51

The question is not whether the translator knows the true gender, the question is whether the character doing the speaking knows the gender of the person behind the door. If they don't, using the default seems plausible and probably be the best option. If he/she does, they would, in real life, use the correct form. Using the default male conjugations and ...


46

In your example, 白骨精, I'd say the 精 is not so much 'fairy' as it is in 妖精, but rather 'spirit' (like in 精霊), similar to how in English we can use the word 'spirit' to describe a lot of different types of ghouls and ghosts, so spirit might be a good choice as a kind of 'all round' title. Anyway, I don't have a definite answer, but I would say there's two ...


32

Go with אתה. While not natively Israeli, I am currently living in Israel. And from what I know, speaking the language and seeing what goes on here, when you don't know the gender, it's generally defaulted to male. For instance, people will generally go "יש מישהו שיודע...", not "יש מישהי שיודעת...", unless the target audience is primarily female... such as ...


26

Instead of "How are you?", would it be possible to translate it to "Is everything OK?", "Is anything wrong?", "Is everything alright in there?" instead? Or is that what you meant by "we have no different wording that can save us"?


25

When in doubt, do what the masters did. Some examples: Raoden breathed a sigh of relief. "Whoever you are, I'm glad to see you. I was beginning to think everyone in here was either dying or insane." "We can't be dying," the an responded with a snort. "We're already dead. Kolo?" "Kolo." The foreign word was vaguely familiar, as was the man's strong ...


21

You don't try to be accurate, you anglicize it. If you are writing in English about a Korean family, the reader expects you to translate dialogue into understandable English that is not awkward. If the speaker is male, then his older brother is 형. If the speaker is female, then her older brother is 오빠. But doesn't a Korean boy/girl do this automatically ...


20

This has been handled a few ways in comics: Have the text in word balloons be a translation of the original, with a footnote indicating "translated from other-language-name". You can graphically remind the user of this as you go along by having the other language be in a different typeface, have the word balloons be a different color than usual, or a ...


19

The differences between 'fairy', 'elf' 'goblin' and 'demon' are not negligible. The fact that a dictionary offers you all of them, or that all have been used in different setting in the past, does not imply that all those words mean the same thing, but that in different situations or contexts, they can be used to describe a Yōsei. (That's the transliteration ...


17

Your student worker sounds like a valuable assistant. But he is not a translator. Even if he were doing actual translation work, a co-translator indicates someone doing work at the same level that you are, or close. And he's not. If you want to acknowledge his contribution to your manuscript, by all means give him credit within the book. This can be ...


15

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 ...


15

The best translation is often not word-for-word, you need to get across the overall sense of what is being said. This may not always be feasible for instant translators, but you can do better when you're doing offline translation like you are. So you should try to imagine what the original screenwriter would have done if they were working in Hebrew to begin ...


15

I have experience of a similar situation - not Chinese or Korean, but Indian. I married into a family that has Indian ancestry but now live in the Caribbean and in addition I have a large number of Indian (Guajarati) friends in Bradford, where I lived for a year or two. There are words in Hindi for the different relations, just as you described for Chinese ...


15

These are songs, and we learn songs differently from spoken language. Have you ever found yourself singing along to a favorite song in a language you don't even speak, but you've listened to the recording enough to have memorized it? You were almost certainly helped by meter and perhaps rhyme, by the way. All of this can be true for your kids. No, they ...


13

As someone has said in another answer, accuracy is less important in fiction than story itself. What matters is to convey sufficient meaning to move your story forward, and to do so in a way that will be understood by your readers. On this basis, I think you have several options: If using the correct terms doesn't serve the story, consider ignoring them. ...


13

I have recently had to deal with a similar issue in my own writing: modern Hebrew names too have meanings. Common names might mean 'horizon','spring', etc. Actress Gal Gadot's first name means 'wave', for example, (and her last name means 'riverbanks'). Here's how I dealt with this in a story written in English with several Israeli characters. More than ...


12

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 "...


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 ...


12

Footnotes are sometimes a good solution and sometimes a bad one; it depends greatly on the tone you want to set. In fact, I'd say the question you want to answer is why your characters should speak another language at all. (The solution with italics would be very confusing—I don't think I've ever seen it done.) Footnotes will be a momentary distraction to ...


11

...usage has caused modern speakers (I believe) to see 'thou' as more formal than 'you'. I do not think so. It is not more formal, if anything, it is archaic, or literary, or both, but you definitely should not switch the actual single/plural meaning of the words, that would be very confusing. I suggest to use ye for the plural of thou to equalize the ...


11

I really like the -ar plural, and I think you should keep it regardless. You don't always have to obey the rules of English if your original word isn't. English is rife with loan words from other languages, so there's plenty of precedent. Look at cherub and cherubim (the correct plural, I believe from Hebrew). As far as the translation, do what works for ...


10

While I am not a lawyer, if you purchase a physical CD (bit of a rarity these days, I know) and look at the booklet which has the liner notes, you should see copyright notices for each song. If lyrics have been provided, the notice will be at the end of each set of lyrics. (KISS used to copyright theirs under an entity called "Opporknockity Tunes," which ...


10

Don't over-complicate things. You are an Author. "Authored by _." It would make more sense for you to write, "As told by (grandmother's name). Translated by (daughter's name). Authored by (your name)." Use an introduction to tell how this story came to be, which will explain each of your roles and your motivations.


10

Rules? No, not beyond any that your publisher or editor might have. But one factor to consider is that, assuming you're not publishing in a specialized or foreign market, your readers probably won't know how to pronounce the words in a different alphabet -- you can't sound things out if you don't know the pronunciation rules. This means that the words you ...


10

I think it is important to write what your intended readers will easily understand. If you are a native speaker and inclined toward English-sounding words; they are probably inclined to understand that perfectly, so go ahead. Otherwise, using your native language, you create a cognitive dissonance; namely how did YOUR language come to be the one used for ...


9

Yes. The lyrics are covered by copyright and you need permission to reproduce them. I think at least some of the "lyrics search engines" on the web pay their dues to the copyright holders (Wikipedia says: Lyrics licenses could be obtained in North America through one of the two aggregators; Gracenote Inc. and LyricFind.) Translations are also covered by ...


9

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 ...


9

I'd go with "Edited by." You are not the author (the originator). You took existing work and edited it to make it readable. I think "edited" makes your relationship to the work clear.


9

A few ideas: You could have a character who doesn't speak that language ask how the name is pronounced, or mispronounce it and receive a correction. Obviously it would look contrived for this to keep happening, but doing it once or twice would be enough to introduce the general rule. Use Matt Ellen's idea of a diaeresis / umlaut for the first two names ...


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