Author-translator co-operation
Thread poster: Melanie Wittwer

Melanie Wittwer  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 17:36
English to German
+ ...
May 30, 2011

I am currently translating a relatively successful children's book. The author of the book has commissioned me to do the translation. She is also a close friend of mine and my former creative writing tutor (former, because I live in a different country now).
As you know children's books are especially tricky to translate. The original is very specific in its use of language (a lot of wordplay, onomatopoeia, etc.).
I am a bit torn between the obligation I feel towards the author and h
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I am currently translating a relatively successful children's book. The author of the book has commissioned me to do the translation. She is also a close friend of mine and my former creative writing tutor (former, because I live in a different country now).
As you know children's books are especially tricky to translate. The original is very specific in its use of language (a lot of wordplay, onomatopoeia, etc.).
I am a bit torn between the obligation I feel towards the author and her work on the one hand, and the obvious aim of creating a text that works well in the target language on the other.
I was wondering whether any of you have experience in working together with an author. Did it go smoothly? What obstacles did you come upon? Was the co-operation beneficial to your work or a hindrance? I'd be keen to hear any experiences you would like to share. Good and bad.

Cheers,

Melanie
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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:36
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
In memoriam
Translation of a political thriller May 30, 2011

I once translated a book called "The Secret of Ivan the Terrible" (Тайна царя Иоанна) from Russian into English.
http://www.amazon.com/Secret-IVAN-Terrible-PÍOTR-HOMYAKOV/dp/1436316944
I had excellent relations with the author and his agent. The author didn't know much English but the agent did. They were always very helpful in explain
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I once translated a book called "The Secret of Ivan the Terrible" (Тайна царя Иоанна) from Russian into English.
http://www.amazon.com/Secret-IVAN-Terrible-PÍOTR-HOMYAKOV/dp/1436316944
I had excellent relations with the author and his agent. The author didn't know much English but the agent did. They were always very helpful in explaining idiomatic expressions, cultural references etc., and receptive to my own suggestions for possible equivalents and cultural references (part of the book was set in the USA). I thought this helped my own knowledge of Russia and Russian idioms considerably.
But I doubt if you can generalize from my experience. I'll be interested myself to learn how others have got on.
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Dominique Durand  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:36
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
a writer's perspective May 30, 2011

Not my own experience, but I recommand this article from Australian author Shane Maloney "on being translated" .

http://shanemaloney.com/articles-and-speeches/post/on-being-translated/

[Edited at 2011-05-30 09:55 GMT]


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:36
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Cuban collaboration May 30, 2011

A couple of years ago I received a book for translation from Spanish about herbal remedies - it taught me a lot. The author was Cuban - apparently herbal remedies are especially popular in Cuba. Luckily, the publisher was able to put me in touch with the author who helped enormously with particularly Cuban expressions and situations. A great advantage - but probably it isn't always possible to have direct communication with the author. If only it was ...
Regards,
Jenny


 


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