'Cloud Atlas' author is rare novelist-translator

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urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:03
German to English
+ ...
Worth reading the full article Aug 1, 2013

The penultimate paragraph in the full article (click on the "See: SF Gate" link above) is perhaps of greatest interest to translators:
Mitchell and Yoshida took turns editing drafts of the book, with Mitchell drawing upon his "high intermediate" level of Japanese, along with a dictionary and, Franzen be warned, the occasional search on his iPhone. The pace was "relaxed," said Mitchell, who all along was working on a novel of his own. A job that a full-time translator might have finished in weeks lasted about 18 months.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:03
Russian to English
+ ...
Don't make me laugh -- books translated by a computer? Aug 1, 2013

ho should read them -- computers? Well, I wouldn't. I'd rather read Webster Dictionary in my free time, than that, or a restaurant menu.

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Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
No evidence of machine translation here... Aug 1, 2013

Lilian, Unless I missed it, the article didn't say the book was translated by a computer. The translator said he used his knowledge of Japanese combined with the dictionary and searches on his iPhone. It is not clear what types of searches they were. He could have been using a dictionary app, Wikipedia, or even Proz.com. We don't really know. Someone looking a term up on the Internet is not the same as someone using machine translation to translate a text.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:03
Russian to English
+ ...
How could the Iphone make it any better and the translation Aug 1, 2013

time shorter? Most translators use internet searches -- it is just more comfortable to do them on a regular computer, or on a laptop than on a mouse-size device. Isn't that just a sort of advertisement for smartphones?

[Edited at 2013-08-01 12:17 GMT]


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Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
I think it just depends... Aug 1, 2013

...on what you are actually doing. Speaking of myself personally, I have some dictionary apps installed on my smartphone, and I find them really useful - comparable to picking up a paper dictionary to look up a term, but more convenient for times when I need a specialized term that doesn't exist in my "regular" dictionary. In the article itself, I think they only mentioned the smartphone to tie in to Franzen's "lament" about people who depend on their smartphones to check facts they once knew from memory.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:03
Russian to English
+ ...
Would such a dictionary easily be found using Aug 1, 2013

a regular size computer, which most translators do in their ordinary life, as well as in the course of business?


[Edited at 2013-08-01 14:00 GMT]


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