Friday, November 21, 2014

Lost in Translation


I received some excellent news today. The Japanese edition of Fatal Shadows is going into a second print run.


Meanwhile Fair Game was picked up by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy as their first foray into male-male fiction. One of my German publishers (I have two) is about to pitch A Dangerous Thing to their acquisitions committee -- which sounds like the German edition of Fatal Shadows must be doing reasonably well. My other Italian publisher (I guess I have two of those as well?) sent the cover art for Out of the Blue. And I'm about to list the Spanish edition of A Dangerous Thing on Amazon.


Se Habla Espanol! Only we don't. And therein lies the rub.


There’s a lot going on with translations right now -- translation and audio are suddenly hotly contested rights in contract negotiations -- more because of where the book market is heading (a global direction) than where it is right at the moment. We can all see the trend.  It's a small world after all.

Not all of my forays into translation have been successful. Dutch was a disaster. And I've sold less than ten copies of either of my Finnish translations. And zero of my sole Portuguese translation. Spanish has not been a great success, but then again the free Spanish edition of The French Have a Word for it had hundreds of downloads. So.

As I look at the results...the Finnish translations did not have publisher support behind them and I do think that makes a difference. Then again, the Dutch translations were through a publisher but frankly, they might as well have gone through a pirate site. The Portuguese translation was through a new company called Babelcube.  It operates on a business model similar to that of ACX (the Amazon company that produces DIY audio books). You don't pay for the translation up front, you split the profits on a sliding scale with the translator and Babelcube. Bablecube lists the work in a number of venues -- some of which the author could access but some which the author probably couldn't (at least without a fair bit of research and effort).

It's an ingenious idea, but there are inherent difficulties: no quality control, no production oversight, and no real promotional or marketing support.

It is enormously exciting to reach new readers -- is there a greater test of the universality of a story than putting it into another language and seeing how it holds up? But there is also the problem of not being able to converse with these readers, not knowing how or where to market to them. I don't speak Japanese, Finnish, Italian, Spanish, German, French (okay, a little tiny bit of French), Portuguese or Dutch. I've received wonderful support from Italian bloggers and from Japanese writers and readers. Spanish readers seem very enthusiastic, so we'll see what happens when this next book
comes out.

One disconcerting thing is every single translation -- whether through a huge publisher or a hired freelancer at some point gets slammed for the quality of the translation. I'm not exaggerating.  Can translation be subjective? I don't know.

I know that translators are generally underpaid and underappreciated.

I also know that so far translations have not been enormously lucrative for me. Some of them are more lucrative than I expected, but I am not getting rich off any of them. And in some cases, the translations have not even paid for the cover art and formatting. But then I am not Dan Brown or Nora Roberts and I'm not expecting those kinds of results. I'm basically just laying the groundwork for the future global book market. I noticed years ago I was getting letters from readers all around the world, and that's the beauty of the digital age. Now these readers can enjoy my work in their native language. Or maybe more to the point, recommend the books to their friends and family who do not read English?

Anyway, what do you think? If English is not your first language, how important is it to you to read the books in your first language? If English is not your first language, how did you discover my work? Or the male-male genre for that matter?

 

95 comments:

  1. A bit off topic, but where would one purchase one of your foreign translations if, say, I wanted to be the first to buy your Portuguese translation? Are there links or sites?

    ReplyDelete
  2. My web guy usually tries to put a link to the translation. Often it's to the publisher's site because those are the only links we get -- assuming we get any links at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I'd say that was very much on topic!

      Delete
    2. I'm trolling Amazon. The bottom of the site has links to their international sites.

      Delete
    3. Steve, the Portuguese one is here:
      http://www.amazon.com/Fantasma-Usava-Meias-Amarelas-Portuguese-ebook/dp/B00MALQ2K4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416595488&sr=1-1

      Delete
  3. Another off topic comment, but that cover art for the Japanese edition of The Hell you Say is awesome and spot on. I think its wonderful you are trying to reach more of a market and yes, I've heard the same thing about translations. Maybe it has to do with idiomatic expressions that simply don't translate well. I'm reaching here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Felice - I agree! One of the reasons I like the foreign translations is some of the covers are so beautiful.

      Delete
    2. I think the cover art is one of the best parts of translation! I LOVE my foreign editions for the art alone.

      Delete
    3. I adore that Finnish cover! the most! :-) And the Japanese ones are so cool!

      Delete
    4. I do love the spooky Finnish cover so much!

      Delete
  4. English is my first language but I read French well enough to enjoy novels and poetry in the original language and sometimes cringe at the word choices made in translations. The truth is some words just don't translate from one language to another. It has to be rough trying to get the meaning of phrasing and situational language/slang. I guess it is all a crap shoot and until you try it you'll never be able to know for sure.
    Of course, we love you and would say, we'll read you in any language but, most of the people on this page have a long history with your words and characters so that's an easy choice to make. Now about the new audio... when is that happening?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need an undisturbed chunk of time to listen to the waiting files! It's tough finding that block of hours right now because of having a story due...like....NOW. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Clearly, you need additional minions or I need my addiction fed some other way. The LA Theaterworks collection on Audible has my second longest wishlist collection.

      Delete
  5. English is not my first language, but if a book was originally written in english, I don't read the translation.
    Why?
    Because translation is ALWAYS a translator's rendition of the original. English has many shades, idioms, subtleties. My mother tongue has them, too! But ... in different places. A beautiful, short and pointed sentence sometimes simply cannot be easily translated into another language. Something, that makes me smile when I read the english text, makes me roll my eyes when I read the translation. I tried. I don't try anymore.
    Quality of translation is a separate topic and my personal pet peeve. I DO admire good translators. But they are a rare breed. Publishers in my country, especially those that publish mainly fiction, employ green, underpaid students and editors without formal deegrees in the field. The results are disastrous.
    Of course, if somebody doesn't know english, they cannot read your books. But in this time and age english is the main foreign language taught all over the world and, frankly, people who don't learn it usually don't read much even in their own langugage. And ebooks are easy to obtain no matter where you live.
    Ugh, it seems I created a mini-rant. Sorry for that ;)
    To answer your other question(s): my first m/m book was Lynn Flewelling's "Luck in the Shadow" (and subsequent two books). But they are mainstream, and thus very "tame" (no hot lovin' on pages :-P ). I stumbled upon not so "tame" after I read Lynn's recommendation to read ... your book :) I read one of your books (not the recommended one) you published with Samhain, then a couple more from this publisher, then I discovered other publishers, now I have over 2000 ebooks and I sometimes wonder if reading m/m fiction can be classified as addiction ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are really interesting insights, so thank you.

      And yes, I think m/m can definitely be classified as an addiction. ;-)

      Delete
  6. As a sometime translator myself, I can say that a lot of the problems with translated works of fiction come from the use of translators who don't have the special qualifications or training to translate a creative work, which is so different from doing something non-fiction. Translation just lends itself better to more technical writing. The turnover for translations can be so quick due to time or low payment that the translator just doesn't have the time to craft the phrases the way they should, away from a word-by-word translation of the text and into something that works in a lyrical way. The best translations are the ones where you don't see the translator's fingerprints, where the work seems like it was originally written in the language it's being translated into.

    Like everything in the publishing industry, there are limited resources and no money, especially when it comes to writers who aren't, as you say, Nora Roberts or Dan Brown.

    But as someone who speaks two languages, I am very aware of this when reading a book not in its original language and cut the author/translator a lot of slack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's a great point, and of course translation is, as you say, it's own art. A highly under-appreciated one. I can think of fewer things more difficult than trying to capture another author's "voice," and because voice can be such a cultural thing, it might not even be possible in many cases.

      Delete
  7. I can't be any help on the translation question since I'm in the US & only know English. But I wanted to say that I'm almost as happy about your business acumen as I am about your writing. You seem to be very sharp and forward-thinking which I hope will mean a long and successful writing career. More books for me!

    Also, that's a very cute Adrien on the Spanish cover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I do try to keep alert to what's happening in my industry. And there is a lot of be aware of these days!

      (I love that Adrien and that cover -- it's by L.C. Chase, by the way!)

      Delete
  8. My mom learned English by watching soap operas and reading historical romance. Early on she tried reading Gone With the Wind because she loved the movie but she couldn't grasp the slang. She was able to get a copy translated into Norwegian and she enjoyed it. Years later she was able to tackle the English version and she said, comparing the two, there were so many things that just don't translate well. Also, when she is in Norway, all the American shows have subtitles. She said some of those can be quite humorous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Subtitles are an entertaining world of their own, aren't they?

      Delete
    2. When I lived in Mexico we often got English language movies with really odd translations. '101 Dalmatians' became 'Night of the Cold Noses'.

      Though I have to say the best\weirdest films were Chinese, which had been dubbed into English and then that had been translated into Spanish... sort of.
      "You can not defeat my salsa boxing, Chicken Man!" :D

      Delete
    3. OMG. I must find a way to use that in conversation....but first I need to work on my salsa boxing, Chicken Man...uh....Woman.

      Delete
  9. My native language is Azeri, but I used to read mainly in Russian. Frankly, the Russian translations of my favorite series were so bad that at some point I got fed up and started reading in English. It's like a whole new world opened to me )) I discovered new authors and Goodreads and genres like MM Romance. I got hooked up on it after reading Cut&Run series by Abigail Roux&Madeleine Urban..and the rest is history)))

    I've read your entire backlist and so waiting for the new releases, and BTW, are you planning a sequel to The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks?

    p.s. I don't read translations anymore - they just cannot compare to the real deal..so it's not important at all to me personally. But I guess my fellow Russian fans of MM romance would love them)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see how it would be frustrating to be stuck with only a poor facsimile of the story -- certainly if you had the option of reading in the original language.

      Yes, I know I keep promising this but never delivering -- but yes! There will be a sequel to The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks.

      Delete
    2. Yay! Nick and Perry so deserve a second book!))

      Delete
  10. Hola, Josh. He leído Sombras fatales, Los franceses lo dicen así y algunas otras historias tuyas en inglés. Para mí, si la traducción es buena, el poder acceder a un libro en mi idioma supone un mundo de diferencia a la hora de disfrutar de la trama y los personajes, consigo adentrarme en la historia sin tener que preocuparme de no estar captando del todo el significado de las acciones y diálogos.
    Me alegra saber que estará pronto disponible en español la segunda entrega de la serie de Adrien English.
    Espero que tengas mucha suerte :-)
    Ana Is

    ReplyDelete
  11. (I’m leaving several comments since apparently my post was too long for one comment alone.. ehem..)
    Like mentioned by other commenters already there are good and bad translations and most of the time it's not possible for the author to choose the translator him-/herself or compare the results to the original work (if you don't speak the language the novel is translated into).
    Translation always leaves the style of language in large parts to the translator. You can be really lucky in that case. I heard from some fans of a "very popular (mainstream) thriller author" (who's name I'm not going to mention here.. ehem..) that the German translations are a lot better than the original since the translator (who apparently did most of the translations for this author) is a good writer and the German translations reflect rather the translators writing style than that of the original author.

    Most translations, if they aren't for these "very famous authors", are faulty, even if just in small nuances. (But.. now that I think about it: when the Harry Potter books were released in German there was a whole website (or maybe it were even several websites) dedicated to all the translation mistakes they found in the books. And those were A LOT. Even simple things like wrong names in some places...)

    I noticed some translation mistakes in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series (the first 3 books were translated into German years ago), because I was reading the books in English while a friend was reading them in German and some scenes were misleading because of the faulty translation. (Though, all in all, compared to other translations this one was fairly good. If you 2 or 3 major translation mistakes and that sometimes names of characters were translated into German and sometimes still left in English... - also something the did in "Harry Potter" - Sirius Schwarz in the first book / Sirius Black in book 3)

    Sorry, I'm getting too far of track...

    ReplyDelete
  12. All in all: I would like to read more GOOD m/m translations. Or even good m/m books originally written in German. [Perhaps that's just my personal opinion, but I'm more and more disappointed in the German bookmarket. But that's another story.]
    But if the original novel is in a language that I can read without problems, I'm sticking to the original language. I simply don't want to risk bad translations, have to wait for translations (it may take YEARS if there even is one for a certain m/m book), plus translated books are most of the time twice or three times as expensive as the original work ^^°. (Even the price for German ebooks is very high. It's nearly the same price as the printed book. Sometimes just 1 Euro less.)

    English is the first foreign language children learn all around the world nowadays. And most of the internet is only accessible to those who can read and write English. So most people who are interested in m/m stories will read these stories in English. It's still a genre which isn't represented in general bookstores. If you want these books, you order them online most of the time or go to one of the few gay bookstores out there, which aren't in every city.
    The group of people reading translations is a only a small part of the m/m readers in probably every country all over the world.

    Except perhaps countries, where English still isn't teached as a foreign language or teached badly. Or where people are used to getting all the m/m they want in there mother tongue (I imagine the Japanese translations should sell decent amounts of copies, since the m/m or "yaoi" genre is fairly mainstream in Japan and there are lots of manga and "light novels" in that genre. Plus many Japanese people have difficulties with the English language and those who don't might buy the books in the translation thanks to the beautiful artwork of the cover and inside the books.
    Hm.. and the German translations CAN sell well, if the translation is a good one. There are still German m/m readers who read mainly German stories. We have a fairly active German m/m online writers automated archive. The books will reach younger German readers, I imagine, who still can't read English well enough. Or even some older ones who didn't learn enough English at school.)

    So, even if it's nice to have translations of books and make novels accessible even to those who can't or don't want to read English, it's still just a "niche market" and that explains why translations don't sell nearly as well as a book that's original language is English. Translations are still important (for those who can't read English) and I'm always enjoy reading the exerpts of the German translations and imagine how *I* would have translated it differently - and what I would have made better or worse when translating it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fascinating, Esther. Thanks for your comment. I admit to being surprised that English is still taught so prevalently around the world, but I guess that's good news too!

      Delete
  13. Hola Josh. Siento ahora mismo una alegría enorme porque voy a poder leer tus libros en español y sé que hablo en nombre de muchos aficionados a la lectura M/M que lo están deseando. Espero que este sea el primero de muchos, de todos tus libros, porque para mí eres uno de mis autores preferidos. Yo tengo ventaja de poder leerlos en inglés, pero reconozco que para mí es mejor leerlos en español, capto más matices. Enhorabuena y muchas gracias.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perdón, no es el primero sino el tercero que publicas en español. Ojalá vengan más.

      Delete
  14. Actually I just received the Japanese "The Hell You Say" in the post today! There's a promotional "wrapper" on the book says "Recommended by Shion Miura" and "Blurb by Shion Miura". I believe she's an award-winning author in Japan, so it's definitely a good sign! Also shows the publisher is making efforts to promote the book. Marketing cannot make a product better, but it will make sure more people know about it :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I love my Japanese publisher for all kinds of reasons.

      And of course the lovely art in those stories!

      Delete
  15. in Italy there are no male- male paper books, now came the ebook as your after reporting by bloggers who read in English and the first e-book translated. curiosity 'and word of mouth over the last two years have prepared self-produced books and now attempts to test the market by a large Italian publisher. hope for the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know Triskell Edzione has worked to put out translations for a few years -- and they seem well received. But Mondari's venture is certainly a big and promising step.

      Delete
  16. English is not my first language, but I loved Star Trek as a child and looked the series in English. In Germany all movies are dubbed, yet I liked the original version better! Then I began to read my favorite books ( mostly mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and romances by Georgette Heyer ) in English. I have read good Sayers translations ( by Otto Bayer), but the English versions are more often than not more simple, not so sad or not so funny, not so beautiful! If I am a fan of an author I buy the books in the translation too, in all versions, if I can find them! :-). Please don't laugh, that's my hobby!
    Nevertheless I think translations are important. I can only read in German, English and in Dutch, but I love for example french and spanish authors too, so my life were poorer without the translations!
    The first time I heard of Josh Lanyon was via a audible blog ( a German blog ).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very interesting! I remember years and years ago a reader translated and read the first chapter or so of Fatal Shadows aloud on a German podcast. That was the first time I'd heard my work narrated. :-) It was FASCINATING.

      Delete
  17. Actually, the most important points have been said already by MeMe and Esther. I completely agree with them. My first language is German. I've started reading books in English a long time ago, just to keep my "reading skills" up-to-date after finishing school. At this time the books had been insanely expensive and imported by large bookstores. That meant every few months I bought some thriller, usually a Tom Clancy or Allistar Mac Lean book. Later on amazon became a thing (yeah, I'm old enough to remember NOT buying stuff online because we just hadn't had the Internet) and the books became cheaper and easier to get, additionally, suddenly I had choices. So I discovered PNR-romance and because it really is a fact that German books are a lot more expensive and you have to wait too long to get the next volume in a series...I just switched to reading everything in English. Since 2008 I haven't read a book in German. I'm one of these "Black Dagger Brotherhood made me try out m/m"-readers. My first m/m actually was an audiobook, Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane, and since then I'm hooked. I always read and listen in English; I wouldn't read German (only if a book is actually written in German).
    I think those readers, who are already reading m/m, won't switch. The question is "Can you reach new readers by publishing in other languages?" One group is YA-readers. They are learning English in school and they are definitely more fluent that we had been at this age but I'm not sure if there isn't a mental hurdle to actually start reading books in another language. And not everybody has the same level of language skills. And this would be the other target group. Those who like to read a book from time to time but aren't that skilled in English. While everybody learns it at school, not everybody is able to read it well enough to enjoy the reading experience.
    Now translations....this is a whole new nest of ants. I’ve looked into a few samples a while ago and maybe it's because I haven't read anything in German for years now...but then most of them have been sounding awkward and forced. As far as I have noticed, some publisher have switched to native speakers now, this should be better.

    On the other hand, I translated a novella for a friend this summer (hopefully it'll be released soon) and while doing it, realized that it really isn’t so easy. If you stick to close to the original text, it'll sound stilted and awkward. If you are too creative, the "voice" of the author gets lost. I hope I did a good job (her hubby is German and she understands German, too, and they both loved it so I'm quite happy) but I’ve spend an insane amount of time on finding the right expressions and phrases. If I had to make a living out of it, I would starve.

    So, how much are people willing to invest? And how many readers can you reach with the translated books? These are the questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And those are very good questions!

      I think one of the dangers of the DIY Age of publishing is the translation market is liable to be flooded with Babelfish type efforts -- just as the audio market has seen a flood of mediocre product.

      It's certainly going to be interesting to see what develops.

      Delete
  18. «I know that translators are generally underpaid and underappreciated». Maybe you should specify «literary translators».
    As you know I live in the translators' heaven, Switzerland, and I'm definitely not underpaid ;-).

    I'm in general against translations, because I prefer to read the original in the languages I manage. But I'm glad about your translations, because the language is still a barrier for lots of people. Sometimes even people speaking English never dared to read a whole book in English. So I congratulate for all these important translations!

    «Can translation be subjective?»: All translations are subjective, but a translation too near to the original language is different than a translation with grammar or spelling mistakes. Lately we had the biggest supermarket chain selling «butter to roast Swiss people» thanks to a translation mistake in Italian.

    As for finding your books: common friends in the Brokeback Mountain fandom made a concerted effort to make me read AE, even though I had zero interest in mysteries. I will thank them forever ;-)).

    Ciao

    Antonella

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point! Literary translators face different challenges, yes.

      And I am very sad to hear about all those roasted Swiss people. ;-D Now TOASTED would be a different matter.

      Delete
  19. Translations is definitely my field! I'm Peruvian and therefore an all around Latina girl. I know a lot about the publishing bussiness and frankly books are my life so I think I can give a very accurate account on what's going on right now with m/m books in the Spanish-speaking corner of the world. And what's going on might be or might be not good news.

    First a technicality. When translating anything into Spanish one has to take into account the fact Latinos speak different than 'Spaniards' (that's people living in Spain). Not that the language in itself is different but we even approach translations in different ways. Just to put an example, media products targeted to sell in Spain are choke full of slang and every word has to be translated -- mostly because Spain is just one country. Anything targeted to Latin America has few slang words and leaves lots of words in the original language because Latin America is big and every country has its own slang so every product has to sound neutral. Also Latin America has a long history of immigration so we have tons of adopted phrases, idioms and words from other languages that are broadly known. So yeah, those are two completely different markets.

    Now, the thing is, selling m/m in Spain -the kind of m/m that you write- is feasible and might even turn a good amount of income provided one finds a good publisher (thatmightbeahint). Speaking of books, I know of some titles from native speakers and some translations that are having some success but the numbers are not very high. Spain is more accepting of homosexuality now and it's not the taboo it used to be. Also piracy is not so high there. Well, it's still an issue, but it's more manageable.

    Now the Latin-American market... er... I love your work, and I would give a kidney to see it on local shelves, but the truth is Latin-America as a whole does not read. We used to have the excuse we couldn't pay for books and although five dollars translated to our currency is still a day's earning for a lot of people, the economy is much better now and we're still not reading enough. And piracy is up to the roof here. And hostility towards homosexuals is still ten times larger than in the States. Which doesn't mean no-one from Latin-America is buying m/m books, in fact, as far as I can tell, the translations are being made in neutral Spanish to include potential Latin-American buyers, but... yeah, what I'm trying to say is, don't be discouraged by the numbers yet, because the Spanish market is not as big as it may seem with there being so many countries in South America.

    Also, the translations are acceptable. They don't have the artistic flow your work has but at least they're not atrocious. And I have seen atrocious. And not everybody interested in m/m can speak English.

    But... I shouldn't say this, because I don't know where to point for a good publisher (as my field of work is tourist books in a country where m/m is taboo), but really. If it weren't for a previous blog post here, I wouldn't even know there was translation of your work and I actually search for m/m books regularly.

    In fact if I were a publicist I would be putting up ads in what is for sure the gateway to the world of m/m stories in Spanish: fanfiction sites. I'm sure some would do it for free just because we love the genre so much. Heck, I would do this even for the English-speaking market! But I'm not a publicist, so... yeah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. En primer lugar pido disculpas por expresarme en español ya que en inglés temo no poder decirlo correctamente. No estoy de acuerdo con muchas cosas de las que dices. En primer lugar no es tanta la diferencia entre el español de España y el de Latinoamérica, es como si hablas del inglés de Inglaterra o el de Australia y el de USA. Soy española, tengo muchos amigos de Latinoamérica que estamos en este particular rincón de la lectura m/m y créeme, no tenemos ningún problema en entendernos con la misma traducción para ambos. Y con respecto a las traducciones, yo no creo que pierdan frescura, ni el carácter que el autor le quiso dar, eso debe ser para las traducciones de anuncios publicitarios, pero no para las obras literarias. Aparte de que yo frecuento mucho las redes sociales de aficionados a la lectura M/M y desde luego encuentro un entusiasmo que nada tiene que ver con esa intolerancia de la que hablas y con gente que está ávida por la lectura y que desearía tener más traducciones a un idioma que es el segundo más hablado en USA.

      Delete
    2. Puedo asegurar que tratar de vender un libro en castellano con jerga española en latinoamèrica es muy difìcil. Hay clientes que realmente se ofenden por esas cosas. Pero es verdad que no estoy tomando en cuenta que los aficionados al m/m somos más tolerantes y tenemos menos tendencias a molestarnos por esas pequeñeces. La finalidad de mi comentario era animar a que continuaran las traducciones. ¿tal vez soné un poco fría porque estoy acostumbràndome al punto de vista del vendedor? Es muy cierto que hay mucho entusiasmo y avidez en las páginas de aficionados al m/m y no entiendo por qué quien está promocionando a Josh Lanyon en español no esta usando ese canal.

      Ahora, sí sostengo que las traducciones oficiales podrían ser mejores. No son malas pero... es como en las traducciones de Shakespeare. Hay un montón de traducciones por ahí y uno dice 'está bonito y se entiende' pero en manos de poetas de trayectoria como Pablo Neruda o Raúl Zurita... sí, sí hay diferencia. Josh Lanyon es un excelente autor. Sin desmerecer el trabajo ya hecho, creo que se le podría poner un poco más de garra a lo que se hace por él.

      Delete
    3. En literatura M/M en español la oferta es poca y hasta ahora no ha supuesto un revulsivo para comprar un libro el origen del traductor. No hablamos de grandes editoriales que puedan adaptar la traducción a la idiosincrasia del país al que va dirigida, pues ni siquiera los latinoamericanos usan los mismos modismos, jerga o argot, luego encontrar traducciones que resulten aceptables para los estándares de todos y cada uno de los lectores hispanohablantes es una quimera.
      El principal problema está en si el lector hispano está o no dispuesto a pagar por leer, pues traducciones hechas a un lado y al otro del Atlántico corren por la red como la pólvora y son consumidas con avidez por los lectores, pero no siempre de forma legal.
      Soy española y leo traducciones constantemente, en nuestro país es realmente común leer libros traducidos de todos los géneros. Para disfrutar de un libro traducido el traductor debe intentar mantener la esencia del autor, su estilo, pero siempre intentando que el resultado sea natural en el idioma de destino, pues no hay peor traducción que aquella que se aferra tanto al texto original que resulta antinatural para el lector al que va dirigido.
      Ana Is

      Delete
    4. I shall have to resort to Babelfish once again. :-)

      But I thank all of your for your comments -- and for contributing to what is clearly a lively discussion.

      That's a very shrewd idea about fan fiction sites, by the way.

      Delete
    5. A mí me parece que eso de que los lectores latinoamericanos se ofenden cuando leen una traducción hecha con el dialecto de la península es un poco fuera de lugar. El boom latinoamericano se dio gracias a las editoriales barcelonesas que publicaron gran parte de lo mejor de nuestra literatura (soy latinoamericana) y todavía, muchas de las editoriales más importantes están en España y publican literatura como la de Gabo, la de Vargas Llosa, Donoso, etc., todos escritores latinoamericanos que escriben en el dialecto de su país.

      Lo que sí creo es que el lector latinoamericano no va a entender ciertas expresiones coloquiales y modismos, así como el lector español no entendería ciertas expresiones coloquiales de mi país, por lo tanto al menos que sea una novela costumbrista, la literatura comercial debe ser traducida en un dialecto transnacional neutro para que pueda ser disfrutada de una manera transatlántica.

      Delete
    6. Most LGBT publishers in Spanish language are from Spain. The most important are:
      * http://www.stonewall.es/
      * http://www.editorialegales.com/
      * http://www.grupoodisea.net/editorial/
      There is a fourth one, more dedicated to «literary» books:
      * http://www.dosbigotes.es/
      For instance, they have translated Imre: A memorandum.

      Other publishers also publish LGBT books, if they think they can earn money, as is the case with famous LGBT authors: Terenci Moix, Juan Goytisolo, Eduardo Mendicuti, etc.

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. My first language isn't English but since I read it, I rarely go for the translated version for any books for the same reasons stated by MeMe. My first m/m was Possession of Truth by Alex Anderson. I wasn't very much into reading but it got me hooked and started my journey.

    I usually prefer Suspense/Mystery/Thriller and series and these landed me into the world of your works. Emotionally, it's not easily for me (or many people) to invest into a short story. This was why I like series. It gives us the chance to see different sides of the characters and have a glimpse of their life. The more we read them, the more we are hooked.

    I think the first book of yours I read was Fatal Shadows. When I first stumbled on Adriene English's series, there were already five of them. So, you definitely got some advantages over the other writers lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for those thoughts! And yes, readers do love series books. No question.

      Delete
  23. If you ever publish in Arabic -HA! THAT'S A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE IN HELL- I'd totally buy the book.

    That's, you know, if the book doesn't get banned, the translator doesn't get arrested and whichever publisher doesn't get attacked and ordered to close their business.

    I'd totally buy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and yes! there are all these other considerations. The cultural barriers to some books even making it into translation for cultural or religious reasons.

      Great point.

      Delete
  24. My first language is german, and i learned english at school when I was a little girl. I love reading english books, because it is a good way to practice my languge skills. German is a very, very complex language, and it happens that a book gets a poor translation, when the translator choose the wrong words or the wrong phrase. A Bad translation ruined one of my favorite books. It will never make it in germany, because the translator took a wonderful story and turned it to shit.
    The translation of Fatal Shadows and The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks are really good. Great!
    My friends too love your books, but are not fluent in english. So we had a little reading circle, I translated and read aloud. (And got a red face at some places of the book. Just imagine when and where.) Now my friends can get their own books in german and read by themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Yes, I can. And you certainly deserve a gold star for being such a diligent ambassador of my work. :-)

      Delete
  25. Like MeMe, I used to "turn up my nose" at translated books, simply because I felt unsatisfied with the translator's performance. I kept "hearing" the English while reading in German, even back when my English was nothing to speak of, and that bothered me to no end. So I started reading exclusively in English - particularly after I discovered m/m (also via Lynn Flewelling's Luck In The Shadows, as it happens) - and discovered a whole new world of subtleties, delicious word games and at times, sheer poetry that made me fall completely in love with English as a language.
    Then, a few years ago, I got into translating m/m books myself (more accidentally than anything, it's not like I'm any kind of pro) which certainly made me see things from quite a different angle. It's incredibly hard to convey the beauty that is a short, crispy English sentence into my generally more ponderous mother tongue, German, and it's even harder to transport the mood and the author's voice, that's just how it is. Sometimes, I sweat blood and tears over a single sentence and still remain not entirely satisfied with the result.
    However, engaging myself with translations I realized that the German readership seems to fall into two main groups. On the one hand, for some readers bad translation simply doesn't seem to matter at all. I've read glowing reviews (on amazon and elsewhere) for books that were so sloppily translated it made my toenails curl. For that matter, I've seen original works by German authors that were written just as badly receive equal praise. I've come to think there's just so little m/m on the German book market that the ones who are already hooked and craving more will put up with a lot to feed their beast (I used to be the same once upon a time ;-) )
    On the other hand, there's a growing number of, let's call them quality-oriented readers - most of whom have read the English originals - who are very hard to please. They can get incredibly wound up at what they feel are inappropriate word choices or phrasing decisions and they'll mercilessly pluck apart any attempt at translating their favorite m/m books, regardless of wheter the harshness is justified or not.
    There's nothing wrong with that attitude, in my opinion, just as there's noting wrong with what I'd call the more naive approach. Both are what fuels my ambition as a translator to do justice to both the authors I love and the readers who ask for more reading fodder.
    That said, I'm well aware translations can never be 100% perfect, and if given the choice, I'll still read in English. But I think those who don't have that choice deserve any translator's best efforts, including mine. Clumsy translation might happen on occasion. For sloppy translation, there's no excuse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, even putting translation aside for a moment, ALL readers fall into two groups. The larger group which is simply about story. If the story is compelling enough, these readers don't care -- or at least will not be dissuaded by mediocre writing. They are emotional readers.

      And then we have the readers who do require a certain level of skill in storytelling to be able to relax and sink into the story.

      So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that a so-so translation could still earn rave reviews from a significant number of readers.

      Delete
  26. The simple question first, I had never heard of M/M before deep in my second year of using the Kindle. I was lured by a colleague to buy my first Kindle. Then before I knew it, I started reading all kinds of free books I could get my hands on. Somehow after some hits and a lot of misses, I landed on some free stories by JL Merrow and was spellbound by this new genre. One thing led to another, suddenly, I have devoured all Josh’s stories (except Blood Red Butterfly) and many by other authors of this genre as well. And yes, this can be an addiction, like another addiction of mine, to detective stories.

    Now the other question is more complicated. I’m Chinese living in Hong Kong, where English is our second official language, though only a small percentage are comfortable using it, let alone master it. That said, we actually have a lot of exposure to English if we so incline, as most governmental publications and public announcements are in both Chinese and English, and English is a compulsory subject in all primary and secondary schools here. The problem of course is how different English is from our mother tongue, and how many people don’t really need English at all in their daily life.

    So you may think translated work thrives here. Only, not quite. First of all, not many people here ‘read’. Oh, they read newspaper and magazines all right, but not books. An Indian author actually observed this phenomenon in a book – how the downfall of China will come from people not reading – an interesting observation, by the way. The only ‘Chinese’ people really enjoy reading are those living in Taiwan. So I won’t be surprised if Josh’s work is ever translated into Chinese, it will be by Taiwanese.

    Secondly, given the differences between Chinese and English, both semantically and culturally, it is almost impossible to capture the real essence of English work in Chinese. Unbelievable though it may sound, the commonly used Chinese ‘characters’ are just 3000 (though the number of ‘words’ formed by combining these ‘characters’ can be a lot more) while the number of commonly used English words is at least ten times more. You can imagine how difficult the translation work must be. Even proper names sound strange and awkward when translated into Chinese. (In fact, the only languages sound natural when translated into Chinese are Japanese and Korean, because they, in a way, actually evolved from Chinese.)

    Thirdly, we don’t have the M/M genre. Heck, we don’t even have a genre on erotic books. Sex scenes sound hot in English, but somehow read pornographic in Chinese words. The few books we have detailing sex scenes are termed ‘taboo’ to the general public. Things may have been changing with the introduction of some translated Japanese mangas. Somehow the change is confined in mangas. Sex scenes in non-graphic books are still mostly very subtle or even non-existent, let alone gay sex scenes (not that homosexuality is such a taboo any more; that’s progress, at least).

    These, coupled with how rampant piracy is in Hong Kong and China, you can see there really isn’t much a market for M/M books in Chinese at the moment (though still, there may lie the potential somewhere ;-)). I’m only glad that I can read English to indulge myself in this special genre.

    Savanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, thank you for sharing all that, Savanna.

      I have to say that my casual question has ended up sparking one of the most informative and interesting discussions on my blog. Thank all of you for your thoughts. It's really been very enlightening -- very helpful.

      Delete
  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Josh! I’m Portuguese and I discovered your books a few years ago. I started reading free books and stories. I’ve always been quite a reader XD I can read in a few languages but I’m not really comfortable writing. Anyway I’ve read some of your books, in English and a few in some other languages. In the process I’ve noticed some things that possible have caused the little success in those languages. The books are translated in a very literal way. Like when you use the Google translator. I guess people do not pay attention to the small details that make stories really unique. I’ve read “Sombras fatales” and it was really bad, not your storie but the translation, some lines I couldn't ever figure out what you wanted to say. Although I’ve read another book of yours in Spanish that was very good “Los franceses lo dicen así”. I don’t know how people translate but I think that a good communication between the author and the translator is essencial. You should found someone who shares your thoughts and not what they may think you wanted to say. -.- Oh god, I don’t know if I’m explaining myself well. I think that a good book should always be translated because everyone shoud be able to enjoy. I think yours deserve good translators and people who cares about your stories.​

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me just state for the record, I have nothing to do with any translations. All -- ALL -- of my translations are done by native speakers. Which is why it's a little amusing when other native speakers accuse the translator of not speaking their own language. I think if there is any deficiency it is probably with English and not the language the work is being translated into.

      But also there is the difficulty brought up many times within this conversation of a work of fiction -- literature -- being translated too literally. This is certainly a challenge.

      Ideally translations would all be done by other writers, but writers who were willing to sacrifice their own style in order to capture the style and voice of the original work. How likely is that? Probably not very likely!

      Delete
  29. Dear Josh,

    I am a native Spanish speaker and I am a seasoned multimedia translator (I translate videos, talks, speeches, etc) but I am not a literary translator. I tried translating works of literature once, but it was too much work for the amount of money that I was going to get paid (practically peanuts). A literary translator must be a writer first and then a translator because they must emulate and evoke the artistry and narrative voice of the original author and they should be very comfortable understanding the tone and form of the work as well as its narrative style. Without these elements, translations are unsuccessful. It's true that certain things are lost in translation, it is an unavoidable fact, but the most successful translators make it seem as if the original author was speaking to the reader in the language chosen for the translation.

    Since I am a translator, I am a bit harsher on translated works than the general public. Unfortunately, many times I see genre literature translated by amateurs that have very little experience and find mistakes like, "I love books" translated as "amo los libros" when it should be "me encantan los libros," among others. That's the reason I avoid genre literature translated and just stick to the original language (which unfortunately limits me to four languages and I have some trouble with two of them).

    Regarding your question, I came across your books thanks to fanfiction, but I don't read them in my native language. Why would I when I can access your work in the original language? :D

    Also, I agree with other commenters regarding the dialect that is used for translations in Spanish. For wide market appeal, the work must be translated in a very neutral Spanish that uses expressions that are understood across the board and little to none colloquial expressions. If you want to take advantage of a specific market or want to see what kind of appeal your books have in them, you should try for two translations, one with the more neutral Latin American dialect and the other one for the Spanish market. However, it is possible to avoid that headache and have the book translated in just a neutral dialect.

    Best regards,

    Viv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good points. Thank you, Viv.

      I know sometimes there is impatience from readers over points of translation. Some of these things are subjective. And I am not exaggerating when I say that there are readers who will claim of the *original* English edition that (despite several rounds of edits and copyedits) "this book should have been edited."

      :-D

      This discussion has helped me realize that the challenges in translation are in part due to the fact that each language is different. Chinese is limited by characters. Spanish has many different dialects. These are challenges unique to each language and they complicate the process.



      Delete
  30. Silvia (from Italy)November 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Ciao Josh, come vedi non parlo inglese, fortunatamente c'è il traduttore Google :)

    Leggo molti libri, perciò sono veramente contenta delle traduzioni in italiano.
    Il romanzo “Terreno pericoloso” o “Dangerous Ground” mi ha affascinata, l’ho trovato grazie ai consigli per gli acquisti di Amazon, dopo l’acquisto di un ebook della Dreamspinner Press. Bellissima serie, 5 stelle, ma la traduzione ha qualche pecca, ci sono errori banali che distraggono dalla trama.
    “Facile bersaglio” pubblicato da Mondadori, principale casa editrice italiana di romance, è sicuramente tradotto meglio, ma poco pubblicizzato (forse temono che se ne accorga il Papa), l’ho trovato solo grazie alle ragazze del blog che ti segue.

    Ho letto tutti i tuoi romanzi nella mia lingua e tutti gli M/M pubblicati dalla Dreamspinner Press, così posso dirti che sei uno dei migliori autori e che aspetto con ansia il seguito della serie “Dangerous Ground” (errori di traduzione compresi) e le future pubblicazioni della Triskell Edizioni.
    Ti ringrazio per le splendide emozioni che ci regali

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the translation of Fair Game was definitely an experiment for Mondari. The fact that the book did as well as it did (#4 in Romance on the Italian Amazon site) is hopefully a good sign to them. But honestly, I don't know. This was a trial run and it's difficult to know whether it achieved what they hope for or not.

      For myself, I have to remember that m/m is still struggling for widespread acceptance in this country -- let alone other countries!

      I was recently at a large writing convention, and of all the people I talked to, only THREE had ever heard of male male romance! That's a bit startling.

      Delete
    2. Startling and PATHETIC! :)

      Delete
    3. It's a good reality check though! :-D

      Delete
  31. I used to read yaoi scanlations i.e. Japanese to English and the best of those had 1 of 2 things:
    1) An almost direct translation with associated explanations of the cultural meaning behind some of the phases or
    2) A translation of meaning rather than words. Occasionally this lead to obvious Americanisms creeping in but at least the context was always clear.

    In short the translator was able to translate across cultures and (I think) such people tend to work at the UN not for mid tier publishers :). Perhaps you have mult-lingual fans who could advise you on the quality of the translations...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not a bad idea...except given that English-speaking copyeditors working for different publishers can't agree on all kinds of points of grammar, punctuation and language, I'm not sure that it would be possible -- in fact, I'm pretty sure it would not be -- to get consensus from readers on points of translation. Heck, English-speaking readers argue with English-speaking editors and copyeditors over choices made in the editorial process!

      I know that first Spanish translation, for example, went through a series of edits by other Spanish-speaking readers, but I hear complaints about it nonetheless.

      Delete
  32. Hi Josh! French is my first language, and I’ve been reading your books since 2010. I discovered your work after I read a newspaper’s article about enthusiasm in english-speaking countries about M/M stories. I couldn’t find anything in this literary genre in French so I downloaded some eBooks on my Kindle and, based on Amazon’s critics, I started with « Fair Game ». I was hooked at once. I tried to read some other authors in this genre but I was never totally satisfied by their stories, so I think I’m not a typical M/M fan but rather a total fan of YOUR work.
    That said, I heard some of your book were translated in French and read the excerpts that were available for free. I like reading in English but wouldn’t mind reading in French if the translations are good. Some translations can be very good, and I’m thinking here of fantasy novels by Terry Pratchett which are so well translated in French that the translator received many awards for it. Unfortunately, the excerpts of your stories’ translations were just… awful. I mean, absolutely terrible. The person who wrote them is not a writer him/herself, obviously. It looks barely better than an automatic Google Translation. I would never pay for such a crap, and I wouldn’t even download it for free. I’m sorry for being that harsh but well, that’s what I feel about it. It just doesn’t do any justice to your work.
    So I will go on reading your books in their original version, and hope that a French-speaking editor will buy their rights and pay some professional translators to give your stories all the attention they deserve. I think that’s the only way for them to break through here, especially because the M/M genre is not yet developed. I hope that will happen because I would love to introduce some of my friends - who don’t speak English - to your work. I’m sure they would love your stories as much as I do!
    Candice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Candice. Thanks for commenting! However, I feel like I should point out here that my French translations ARE handled by a French publishing house. :-D I think this goes back to earlier comments about the difficulty of translating fiction. If anything,

      I'm going to guess that another common problem is translators may not be as fluent in ENGLISH as they need to be. I don't think there's any question that translators are fluent in their native languages. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Haha, yes in general translators are fluent in their native languages, but being able to write properly in their own language is something else :-)

      When I talked about a publishing house, I meant "a publishing house that is well established". Nowadays in France - and I guess in other countries also - anybody can register as a publishing house even with no experience in the field, and the result might not be as professional as excepted. Just reading the excerpt that is quoted on Amazon for the french version of "The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks", my eyes are bleeding. I mean, "goûter la bouche", really? Who says that in any french-speaking country??? It looks like a teenager made the translation :-D

      Candice

      Delete
    3. I appreciate the honesty, but let's keep it civil. :-)

      Delete
    4. Yes you're right, I'm really sorry. I got carried away and sounded more like a hooligan than a sport lover... Won't do that again.

      The most important is to make your work available for as much readers as possible. In the end, the opinion I shared about these translations is mine and not necessarily anyone else's, and I totally respect that :-)

      Candice

      Delete
    5. Everyone is passionate. I like that. :-) And I have learned so much through this little post -- much more than I expected.

      Delete
  33. The main problem is that translations are done by translators who do not dominate their language. They don´t know grammar, not handle a large vocabulary ... in short, they are not capable of that translation appears natural. Ideally, the translator is also a writer, but if a person knows their language in depth, can make a good translation provided he is able to translate what the writer has meant so that it appears to have been originally written in language you are going to translate. Always having respect for the author's style and way of expression.
    One of the hardest things is to translate own expressions from English into other languages because you can’t do it in a literal way but to look for the equivalent expression in the other language. That takes time and sometimes it is very difficult, but the most important thing for the translation is that It is fluid and understandable to readers.
    Regarding all that has been said about the dialects of Spanish, it seems to me very exaggerated. There are many words that not have the same meaning in all countries, but anyone who speaks Spanish, perfectly understand a book even if this book has written a Spanish, Argentine, Colombian writer ... The problem is when the Spanish used is not a correct but a Spanish dialect full of localisms, anglicisms, etc ... or is a translation directly with the translator of google, then it's not worth trying to read it.

    El principal problema de las traducciones es que están hechas por traductores que no dominan su propio idioma. No saben gramática, no manejan un gran vocabulario... en definitiva, no son capaces de que la traducción resulte natural. Lo ideal es que el traductor sea también escritor, pero si una persona conoce su idioma en profundidad, puede hacer una buena traducción siempre y cuando sea capaz de trasladar lo que el escritor ha querido decir de forma que parezca que ha sido escrito originalmente en el idioma al que se va a traducir. Todo eso respetando el estilo del autor y su forma de expresarse.
    Una de las cosas más difíciles es traducir las expresiones propias del inglés a otras lenguas porque no se puede hacer de una forma literal sino que hay que buscar la expresión equivalente en el otro idioma. Y eso lleva tiempo y a veces resulta muy complicado, pero es esencial para que la traducción resulte fluida y comprensible para los lectores.
    Respecto a todo eso que se ha hablado sobre los dialectos del español, me parece muy exagerado. Hay muchas palabras que no tienen el mismo significado en todos los países, pero cualquier persona que hable español entiende perfectamente un libro que esté escrito en español, sea el escritor argentino, español, colombiano... El problema es cuando el español que se usa no es un español correcto sino un dialecto plagado de localismos, anglicismos, etc... o es una traducción hecha directamente con el traductor de google, entonces no merece la pena intentar leerlo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll just say this -- readers care more about story than anything else. So while I think everyone commenting here takes translation very seriously, the simple truth is for most readers, story is what matters. And not just story in general, a story that specifically appeals to them. "Sincerity" trumps skill every time for most readers. Which can be hard to accept when you are someone who places a premium on craft.

      Delete
  34. That was really interesting for me to read. I now think, that I have had always to great expectations. I wanted someone, who has the same voice as the author. It is perhaps possible, but not obligatory. And a translation is ( in a way ) a interpretation too, but not always my Interpretation :-), and who is saying that my interpretation is the only right one?

    ReplyDelete
  35. English is not my native tongue (although I have been studying it since I was eight years old), but I prefer reading and writing in it as opposed to my native tongue, which is Dutch.

    I actually discovered your work thanks to the translation of Fatal Shadows (off topic: I absolutely adore the Adrien English series and I'm constantly rereading the books). I bought A Dangerous Thing and The Hell You Say in the Dutch translated version as well, but I asked the bookstore owner to order Death of a Pirate King, The Dark Tide and Stranger Things Have Happened for me in English, as 1) I prefer reading in English, because it feels more natural to me and 2) the Dutch translation never reached the fourth book as far as I know. (I can also be very impatient when it comes to books I like, so I didn't even want to wait for a translation).

    So while English is not my native language, I prefer it over my own mother tongue - which may sound weird, but it's true. I can express myself better in English than in Dutch and that's why I tend to write my own stories in English as well.

    While the Dutch translation of your work wasn't that bad, it felt somewhat awkward at times (a problem that usually pops up during translation) and that was one of the deciding factors for me to switch over to the English version.

    I had discovered the male-male genre years before I encountered your work, through fanfiction and manga. I first read it in fanfiction, started collecting manga with this specific theme (also called yaoi) and then I finally started reading books with the male-male genre - which are actually quite difficult to find in my country. I wish they were easier to find, but alas ...

    I'll probably end up asking the bookstore owner to order more of your books as ordering them seems to be my only option to actually find them in the original language :)

    I hope to be able to read more of your work soon as your books are really a delight to read and they make me want to start on my own book soon :)

    Best regards,

    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Melissa. That's very interesting. In fact, one thing I am surprised to hear, but it's obviously not a fluke, is how many readers prefer to read in English.

      Of course this is the benefit of being bilingual, and it may reflect only a small portion of readers. But it is a surprising insight.

      Delete
  36. So, uhm...

    There were several comments before, regarding the translations made for m/m books in Spanish, including mine, and the discussion took an interesting turn. So, after all that, I tried looking up the translation group in charge of the Josh Lanyon books in Spanish and... well, I just wanted to say I take back whatever negative thing I said. It's just I like these books very much. Fair Game, for example, has such a mature voice and it's so well developed I got a little passionate in my opinions.

    I'm sorry. After checking out some other stories they have it's obvious they really take great care of the stories they recieve and treat them with much love. It's not all impersonal and cold and that's really important. So, yes, I'm sorry.

    That's all I wanted to say.

    Lavinia (tangygroundberries)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear this -- well, except for the mention of Fair Game because if that's been translated into Spanish, it's piracy. :-D

      Delete
    2. Heh. No there's no 'unofficial' translation of Fair Game that I know of. Just wanted to clear that up.

      Delete
  37. I love your books and I will buy them in Spanish and will recommend them to lots of friends that do not speak English. But I do like more to read in Spanish if I see the books in Spanish I buy them too. For example the Black Dagger brotherhood , are In Spanish so I have them in both languages. As a matter of fact in this reading group was were I found you. They recommended you as a very good author and they were right.
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Maria!

      Delete
  38. Translation is more than just a technical process of idiom to idiom, it's an art. I work at a college, and I see professors whose whole contribution to their field is the translation of poetry from one language to another (which can be a technical hurdle in terms of fonts on the computer, believe me).

    And translations can be done well, and done poorly. But they are also subjective, like any art.

    One of the great toss-away lines from Stargate that has continued to amuse me for years is Daniel saying "They're still using Budge?".

    There's always a danger that some translators might prevent you from unlocking world-spanning wormholes, is what I'm saying here.

    For the moment, I think I'm going to hold off on trying to get my own books translated, and see what falls out. It would be nice to find a service like ACX for translation, but it sounds like it either isn't worth it, or isn't quite there yet.

    Here's hoping!

    ReplyDelete
  39. There's always a danger that some translators might prevent you from unlocking world-spanning wormholes, is what I'm saying here.

    And this is what keeps me awake at night.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I like to sometimes compare the original and translated (in my case German) versions of books. It can be quite interesting.

    In my experience the better translations are often those where the translators take the liberty to "re-write" the text and don’t go for a “word-for-word” approach.
    I’ve recently looked at a translation where the translator painstakingly tried to transfer every grammatical nuance, which he did a good job with, but it made the book and absolute drag to read and most of the light and natural humor of the original was lost.

    I tend to prefer to read the books in the original language (if I can) mostly because they take an eternity to get translated (if they do) and I avoid the bad translation problem. However there are cases where I’ve put away the English version of a book and picked up the translated German version, because I preferred the writing style of the translator. There are some genuinely great translations and translators out there.

    I might try to pick up some japanese Adrian English books when i go there next summer for my exchange year. I don't think i'll pick up any of your german translations though, just because i'll have read and reread them a hundred in english already before they even come out.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hola:
    Perdona que comente en español pero mi inglés es muy escaso, por no decir nulo. Estoy gratamente sorprendida por el nuevo libro que ha salido en español. Adoro tu estilo, disfruto de tus historias y me encanta este género. Por eso te agradezco enormemente esta traducción (super-correcta) y os animo a seguir traduciendo tus libros a nuestro idioma. Un gran abrazo y toda mi admiración para tan gran escritor.

    ReplyDelete