Name of the translator or name of the agency in the translation of a script?
Thread poster: Manon Gaimard

Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:03
Member (2017)
Italian to French
+ ...
Jan 28, 2014

Hi everyone,

I'd like to have your opinion about this. A translation agency had me translate a theater script. I've just asked them whether I should put my name at the beginning or at the end of the script and they've answered me that I was just a translation "collaborator" so my name won't appear on it, but the name of the agency will.
I've translated the whole 150 pages myswelf, is it really fair?

Thank you folks!


 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:03
English to Dutch
+ ...
Depends Jan 28, 2014

For technical translations, it is highly unusual for the name of the translator to be mentioned. But for artistic work (such as this, I gather), the name of the translator should be mentioned. Unless you agreed not to. And here is the difficulty: what did you agree with the agency? You should always make sure that both parties are clear on authorship's rights beforehand. It is very well possible that you gave away your rights without realizing it. Read your contract very closely.
If you did NOT agree on anything, you might have a chance. Tell the agency that you hold the authorships rights to the translation and you will not allow the use of your work without proper mentioning of your name. See how they react to that. That is, provided your contract has not transferred your copyright...


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I usually say Jan 28, 2014

"Phil Goddard in association with [agency name]." That makes both parties sound important. But it's a bit mean of them to exclude your name and include theirs.

 

Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:03
Member (2017)
Italian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Contract Jan 28, 2014

It seems that this agency has all the intellectual property after the translation is done.
So this time, no name on the script. But I think it should appear as the translator (re)writes a whole new text.. anyway..

Thank you !


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:03
Russian to English
+ ...
In literary translation it is always the translator who becomes Jan 29, 2014

the author of the new play or novel, in some sense, unless of course it was a collaboration--a few translators worked on the project, which may not be such a good idea in literary translation. The translator becomes automatically the holder of the copyright to the translation, unless there was a contract in which he or she gave up the rights, but even then it might be problematic. I don't think literary translation should be outsourced at all--it is like outsourcing singers, or pianists. You always need a contract, though, especially if you work for an agency. Technically, it should be your name only on the translation of a play.

I absolutely agree with Jan, here.

[Edited at 2014-01-29 06:14 GMT]


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 13:03
Chinese to English
Check the law Jan 29, 2014

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

...what did you agree with the agency? You should always make sure that both parties are clear on authorship's rights beforehand. It is very well possible that you gave away your rights without realizing it...

It depends on your jurisdiction, but in some places it is literally impossible to do what Jan said. It doesn't matter what you write in a contract, an author (and a translator is a kind of author) ALWAYS has the right to be recognized as the author of their material. You'd have to check whether that applies where you live.
But it's certainly worth playing slightly hardball with the agency on this. A credited script is worth a lot to us, you should be given the credit if you did the entire translation.


 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:03
English to Dutch
+ ...
Laws differ Jan 29, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

...what did you agree with the agency? You should always make sure that both parties are clear on authorship's rights beforehand. It is very well possible that you gave away your rights without realizing it...

It depends on your jurisdiction, but in some places it is literally impossible to do what Jan said. It doesn't matter what you write in a contract, an author (and a translator is a kind of author) ALWAYS has the right to be recognized as the author of their material. You'd have to check whether that applies where you live.
But it's certainly worth playing slightly hardball with the agency on this. A credited script is worth a lot to us, you should be given the credit if you did the entire translation.


I totally agree. That's why I phrased it like I did - there are significant differences in laws in different countries/states, so by all means check your local law.
E.g., IIRC, in the US you can pretty much sell away every single right you might have. However, in my country (Netherlands), you can only sell the economic rights of an artistic work. You cannot sell the artistic rights. That means, you could give the agency the right to make money out of your work, but the agency cannot change as much as a comma in it without your prior permission.


 

Barbara Korinna Szederkenyi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 08:03
Member (2011)
Italian to Hungarian
+ ...
just take care next time...! Jan 29, 2014

The problem is that you did not think about asking to mention your name on the script and it is not just because you had translated all the 150 pages. You are a collaborator after even 10-15 pages. It is far difficult to convince them after having terminated a job. Of course, your name should be there, it is legally and ethically the same but next time you think about it a bit earlier, do you??

 

Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:03
Member (2017)
Italian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sure thing! Jan 29, 2014

B. Szederkenyi wrote:
Of course, your name should be there, it is legally and ethically the same but next time you think about it a bit earlier, do you??


Oh I will sure do!icon_smile.gif


 


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