how to credit a translator when the book hasn't been published in the source language?
Thread poster: Peter Waymel

Peter Waymel
Italy
Local time: 05:41
Italian to English
+ ...
Aug 17, 2013

Hi,

I've just finished translation of a book on neuroscience. The author never published the book in the original Italian, and now he's asked me how to give credit to me as the (English) translator, given that the book was never published in Italian? I don't think it's a problem, but he seems to think people will ask "translated from what"?

I suggested he write "Translated from the original Italian by Peter Waymel".

Would that work or is there some customary form for this kind of situation?

Thanks,

Peter


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:41
English to Polish
+ ...
'Unpublished original'? Aug 19, 2013

I don't know what the established customs are, if any, but from a pragmatic point of view, I'd go for the shortest and the most non-nonstanstard way of communication possible. That way, even if you don't actually meet an existing standard, you create a new one that's possibly just as good. 'Translated from the unpublished Italian original by Peter Waymel' sounds pretty solid and is only one word longer.

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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:41
Italian to English
To avoid ambiguity Aug 19, 2013

Don't you think "Translated by Peter Waymel from the unpublished Italian original" might be more precise?

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Eileen Cartoon  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:41
Italian to English
translation of original manuscript Aug 19, 2013

this might do the trick. After all, a manuscript gives the impression of not having been published.
Eileen


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I don't think it's relevant... Aug 19, 2013

...whether it's previously been published. You're the translator, and that's all that matters.

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 11:41
Chinese to English
Wrong person to be talking to Aug 20, 2013

It's actually got nothing to do with the author. How you are credited is a question to be decided by - well, by you, because you own the copyright to your translation. But more realistically, it's to be decided between you and the publisher.

If the author is self-publishing, then he will be involved. First of all, I think you should tactfully remind him that you own the copyright; you will be credited in a way that works for you; and this is non-negotiable. Then you should sit down with a list of formulations and pick one that you both like.

You could be credited next to the author:
Neuroscience
by
Xxx Yyy and Peter Waymel (translator)

or you could use "manuscript" or "unpublished" as suggested above

or... can't think of any more off the top of my head.

The decision should be a fairly easy one - these are the options, just pick one - so long as everyone is clear about your relative positions.


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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:41
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
"Credited next to the author" Aug 20, 2013

I wouldn't feel comfortable being credited next to an author, however excellent my translation. The ideas conceived in the writing are all theirs, even if they are written down in rough form.

Regards,

Olly


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:41
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Go with your first instinct Aug 20, 2013

Peter Waymel wrote:

I suggested he write "Translated from the original Italian by Peter Waymel".



That's what I would go for. It is nice and clear, I see no need to complicate it further.


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Peter Waymel
Italy
Local time: 05:41
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, and solution Aug 20, 2013

I think either "Translated by Peter Waymel from the unpublished Italian original", as asserted by Lukas and tweaked by Russell (thanks to both) will work. I had thought of using "manuscript", as Eileen mentioned but it brought to mind the idea of the original being handwritten, so I opted not to use that. I'm intrigued by the notion of owning the copyright to the translation, and will have to do some research into that, thanks to Phil Hand for that pointer. With Olly, I'd feel a bit uncomfortable getting top billing with the author for the work (though it's happened to me before, on another book, without my even asking); I feel the author is the one who should get credit there. Thanks to Phil for the always useful advice to follow one's instinct. Can't go wrong there (most of the time!).

Best to all, and thanks again,

Peter


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