Co-translator left out of publishing
Thread poster: yenan

yenan
Local time: 06:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
May 17, 2014

I was involved in translating a book through an agency and did a little less than half of the translation. I came on board as a secondary translator and the chief translator edited my work. As I still had my previous job, I didn't pursue the project actively and just did what was assigned to me. Now I discovered that the book (now published) gave credit for ALL the translation to the chief translator and NONE to me. I'd like to cite the book in my resume but not sure I can as my name is not even mentioned. I felt I was treated unfairly. Is there anything I could do at this point? Please advice. Thank you!

 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:56
Chinese to English
It's worth asking May 17, 2014

Often people are reasonable about these things. Recognise that now the book is published, there's not much that can be done, but send an email (to the lead translator and/or the publisher) asking that your contribution be recognised in the second edition. If you want to put the book on your CV, it depends on your contract. If there's no confidentiality agreement, then you can include it, but you should add a note that you were uncredited, otherwise people will think you're lying.
When you do book projects, you must negotiate credit in advance.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Doesn't sound surprising really May 17, 2014

There has to be a line drawn somewhere, otherwise there would be pages and pages of credits. It's up to you to negotiate such things before you start.

But I don't see why you can't still claim having done some of the work. As Phil says, you just have to mention it was uncredited. Why not ask the publisher for a short letter (draft one for them) stating that you were involved in the project?


 

Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
German to English
+ ...
Ethics May 18, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Why not ask the publisher for a short letter (draft one for them) stating that you were involved in the project?


Phil Hand wrote:
... but send an email to the (lead translator and/or the publisher) asking that your contribution be recognised in the second edition.


Seeing as yehan's customer is the agency, it'd be seriously out of line to contact the publisher.

At most, yehan could request the favour of the agency.

Just my 2c

(edited to say sorry, it's yenan, not yehan)

[Edited at 2014-05-18 04:53 GMT]


 

yenan
Local time: 06:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Translation agency or lead translator May 18, 2014

Thank you both for your advice. I didn't sign any contract before joining the project. It came to through an agency, but the lead translator and I did collaborate a couple of times and he edited my work. I do not have a direct connection with publisher either, so if I want a letter or a certificate from them I'll have to go through the lead translator. Would a letter from the agency bear the same weight?

 

yenan
Local time: 06:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agency is the better bet May 18, 2014

Thank you , Cilian. I saw your comment after I posted my response to two previous comments. I agree the agency is the better bet. Or, to keep it simple, I can just go the "uncredited" route. Lesson learned.

 

Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
German to English
+ ...
The only route May 18, 2014

yenan wrote:

Thank you , Cilian. I saw your comment after I posted my response to two previous comments. I agree the agency is the better bet. Or, to keep it simple, I can just go the "uncredited" route. Lesson learned.


From the facts given, contacting the agency is the ONLY route, not the better route.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You're right of course, Cilian May 18, 2014

I'd skipped over the fact that your dealings were only with the agency. In that case, you can't now contact the publisher. But a note from the agency would have some value. Really, you don't have to prove everything you write in your CV (it's just expected to be truthful), so there's nothing to stop you including this information anyway. After all, most of us can't prove more than a fraction of our work, what with NDAs and clients whose texts we never see published.

 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:56
Russian to English
+ ...
Contact the translator first, and then May 18, 2014

the publisher--they may not even be aware that the translator outsourced a part of the job.



[Edited at 2014-05-18 13:57 GMT]


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:56
Russian to English
+ ...
please remove--extra May 18, 2014



[Edited at 2014-05-18 13:58 GMT]


 

yenan
Local time: 06:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
For future reference May 18, 2014

So what would be my options if an agency offers me part of a book project to translate? (I did almost half of the previous book.) As a secondary translator, would I be able to negotiate for a contract for being acknowledged in the book once it's published? Or should I negotiate with the lead translator? Is it ever done?

 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:56
Member
Italian to English
Sadly it happens May 18, 2014

Sorry to hear about your experience. It happened to me once, on a project I put a lot of work into and which I was passionate about. I was furious when I found out, however there was nothing that could be done, the book had already gone to print.

Chalk it up to experience and do your best to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future.


 


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