When should translators be given credit for their work?
Thread poster: Dylan Jan Hartmann

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Jan 8, 2016

It's understandable that none of the work we perform for agencies will ever feature our name as 'the translator' even if it rightly should. But what about direct clients?

I've begun translating for a very popular magazine and so far I haven't been given credit in their publication as the translator.

When should we be demanding our name be credited and for what sorts of documents or publications? Or do translators not have the right to be given credit for their work?


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 13:06
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Copyright laws Jan 8, 2016

DJHartmann wrote:

It's understandable that none of the work we perform for agencies will ever feature our name as 'the translator' even if it rightly should. But what about direct clients?

I've begun translating for a very popular magazine and so far I haven't been given credit in their publication as the translator.

When should we be demanding our name be credited and for what sorts of documents or publications? Or do translators not have the right to be given credit for their work?




Saying about copyright laws, the translator is entitled to his/her product. Why not he/she be credited for the translation. I insist on legal basis of this issue.

Soonthon L.


 

Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 08:06
English to Italian
+ ...
Agree! Jan 8, 2016

Our job is being invisible most of the times, but I think that some projects -for example the one you mentioned - should give us credit. I guess it depends by the publisher and the author, so my advice would be: become friends with the author to have a chance of being creditedicon_smile.gif

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You should be Jan 8, 2016

DJHartmann wrote:
I've begun translating for a very popular magazine and so far I haven't been given credit in their publication as the translator.


You should be credited, possibly somewhere in the magazine where they list all the editors and contributors.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:06
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Hmm Jan 8, 2016

I remember a translator friend proudly showing me his name in the "Acknowledgements" section of a famous American magazine. I said something about how I was happy for him and presumed it was really well paid too, given the magazine's huge circulation. Then he sheepishly admitted that in fact contributors were given the "choice" of having their name in the acknowledgments or being paid for their services...

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 07:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Well... Jan 8, 2016

I have been translating articles published by “The Economist” and “The Guardian” for a Portuguese weekly newspaper (“Expresso”) and a monthly magazine (“Courrier Internacional”), both belonging to the same media group. I don’t know why (never asked) but they always give credit to all translators in their magazine and only to some translators (me included) in their newspaper…

N.B. After reading Texte Style's post, I must add that either way I'm being paid...

[Edited at 2016-01-08 13:42 GMT]


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:06
Danish to English
+ ...
Just wondering... Jan 8, 2016

Does anyone ever notice the names of translators in anything but published books?
I certainly don't.

Ah, yes, I do notice names of translators in TV credits for films and documentaries...

But I guess that if copyright is relevant, you should always make sure you are given proper credit.

I translated several books while I was working as an in-house translator for a Danish agency, but my name was never mentioned in the colophon, only the agency name. I was a little bit miffed about that, but I guess I had sold my services to the agency, and therefore the copyright belonged to them? No royalties were ever mentioned, by the way.


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:06
English to French
+ ...
Did you ask? Jan 8, 2016

Did you ask the magazine to have your name mentioned? What was their answer


DJHartmann wrote:

I've begun translating for a very popular magazine and so far I haven't been given credit in their publication as the translator.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:06
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I usually get my name into publications Jan 8, 2016

I don't translate a lot of magazines and articles, but when I do, I ask to have my name mentioned.

I get my name in tourist brochures, museum catalogues and magazine articles. The only time I don't get paid is when it is genuinely pro bono for a non-profit organisation. One client I would happily work for pro bono actually pays me quite good rates when their catalogues are sponsored - they can't use the money for anything else, and they tell the sponsor what translation normally costs!

In answer to Gitte - I do notice the translator's name on published works and papers. As an old librarian I look for it, but I am not typical. The newspaper Jyllands Posten often mentions the translator in their literary reviews of translated books, often with comments on the success of the translation as well.

I think translators do themselves a disservice by being too anonymous. One thing is that a translation should not read like a translation, it should sound original. When it succeeds, then the translator should have the credit one way or another.

I like to know who I am dealing with in many situations.
When all shop assistants and waiters at cafés wear name badges, and people tell you their names wherever you go, why on earth should they pretend translators don't exist?

It only feeds the myth that we are just typists handing over printouts from Google Translate anyway.

Stand up and be counted as skilled professionals, everyone!

Christine Andersen
MCIL, ED, BSc
Chartered Linguist

17 years of translation experience


 


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