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Poll: Have you ever translated a novel/book?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:31
SITE STAFF
Aug 22, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever translated a novel/book?".

This poll was originally submitted by Martin Desnoyers

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 06:31
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
No Aug 22, 2008

No, I never have. I have never been asked to translate literature, and I think that it would be a lot of work. There are so many cultural nuances that do not come into play with straightforward, down to earth business translations. Though I would be good at it after some practice, I would much rather just read the novels in their original language for pleasure and leave the hard work to someone else.

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S_Angel  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:31
German to Italian
+ ...
Yes, but... Aug 22, 2008

... not as a job, just for myself and my family. I don't know if I would do it again 'cause it was really time-consuming, but I really enjoyed it.

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Phillippa May Bennett
Portugal
Local time: 10:31
Portuguese to English
About to start... Aug 22, 2008

I answered "other" as I'm about to start translating my first novel from Portuguese to English. I can't wait to get started - I think it's the most excited I've been about a project for a long time!! Even more so as the author lives close by and we will be scheduling meetings to discuss the characters, slang, difficult language.




[Edited at 2008-08-22 16:59]


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:31
Russian to English
+ ...
Doing it now Aug 22, 2008

I'm currently working with the author of a medical book intended for a general audience. I say "working with," because the project is very much a collaboration. I occasionally need to adjust the language for an English-speaking readership, as when the author discusses how cancer came to be called "рак" -- which is the common word for both "crab" and "cancer" in Russian. And since the author lives in Europe and speaks little English, the task of finding a publisher has fallen on me. (No luck so far -- suggestions, anyone?)

The pay isn't great, but it has proven to be a very rewarding experience. How often does a translator get to ask an author what was meant by a particular wording, and then have the author come back with a better written passage?


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Yes Aug 22, 2008

I have translated a book of Native American mysthticism authored by a Dakota Indian scholor (he holds Doctoral Degree in Education).

I also interviewed a Dakota Indian lady who is one of the first Native American women who earned her Doctoral Degree, a very unique lady indeed!
However, I only interviewed her and the interview was recorded (with her permission), then later I transcribed.
This became a major source of a book that was published in the US.
I do have sole translation right of the book, but I have not done so since I cannot find a publisher.

In case you don't know who are the Dakotas, here is good introduction:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sioux

[Edited at 2008-08-22 17:45]

For some reason clicking above link does not work. You may choose to copy/paste this site to your browser's URL.

[Edited at 2008-08-22 17:49]


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Celia Recarey  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, a few Aug 22, 2008

I haven't really counted them, but I have translated something like three novels (a fourth on its way), a book of short stories, a couple of biographies, and two non-fiction books on human resources and occupational psychology.

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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 12:31
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Other Aug 22, 2008

Ive done some creative writing in English and once decided to do a Latvian translation of my own text. Strange as it was - I failed miserably.:))) I obviously knew every thought every detail every mood, but the English original went missing in Latvian translation (and hasnt been found till this very day).

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
more than 20, I think ... Aug 22, 2008

All essentially non-fiction, but some art-related essays that were a challenge. I've translated 16 complete books, and I've done a number of chapters for books in which some of the authors wrote in English (so no translation needed) but those that were written in Spanish came to me. Just since March, I've translated 3 books (one of them almost 500 pages long) and I have 2 more to do this coming month. I also translate journal articles, but overall, the books are the mainstay of my business.

I'm really surprised that 60% plus have not ...


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Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:31
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Yes, one (partly) Aug 22, 2008

Quite recently, I've shared the translation of a non-fiction book in the domain of architecture/history of art with another translator. Great experience !

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:31
Portuguese to English
+ ...
2 and starting another... Aug 22, 2008

I've done one novel from European Portuguese which was really more of a synopsis for a movie script; a book on Spirtism, and am just starting another non-fiction work. I LOVE doing this kind of work and wish I had more of it, but I don't know where to look. If anyone has any tips, that would be great.

Amy


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:31
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Only one, last year Aug 22, 2008

I think it was the most enjoyable job I've ever had. It was a thriller with political and religious aspects. I learned a lot of colloquial, religious and other terms in the course of it and developed a friendly relationship with the agent and to a lesser extent the author, who were always most helpful in answering my queries.
I was offered the choice of a royalty agreement or payment by the words done. I chose the latter. The pay was good and payments were always made promptly. I haven't heard how sales are going so I don't know if I made the right choice, but I would love to do another one some time.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
30 or more (didn't count them...) Aug 22, 2008

I started my career translating books (biographies, essays, etc.) and I still like to translate them (the last one I translated was delivered in July).

It obviously takes much more effort and time, and economically may not be that rewarding, at times, but I usually feel rewarded by the nature and content of the texts, even if I think it is hard, if not impossible, to make a living only based on this kind of translations.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:31
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Non-fiction Aug 22, 2008

Museum stuff (my PhD). However, I've never done a whole novel.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 22, 2008

So far I have one published literary translation: the English edition of a two-act play by Enrique Jardiel Poncela.

Last year I translated a novel and cotranslated a history book, but both are still pending publication.


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