Have you always dreamt of combining your two great passions: books and foreign languages? Then maybe the job of translating books will be a hit? Today, we will try to weave a little bit of a mystery about what the profession of book translator looks like!
Book translation: how to start?
Who is a book translator? What qualities are necessary if we want to pursue this profession? The work of a book translator is not such a simple task at all. Why? Translation of books from English or another foreign language determines in a way how the reader will receive them. Poor translation can have a negative impact on a book and spoil the pleasure of reading, right? What qualities are worth having if we are interested in working as a book translator?
First of all, translating a book from English or another foreign language, etc. means that you need a very good knowledge of English or another foreign language, depending on what kind of translation you specialize in. Fortunately, today the knowledge of foreign languages is not reserved exclusively for a small group of people. You can improve them, for example, by reading books in another language, thus combining the pleasant with the useful.
Secondly, translating a book into another language also requires a certain lightness of the pen and the ability to juggle words. What does this mean? Translating a book is in many cases an activity that challenges the literary translator to translate certain word games, proverbs, etc. into another language in a way that will be understood by the reader.
Let’s assume that a person who translates books into English has to translate an expression popular into that language: if you bed down, that’s how you’ll sleep. What now? Not always a literal translation of this saying will be the best solution, sometimes translators decide to use aphorisms common in a given language, with similar interpretative overtones.
Thirdly, the translation of books from English or translation into other foreign languages requires the translator to meet the deadlines set in the contract. The translator should therefore be a reliable person and be able to plan his or her work within an appropriate timeframe, taking into account the number of current obligations, the pace of work, the difficulty of the order being carried out and possible family responsibilities.
How to translate and publish a book?
The task of translating a book requires specific workload, so it is worth preparing yourself for it. How to translate a book from English or make a translation from other languages? What does a translator of a whole book have to remember about, etc.? First of all, the priority is to skillfully organize the next stages of work and estimate how much time the translation can take in practice.
What’s more, translating books that are dedicated to a specific topic can help you to broaden your knowledge on that specific topic in advance, learn specialized vocabulary, etc., which has a chance to pay off when translating the text.
How long does it take to translate a book?
How long can it take in practice to translate books from English from other foreign languages? It depends! On what? It is influenced by a number of factors, and one of the most important is the individual pace of a person’s work. A translator who has experience in the profession can assess in what period of time he will be able to complete a specific order.
What else determines the speed with which a book can be translated?
- Number of pages – it is completely understandable that the more extensive the book is, the more time you will have to reserve for its translation and it is worth taking this into account when planning your work.
- Topics – in this case, the individual preferences of the translator are important. If the translator really feels comfortable with the subject matter, it can be assumed that the translation will not be so difficult. Moreover, the subject matter is also important for the level of translation difficulty.
- Load – the speed at which the interpreter works is obviously influenced by the occupancy rate, i.e. the number of orders I complete at the same time. This is why organisational skills are so important in this profession.
- Experience – a novice literary translator who is just taking his first steps in this profession can (although he doesn’t have to!) work slower than a person who has eaten the proverbial teeth in translation. Of course, experience is also important because of the specific subject matter.
How much does a book translator earn?
We get to the point – people who are interested in the profession of a literary translator will certainly ask themselves: how much does it cost to translate a book? What do the earnings of a book translator depend on in practice?
Several factors are important in this case:
- The number of orders: How many orders a literary translator will carry out is inseparably linked to his or her earnings.
- Length of the translation: the longer the translation is, the more work needs to be done, which may translate into translator’s earnings. Of course, it is also essential whether the whole translation is done by one person or, for example, the work is divided into two translators.
- The difficulty of the text to be translated: in this case, the first violin plays the workload that has to be invested in making a particular translation. If the job is very demanding and is filled with specialist vocabulary, it is very likely that the translation will take more time to complete.
Working with literature requires specific predispositions, for example, when considering how to start working as a book illustrator, the need for imagination must be stressed. The profession of a literary translator, in turn, helps to combine two passions: love of foreign languages and love of books. However, a person who wants to work as a book translator should be conscientious and punctual and know very well the language he or she wants to translate from.
In addition, a “light pen” and the ability to play with words are helpful in the work of a translator, so that specific phrases can be translated neatly. How long it takes to translate a text depends on a number of factors, including experience, the complexity of the content, subject matter and length of the translation.
The earnings of a literary translator are influenced by the number of orders, the speed of their completion, the level of difficulty and the number of pages translated. It is worth remembering that the translation of books is of great importance for their reception by readers, the translator must translate the text in a way that reflects its original meaning, but at the same time is attractive from the viewpoint of the recipient.