Questions tagged [translation]

Questions about changing work from one language to another.

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1answer
92 views

Foreign names with complex pronunciations in an English translation

I couldn't find an answer from the SE archives, so here goes. I'm doing a rough translation of a published novel of mine into English (from a Nordic language), and I'm left scratching my head about ...
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4answers
170 views

How much should I pay the copyright holder for the right to translate a book and sell copies?

Suppose I'm a local publisher. If I want to translate a book, print it and sell translated copies, how much should I propose to pay to the copyright holder? Is there some acceptable percentage of book ...
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1answer
67 views

Translating a song from other non-alphabet languages and counting syllables?

You know when writing translations of other songs, you need to know the number of syllables on each line, but the question is how do I do that? Are there good tools on the Internet that does this? I ...
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1answer
95 views

Publishing in multiple languages

I wrote a book in Spanish. I translated the book to English, French, Arabic and Italian. I want to publish the book in these five languages simultaneously but there are some problems. I live in Spain;...
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4answers
156 views

How to write Arabic in dialogue for an English piece?

I have a character who is a Syrian refugee to Canada. His first language is Arabic, but he's lived in Canada long enough that he's learned English and uses this as his primary spoken language. On ...
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2answers
54 views

How should we plan for translations' space needs when designing diagrams that require text?

Our documentation set includes some diagrams where text is integral and can't be handled in callouts, like flowcharts and entity relationship diagrams. Our documentation is translated, so these ...
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1answer
97 views

How can we make images with (necessary) text more translatable mechanically?

Our documentation set includes some diagrams, such as entity relationship diagrams and flowcharts, where text is integral and cannot reasonably be handled in callouts. Our documentation is translated ...
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6answers
1k views

English words in a non-english sci-fi novel

In the modern world, english is a well-estabilished technical and scientific language. Some terms have become so commonly used that they are accepted in my native tongue (words like "computer", "PC", "...
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1answer
95 views

Translation of a Translation

I'm working on my undergraduate thesis in German Studies (I'm in the US), and the paper is written in German using MLA. There's a quote that I would like to use that was originally in German, but I am ...
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1answer
82 views

When translating slang heavy text is my slang translator a co-translator?

Can one be a co-translator of a book, if he does not know the language that the book is translated into? made me realize I have a very similar question. I was translating an extremely slang heavy ...
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2answers
1k views

Can one be a co-translator of a book, if he does not know the language that the book is translated into?

I am translating a religious book from language A to language B and have hired a student worker to help me. He is a native speaker of language A but does not speak language B at all. What I ask him to ...
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3answers
128 views

Famous mistranslations - correct them?

Often enough works of literature, particularly old classics, receive renewed translations. Sometimes, the older translation might contain mistakes. And sometimes, the work being an old classic, the ...
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1answer
44 views

Translating a rendering in Greek of a word/term/name in a different language into English

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozymandias So I was reading this article on Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias, wondering how the author came up with the name. It basically says that "Ozymandias" is a ...
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1answer
169 views

How much does translating a novel cost?

I've read that writers and editors are often paid on a per-word basis. Then I did a search about the cost of translating a literary work into a different language and I've found varying information. ...
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1answer
76 views

Showing the transition of language comprehension change

This is a followup question to What language shall they sing in? I'm writing a middle-grade novel in English with time-traveling kids from 1995 America who go to Ancient Egypt to join the Exodus. My ...
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3answers
262 views

Do British publishers change US English spelling to British English spelling?

I have read the Red Rising trilogy as paperbacks published by Del Rey, a US publisher. (I bought these books while in the US.) Now being based in Europe, I want to starting buying the follow-up ...
3
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3answers
137 views

Translating non-English lyrics to English

I am wondering what are some guidelines when translating the lyrics of a song to another language, because lyrics depend a lot on musicality (rhymes, syllables), it's very hard to maintain the same ...
3
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2answers
97 views

Can you get a work translated into simple modern English published?

I am wondering if you could translate a book from Shakespeare to simple modern English and have it published somehow. As far as I know, you can translate non-English books and have them published, but ...
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7answers
3k views

What language shall they sing in?

I'm writing a middle-grade novel in English. I have time-traveling kids from 1995 America who go to Ancient Egypt to join the Exodus. None of the kids speak anything but English (aside from a few ...
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2answers
40 views

Reversing title and subtitle in foreign edition

I am publishing a book with an American publisher. My contract allows me to make a separate contract with one particular foreign publisher for a translation in his language. That foreign publisher ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it plagiarism to use Google Translate?

This may be a very very stupid question but I need to ask it. I have written my dissertation in my mother tongue first, then began to translate it as I will submit it in English. While doing so I used ...
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2answers
149 views

Does the 'writing-style' change when book gets translated into another language?

I am studying the writing style of Leo Tolstoy by reading an English translation of Anna Karenina. As a general rule, do translations affect the original style? In what ways?
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2answers
74 views

Describing the face and physiological responses in different languages and peoples

The English language evolves from the English people, and the English people live way up there, away from the equator. So, it is no wonder that the English language will reflect this. He was a tall, ...
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2answers
126 views

Is it confusing for English speakers to see mixed tenses in narration?

I translate fanfiction stories from Russian into English as a hobby and I'm a bit confused about tenses. In Russian, it's normal to mix past and present tenses in generally past narration, but I ...
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8answers
3k views

The use of footnotes to translate foreign words in a novel

I'm writing a fantasy novel and one of my characters speaks in English, but sometimes utters single words in an ancient dead language, and I don't want to abusively use that language. For example: ...
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2answers
734 views

Footnotes for Translation purposes

I am writing a novel that includes occasional words or phrases in another language. If I use a footnote to provide a loose translation of the word and that same word appears once or twice more on the ...
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5answers
121 views

Using the grammatically correct way or the casual way to express the same idea in another language?

In casual conversation, it is perfectly fine to end a sentence with a preposition. How many job applications did you apply to? The grammatically correct way is supposed to be: To how many job ...
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3answers
244 views

How to indicate that the source language is gender-neutral?

The source language in question is Standard Chinese. It is a gender-neutral language. One big thing that English speakers complain about English is the gendered pronoun, namely the third person ...
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7answers
6k views

How to describe a mythological creature that English has no vocabulary for?

The term is 妖精, which can be translated into English as "fairy", "elf", "goblin". As noted, the Japanese literature uses 妖精 to describe the European fairy. The English translation of 白骨精 in 西游记 (...
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5answers
761 views

How does one add puns in another language?

Back in college, I took a regular English course that was required for all majors. The teacher just happened to be a grad student in British Literature, so we read a lot of British literature. All the ...
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1answer
221 views

Are translated Basho poems copyrighted?

I'm wondering if translated works of ancient poems are in the public domain, or if they're copyrighted by the translators. It would seem like if the author on a given work is listed as "Basho", then ...
18
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7answers
5k views

How to address family members solely by relationship in dialogue?

Most English speakers probably just care about You, Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and Ancestors, Children, Grandchildren, etc. That's great... as long as you are ...
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3answers
147 views

How do I handle English speaking where the language used isn't English but is translated in it? [duplicate]

I'm kind of having trouble with portraying one of my main character's English speaking foreign friend. My character and the country he is in don't really use English as the language they communicate ...
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1answer
91 views

Why would a translator leave comments all over the translation?

The book Slapping the Table in Amazement: A Ming Dynasty Story Collection is: [...] the unabridged English translation of the famous story collection Pai'an jingqi by Ling Mengchu (1580–1644), ...
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3answers
220 views

Who translates made-up words from popular fiction into other languages?

When an author produces a popular fictional work (take Harry Potter) that's translated into many languages not native to the author, who decides how fictional words from that work are translated? In ...
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1answer
45 views

What happens when you translate a quotation? [closed]

It feels to me like it is up to the author to choose what words will fit more properly. Does it become a paraphrase?
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1answer
120 views

How do I write in English if it's not native for me? [closed]

I have a plan to start writing blog posts and some marketing copy for my freelance solo business site. I am wondering about how I should write, say, a blog article. Should I first write it in my ...
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4answers
194 views

When should you convert a measurement in a local translation of a novel?

I think that it fits better in certain books to use the local measurement system, but is there a rule about this? Are some books more tolerant to change than others, like fantasy novels? Or does it ...
76
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12answers
14k views

How do I translate into a gendered language where the gender would be a spoiler?

I'm (amateurly) writing the subtitles for an English TV show. I'll illustrate my question using a small example, but I'm hoping to receive answers as general as possible. One episode has a sentence ...
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3answers
129 views

How to write long extracts in a foreign language?

In my writing there are eight groups of people, each with their own language that they speak. Do I put large amounts of writing into their language or english? Do I write it first in theirs, then in ...
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2answers
68 views

How to handle bad source texts in technical translation?

In technical translation (e.g. of manuals), the quality of the source text often is not very high. This concerns not only the language used, but also the structure of the whole document. Should ...
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2answers
69 views

How do writers feel about translations of their works? Looking for examples [closed]

I'm looking for examples of bilingual (or trilingual, etc) writers who actually read foreign translations of their works and comment on them. I'm curious to know how they feel. Are they generally ...
5
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1answer
221 views

A comprehensive foreign-language source citation question

My "destination" specifies Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition, notes and bibliography style. However, I'm interested in the reasoning or philosophy behind the formatting decisions, so if another ...
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1answer
186 views

How do I judge the quality of a translation?

I'm advising a translation project, translating some short stories from a foreign language to English. What I'm advising about isn't the translations themselves -- but seeing the translated stories, I'...
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2answers
124 views

Simultaneous Bilingual Writing

I have recently undertaken a personal project to translate my WIP novel into Japanese in parallel with writing it. I am managing both in LaTeX and editing them in vim, but the topic itself is too ...
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1answer
108 views

What to do if my writer's brain functions in English but my target readers are those of my motherland?

As a reader I have spent far more hours, well... years reading in English than my natural Portuguese mother language. Now that I am writing, in Portuguese, I find myself fishing for words I know ...
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2answers
127 views

Chants in fictional languages

I plan at several parts of my book to have war chants done in the fictional language of my main race/species. Would it be better to write the chant in their language? Put the fictional language with ...
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2answers
55 views

Translation&Publishing: which situation do I need to inform the author, or don't?

I read some English poems on the books or websites, and like to translate some poems from English to Chinese. So can I put these English poems with my translation on my blog? Which situation do I ...
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1answer
482 views

Should I change the verb tenses in a letter I'm translating that has them in the present but talking about the past?

I am translating a letter written by a 16 year whose native language is not Spanish. I feel very positive that I have to translate into correct English and keep any colloquialism or idioms. ...
5
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1answer
145 views

How can I make my translations more 'literary' / 'story-esque''?

I often work with translating documents into English. My translation style is more say-it-as-it-is than anything else. This is fine for news and similar-type material, but when it comes to literature ...