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14

You have two options depending on context: 1) If it's a quick exchange and can be figured out in context, put the foreign language in italics. "As-tu le livre?" "Yes, I have the book here." or inline: "You filthy p'taQ!" B'Elanna snarled. 2) If it's a quick exchange without context, put the translation afterwards and italicize that. "Pour ma peine, ...


12

Stick with what you know. If your English isn't fluent, you're most likely going to annoy more readers than you attract. This is why when a publishing house puts out a book in another language they hire a professional to do it instead of having the author try and do it. Translation can be confusing and there aren't always words that translate accurately, so ...


12

I would always seek help from a professional translator, no matter how proficient I deem myself in the target language. A professional translator has studied the intricacies of both languages (and probably a few more); he has linguistic tools at his disposal I might not even imagine existed; he can look back at years of professional experience; and he is ...


12

The European Union has a detailed guide to Writing for Translation (pdf). Some of the key points they cover: Use explanatory headings and summaries, and limit each paragraph to one idea Make sentence structure unambiguous Avoid long sentences with a complicated structure Use vertical lists Avoid empty verbs and ‘nominalisation disease’ Use the active ...


11

If you're writing for an English audience, your readers are expecting an English novel. From a reader perspective, it is utterly tedious to read a lot of dialogue you cannot understand. Providing translations can help, but that's equally tedious, since the POV character won't have those translations. I would recommend keeping use of foreign language to a ...


11

If you have the time to do so, and there is a want for the translation, I say it wouldn't be a bad idea. By being able to do the first translation yourself you can be sure all the little things that make it through, that way some important piece of characterization doesn't get lost. Though in the end, it's also about time. If you don't have the time to do ...


10

Translation really is an art. I recommend writing in the language where you have the largest vocabulary and where you feel most comfortable. In your case, that would be French. Then a translator can take your words, figure out how to say the same thing in English, and make readers feel exactly the way French readers react to the original. If you wrote in ...


10

A special method? No. There surely are guides, but I doubt their value. Poetic translation is one of the most difficult tasks of the writer craft (and probably the most difficult of the more common ones) often topping writing original poetry in means of difficulty. A guide or resource may help, but you need very, very much talent and perform a painstakingly ...


8

The way I see it, if the foreign language usage is important to the story, then use it in italics. If not, just avoid putting it explicitly in the text. For example, assume you write a fantasy novel in which Elves always add the word Ur-Sook when addressing little children. Compare: "Not now, Ur-Sook!" the Elf waved the child away. "Not now!" the Elf ...


8

There are, essentially, two choices here. Which is used would depend on the book, the complexity of the story, and how culturally French these section are. The translated text could simply all be in French, with understanding that the characters are not actually speaking French for some of the lines of dialog. Descriptive text added around the ...


8

Let me add some tips regarding computer translation, although I believe Rob Hoare's answer is great: Write the original in a 'popular' language for the simple reason that those are most tested and most optimized. If for example you will be using Google Translate then it's mostly like the the node distance to any language is smallest from English (or maybe ...


7

I think that translation is an art in itself, not unlike writing in that it's also a creative endeavor. If you want to do it because you think you'll get something out of the creative experience, I'd recommend you go for it--with help from a professional translator. But if you just want your work out there, I'd recommend someone who is a translator because ...


5

Provided you mean that footnotes are only for translations (that is, you're not using footnotes for additional information or for source citations), I'd put the glossary of translations at the beginning, and skip the footnotes. The glossary up front will alert the readers that foreign words are coming up in the text, and putting everything in one spot makes ...


5

Since the book you are translating was not written in the United States, it would be subject to the terms of the Berne Convention, which essentially is an International treaty concerning copyrights. In the simplest of terms, the countries that have signed this treaty basically agree that a copyright is intact until 70 years after the death of the original ...


5

You'll need to contact the original author and/or their publisher. Either one will direct you to the correct person to deal with - there's no blanket rule over who has which rights, so you'll need to check who's got translation rights in your specific case, and whether that person is willing to let you translate the material "officially." Your case is even ...


5

There ARE authors who don't want their work translated because they can't approve the work, or because they feel that the word choices of the translator wouldn't match the artistry of the original prose. But there are also authors who have already sold the rights for translated works to their original publishers, and therefore cannot license someone else to ...


5

TL;DR - It's a balancing act between their budget and your experience. Take their budget, divide by time, adjust down for lack of experience if you're not the only horse in the race = rate. /end tl;dr First up a disclaimer: I am not a translator. The advice I have to give you is based on my experience as a freelance illustrator and artist. However, I ...


5

There are two special issues regarding subtitles: space limitations, i.e. you cannot put enough letters in a row (or two) to cover everything that's said; time limitations, i.e. you cannot translate everything literally as you have to expect that viewers can't read fast enough to read all those words, especially not when someone is talking fast. Most of ...


5

I'm answering this as a technical writer but I don't have translation experience so can't address any aspects specific to that. Many of the habits that (I hope) you already have as a software developer apply equally to technical writing: Design first: figure out how you will structure the document to cover everything with a good flow (more on that in a ...


5

If you are trying to find a fairly literal translation, couldn't you play around with English phrases that communicate the meaning? Essentially, since you want to suggest the "marks" of summer, think about what those marks are and mention them. "I enjoyed the lively green of the field, not yet faded from the ravages of summer" "...not yet dulled by the ...


5

The following options may be helpful for avoiding overuse of specific noun-adjective pairs: Replace the noun with another noun which has a similar relationship to the adjective. This is the simplest and most obvious method. In place of "jet-black" you could, e.g., use "coal-black" (I actually had to look up the definition of "jet" and learned it was ...


4

I don't know about creative, but I imagine it will help strengthen your facility with the language. You will be working to re-create a thought, an image, a sound from a foreign language into English, keeping faithful to the original somehow while making it work in the new language. Your vocabulary and diction will certainly get a workout.


4

I usually translate my work for these reasons: It gives me a good reason to read it again (and you always find something if you read your own work). When I translate, I often find better ways to express myself in the original language.


4

Try to avoid using another foreign language as a stand-in for the language you're wanting to portray (like, say, using Swedish as a stand-in for Romani, as was done in Thinner). I'd treat that as the most absolute requirement. Try to avoid long passages in another language. If you're finding yourself using much longer sections than "a sentence", it will ...


4

You need to have express permission from the author before you can translate a book into another language or adapt it into another format -- otherwise, you're liable for copyright infringement. Works that are in the public domain are exempt from this. The rules how a work passes into the public domain vary, but generally it's 70 years after the author's ...


4

Estimates of how long work like this will take are always guesswork. One can make some excellent guesses when one is experienced, but even then, it's advisable for one to take several factors into account: The difficulty of the material. Have you seen any of the text you'll be translating? If you have, then you already have a rough guide as to how long ...


4

As JohnLandsberg says, this is a problem that has been much discussed among English-speakers for many years. If you are referring to a specific person, that person is presumably either male and female and this should not be a problem. Likewise if in context the person must be male or must be female, there should be no problem. In your first example, I ...


4

If you have so many unfamiliar or questionable terms that you think the reader will need both original and translation, by all means add a glossary. More information never hurts. As long as it's in the back or front matter so the reader can choose to read it or not (that is, it doesn't interrupt the flow of the story), I say add it.


4

You can't guarantee the reader will make sense of your translated text without a layer of human intervention. If anything, you should have two: one who is an expert in the field, to make sure content wasn't lost in translation, and one to read for native-language coherence. Translating text is not like changing fonts. You must have a human read it at some ...


3

I think languages are very different in a lot of subtle things, so I wouldn't trust a third party to translate my thoughts, the way I write, and my subtle hints and intentions into another language I know well. I'd really try hard to translate it myself as to not lose any of those traits upon doing it. If it's a language you don't really know well, you'd ...



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