05:34
Russian to English
+ ...
Finally a voice of reason Mar 25, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

As long as I charge a fixed amount for the service of translating a book, I won't be exploiting it commercially (viz. receiving royalties), so if my translation is ever published in breach of someone else's copyright, I'll have nothing to do with it.


Ask yourself if you want the money here, or the glory - whatever that is. You are not paid for doing someone else's due diligence, and copyright issues are absolutely none of your business. Concentrate on getting a rate you are happy with and make sure you do get paid in full as agreed.

Personally, with the kind of stuff that gets published these days as e-books or commercial fiction, I wouldn't want my name on it even if they paid me extra.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:34
Russian to English
+ ...
I have to check more into the laws, but I think whatever a translator produces Mar 25, 2013

belongs to him -- the partial copyright. I don't think any agency has the right to deprive a translator of a books of their automatic copyright. You have the copyright to whatever you wrote, basically.
Ghost translators -- well, maybe some people can give up their rights for remuneration, if they don't mind being ghosts.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
madleen
United States
Local time: 03:34
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Apr 8, 2013

Thank you José for the informative reply, appreciated.
Thank you all!

[Edited at 2013-04-08 22:04 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:34
Russian to English
+ ...
Well, I think it might be illegal in some countries that an agency should usurp any copy rights Apr 9, 2013

It may also depend what kind of an agency -- an outsourcer only cannot definitely claim any copy rights.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Book translation

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search