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5

My rule of thumb is not to translate proper nouns unless the translation is already in common use in the target language. For example, it's fine to call Tolstoy's book to "War and Peace" since everyone knows it by that title, but if I started referring to Rio de Janeiro as January River, people would be confused. Applying this to your case, use a common ...


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

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

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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

You're 95% of the way there; you have good instincts for what's readable. • For your first example, I'd try to put as much of the logistics of translation into narration as I could manage. After a bit, the reader will understand that Sally is acting as the intermediate. "I feel like I've seen you before," said Shintaro. "What did he say?" asked ...


2

I'm not a lawyer, but in the absence of anyone else answering so far, here's my view. A translation of a book is a derivative work from the book in the original language. But it is ALSO a separate work from the book in the original language. For a person to translate a copyrighted work without the original owner's permission is definitely a violation of ...


1

Dittos to Cary C. I'd add that if words in a name are being used as common words and the meanings of those words are relevant, I'd probably translate, while if they are just sounds, I'd transliterate. To use a Roman alphabet example for simplicity: Suppose I was writing a history book and wanted to mention the German leader, Friedrich der Große. I would ...


1

I've never translated anything longer than a paragraph, but I have had to produce extended pieces of writing in a consistent style. Here are my suggestions: Rather than starting at the beginning of the original and steadily translating page by page until you reach the end, do the translation out of sequence. E.g. if the original has twenty chapters, ...


1

It's a very interesting question. I feel like, of the choices you provided, combining the first route and the 3rd route would be most effective. But, I also agree that writing things twice does tend to be a bit redundant. Having faced a conundrum such as this in my own writing, the third method might be easiest to use completely, if you actually speak ...


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 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 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.



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