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5

If it's your first draft, just write it as it comes. You can't edit a blank page. After your first draft, go back through and clean up the polyglossolalia. If you're writing in third person, pick one language and make it all that. (Obviously if your characters speak multiple languages, you can decide what to keep and what to translate.) If you're writing ...


5

In English, proper names are generally not translated, because usually the meaning is not important --what is important is that it is the name of the character. Many common English names have no definition (at least not one that would be known to the average English speaker) and even when a name has a meaning, the meaning is usually irrelevant. ...


4

There's nothing wrong with writing a foreword to a book; ones written by the translator are sometimes called something like "Translator's Foreword" or "About this Translation", etc. Whether you should write this foreword is a question that can be answered simply: Is what you want to say of interest to the reader? Will reading this foreword be time well ...


3

Both your second and fourth examples look natural to me. Including the upside-down question mark might be slightly preferable, but sometimes adding a little-used character can add to the expense and trouble of printing a book. That said, styles for punctuation vary across countries, across different publishers, and even between different editors. If you are ...


3

Neal Stephenson's book Anathem is set in a world where the writing system of the people who live outside the main character's monastery is something like you describe. I think the only reason that it worked so well was that the main character didn't understand it and Stephenson never tried to make the reader learn it. This sounds like something dangerously ...


3

What happens in real life in England may be instructive: Sometimes people anglicise their names and sometimes they don't. Additionally, sometimes they just anglicise the pronunciation, leaving the spelling the same. For example, a student I know is called Piotr. He tells everyone to just call him 'Peter'. Usually, if people can make a fair attempt at ...


3

Use the English form. It will increase the sense of dislocation your character is experiencing (if this is what you're going for). You could draw attention to names using an English salutation (Mr, Miss, Mrs, Dr, and so on) which helps convey a sense of being in another place. If your characters don't speak this way, the narrator or voice of your novel ...


3

Through the author's agent or, if you cannot find them, the book's publisher. If the author has a Facebook profile or webpage and explicitly states that anyone may contact them, you can use that channel as well. But I think it is unlikely that any professional author will commission someone without any experience.


3

The answer here would depend on the convention in Czech, and not about English. In English, names do not normally have obvious meanings. When a name is also a common word, we usually have a certain amount of mental dissonance to keep the two meanings separate. Like if you told me, "I saw an old-fashioned black smith at the fair", I'd understand "smith" to ...


3

I doubt that there's a definitive answer to this. Different writers have different styles and different things that work for them. Personally, my approach is that for the first draft, I just throw words on paper. Whatever comes to my mind I type into the computer. Once I have a whole bunch of words down, then I go back and clean it up. I rewrite sentences ...


2

One way of approaching this may be to commit to the linguistic styles of your characters and let the story develop a "slang" that you introduce to your readers through annotation provided by the narrator. Exact, literal translation is not as important as conveying meaning. Consider providing frequent, explicit crutches early in the text before settling on ...


2

I can't claim that all untranslated passages are this, but one reason certain Latin passages were left untranslated in the 19th century was because their English translations would have been considered obscene. If you look at a Victorian translation of the first century BCE Roman poet Catullus, you will see many examples of this. It was the privilege of ...


2

While not a perfect solution, this may help somewhat: Der arme Siegfried stand herum, hörte dem Gespräch der Fremden zu "Ha, der versteht uns doch eh nicht" to demonstrate in english: Poor Siegfried was standing around, listening to the foreigner speaking "Ha, he will not understand what we are saying, that moron" Of course there is always the ...


1

I would not advise swapping round the languages. Part of the flavour of any story is its setting. If I am reading a book set in Germany or Austria I expect and understand that, for the most part, the characters will be depicted as speaking German, even if it is translated into English for my benefit. I also accept and understand that English will be a ...


1

This might help point you to a model you could use, or it might put you off the whole idea. Apparently Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick was translated into emojis as a Kickstarter project. There is a pdf of Emoji Dick here and a web page explaining the project here. Most of the comments to the post on the Language Log blog, where I first read about ...


1

Your question is overly broad. Are you going to focus on any geographic regions? The structure of payments will depend on current practices in any giving part of the world. Also, because you reside outside the author or publishers country, those practices may not apply to you. For example, they may expect payment in full upfront because a standard contract ...


1

Depending on where you live, you can find one or more language translators. For example, in Delhi / Mumbai you'll easily find translators whereas in Kerala, you may not find Russian translators. No matter what you do, English translation should be relatively easy but quality is inconsistent. They'll charge you on per hour basis or fixed cost, depending on ...


1

I was instructed by multiple Princeton professors that one's native language is the only acceptable target for a self-produced literary translation. (Of course, not everyone obeys these rules--but even the Nabokovs suffered for it.) If the "second language" is your native language, I'd say go for it.


1

I am not a translator, but as I understand that craft the primary goal is to render a text from one language into another while keeping the author's intentions and stylistic choices as intact as possible. In the case of a Russian novel with French phrases -- well, French would be equally foreign to a Russian readership as it would to an English one (i.e. in ...


1

The cynical side of me thinks sometimes it is that the writer wants to appear well-educated. However, this is obviously not always the case. Sometimes a phrase has a clearer meaning, sounds better or is far more succint in the original language e.g. veni vidi vici. Sometimes a character will use foreign expressions because it is what he or she would do in ...


1

I was taught to handle foreign languages (and this would include pidgins) as grace notes in the prose and dialog: there's enough there to remind the reader that characters are speaking a language other than English, but not so much to hinder the reader's progress. So once you've made it clear that the characters are speaking the pidgin, most of the dialog ...


1

As an alternative to footnotes, you could just immediately translate the first few statements containing a new pidgin word, perhaps putting the translation in italics. For (an extremely made-up) example: "Jah, got might owie in me gulliver", said Collins. God, my head really hurts. Used sparingly, this might serve as a less intrusive way of expanding the ...


1

Personally I don't think you need to make the words italics, if you introduce a word that isn't part of the reader's vocabulary, and give them enough clues to understand what it is, then they will pick it up. So for instance, if you had a sentence that said - 'Do you want to come to my lattie for supper' and later maybe said '...its in my lattie' people ...



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