Off topic: Getting into novel translations IT-EN?
Thread poster: Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:20
Italian to English
+ ...
Jan 13, 2004

(This is flagged "off topic" because it's also posted in the Getting Established forum. But input from the Literary forum would be priceless to me.)

Hi
My name's Colm and I haven't been doing translations for long. (Mainly techy stuff and even that's intermittent.) My long term goal is to translate literature from Italian to English. If there's someone who can help me with advice, I'd be very grateful. Thanks.

My questions are:
1. How does one get into literary translation? Which agencies or publishing houses?
2. Is there a lot of literary work in the Italian-to-English direction?
3. If yes... does it pay enough to live? (In conjunction with technical translations et cetera, obviously.)

Many thanks for any help or advice you can provide,
Colm


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:50
English to Hindi
+ ...
Literary translation: Notes Jan 14, 2004

ryancolm wrote:

(This is flagged "off topic" because it's also posted in the Getting Established forum. But input from the Literary forum would be priceless to me.)

Hi
My name's Colm and I haven't been doing translations for long. (Mainly techy stuff and even that's intermittent.) My long term goal is to translate literature from Italian to English. If there's someone who can help me with advice, I'd be very grateful. Thanks.

My questions are:
1. How does one get into literary translation? Which agencies or publishing houses?
2. Is there a lot of literary work in the Italian-to-English direction?
3. If yes... does it pay enough to live? (In conjunction with technical translations et cetera, obviously.)

Many thanks for any help or advice you can provide,
Colm


Dear Colm,
The safest way is to begin by translating stories or shorter narratives [if you are interested in novels] or poems and publishing them in literary journals. There would be reputable/prominent literary periodicals that publish translations from Italian. This is a good sureshot way of working through. Surely, slowly, you will have a book. Well, atleast I know that the British Centre for Literary Translation at the Univesity of East Anglia have a Translator in Residence program for three months where you can go. This adds to 'reputation value'. You can also apply for their Literary Translation prize. Who knows you might get it. These are small but good and solid beginnings.

Then it is easy to approach bigger publishers. Alternatively, suppose a major writer is your friend. Then he could always suggest you to a publisher....

About making money.. it depends. If you hit big time, you can make really pots of it.

Roomy


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laurawheeler  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:20
English to French
+ ...
ALTA for info about getting into print Jan 15, 2004

There's the American Literary Translators' Association (www.alta.com) that has posted some interesting information about "getting into print". For instance, they recommend trying to have poetry and short stories printed in literary magazines, and then building your credibility from there.

Good luck. I'm also interested in literary translation, but it does look like it takes a lot of work to get your foot in the door.


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:20
German to Italian
+ ...
what about the market? Jan 16, 2004

laurawheeler wrote:

Good luck. I'm also interested in literary translation, but it does look like it takes a lot of work to get your foot in the door.


Definitely. By the way, I don't think the market of contemporary literary translation from Italian into English is so huge. Good luck anyway


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yam2u  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Malay
+ ...
The correct URL for ALTA Jan 19, 2004

[quote]laurawheeler wrote:
There's the American Literary Translators' Association (www.alta.com).../quote]

Hi Laura,

ALTA's website address is actually:


-may-


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Colin Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:20
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks!!! Jan 26, 2004

Hi all
Just wanted to say thanks for all your advice. It was very useful and I've had a look at the websites you mentioned.
Thanks again...
Colm


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Ouadoud  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:20
English to Arabic
+ ...
+ suggestion Jan 27, 2004

Some of the colleagues suggested that you start translating some short stories or poems.
I just want to say there's a HUGE difference between the two. Short stories would be more reasonable and have probably more readers. Translating poetry is the hardest task of a translator (unless there's passion).

Good luck

Ouadoud


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Alisha
Local time: 12:20
English to Italian
+ ...
Course in Literature Translation Jan 30, 2004

Hi Colm.
I would suggest you to attend a course in book translation. Well, I've done it and it wasn't very helpful to me, but I suppose it was because I wasn't that talented in translating novels and stuff like that. But it was really helpul to those who have shown their great talent... At the end of the course, they were commissioned a few books: someone was paid for that, someone else had to do it for free but undoubtedly it represented a great opportunity for them to get started in the field of novel translation. Now one of them is translating for Rizzoli, and she's at her fifth book...actually I think she has never stopped translating books for publishers since the end of the course!!
This girl was a real talent and I think this is the point! More than a good translator you should have good writing skills...without putting aside the linguistic aspect of course!!! This is why often people translating novels are not translators but writers... have you ever noticed that?
A good example could be one of my teachers at the course: he writes books for a very important publisher in Italy and in the same time he translates from English into Italian, but his English is not that good!!!
Well, Good luck, Colm. I do hope you'll succeed!
Lucia


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Colin Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:20
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Indeed... see Conrad, Nabokov... Jan 30, 2004

Lucia,
Thanks for that post. I've sent you an email asking for info about the course you mentioned.
It's true that literary translation need NOT be done by a mother tongue speaker. Nabokov and Conrad are regarded as two of the finest authors in the English language, but both of them learned English as a foreign language.


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