For publishers, translating books is a big step. When books are highly successful in one language, it makes sense to translate it into other languages. After all, the language barrier is often insurmountable for some readers.
Generally speaking, successful books in English often get translated into multiple languages. Readers from around the world would be more eager to get their hands on a copy of a highly-touted book in their own language. However, there are some things to consider when translating a book.
In this article, we are going to look at five things you ought to consider if translating a book is on your radar.
Translation Companies vs Individual Translators
Large publishers generally have translators on staff. Also, they hire freelance translators regularly. But what happens when you don’t translate a large number of books? This is where contracting the services of professional translators makes sense.
Translation companies generally charge a bit more but tend to offer guarantees on delivery time and quality. Individual translators might be cheaper but tend to be unreliable at times. So, it all boils down to time and cost. If you’re pressed for time, a translation company might be the way to go. If you have the luxury of time, then going for an individual translator might work best. Who knows, you might be able to bring them on staff.
All About Target Languages
If you’re sourcing English to other languages, you might find it tough to find reliable translators. Mainly, handling English colloquialisms, regionalisms, or cultural references may prove challenging for some translators. So, it’s important to double-check experience. This is especially true with novels or technical books.
If you’re sourcing other languages into English, translators may have a hard time finding the right English words and terms. Once again, it’s important to check translators’ experience. So, most translation companies ask their staff members to indicate their experiences and complete sample tasks. By asking translators to complete a small sample task, you can be sure that you’re going to get what you’re paying for.
Technical translation can be quite challenging. Areas such as law, medicine, and engineering all pose considerable challenges to inexperienced translators. So, it’s always good to find translators that have a background in these areas. That way, they have both the linguistic ability and technical know-how. This type of work is quite popular among college students looking to make some extra side money.
To ensure quality, it’s a good idea to get native speakers to read through the translation. Often, there are mistakes in interpretation or word choice. So, having someone fluent in the target language will help you determine the quality of the translation. If you find errors or misinterpretations, then you have a chance to fix them before publication.
Beware of Machine Translation
The most important thing you need to stress when hiring a translation company is that you will not accept machine translation. This is something that you need to ask about upfront. If a translator admits to using machine translation, then you will get nothing but headaches. So, it’s always worth waiting a bit longer for a proper, human translation as machine translations are generally wrought with issues.