Translating literary material is just one of the very specific types of translation services offered by Trusted Translations. Very different than translating marketing materials or technical manuals, it requires a specific process. Also, having both the client and provider on the same page is crucial as this will finally lead to a more successful outcome.
Literature translations require a thorough communication from the client to the Account Manager to ensure that our translators will have all the right information for the correct tone, style, dialect, etc. Understanding who the target audience is will also be an important detail to discuss. As the provider, our processes mainly differ from a project management standpoint, meaning organizing and outlining how and when the three steps of translation, editing and proofreading are executed. Time is also a key factor with literature translations; moreover, when time is associated with certain budget constraints and a potential trade-off.
For high quality work, our translators need sufficient time to work with your material. Extra time does not only mean a longer turnaround time, it can also mean “creative writing” costs expressed in hours. Creative writing takes time and is different than writing warning signs for a factory. Often times the translation of literature requires our translators to read the full book several times to get an understanding of the author’s intended tone. Extra time can also be used for researching topics or finagling with inflections to best honor the meaning. An occasional retranslation is also necessary, as developing a flow with a translation takes time. Sometimes the translator will not develop a flow until a quarter or even half of the work is already done. At that point, many translators like to go back and rework the previous chapters to ensure quality and consistency.
As eBooks are becoming increasingly useful with the popularity of tablets, many clients are looking to have their work translated for digital versions. Discussing file formats and technical details might be important upon the start of projects. This can make a difference in the format our translators work with or how we will deliver the final version to the client.
Upon the author’s review, often times additional editing is necessary. Taking the time to agree upon a schedule of partial deliveries between client and provider is mandatory. Many times the author has comments or feedback on the translations and these take time/money to implement. Partial deliveries is a way to ensure that we are delivering exactly what our clients require; it allows us to work out any kinks or style preferences while still in the translation process. This is especially true with books.
The approach and process of literature translations can be quite unique and requires particular attention to detail. Having a knowledgeable provider with experience to handle your work properly is essential.