This brilliant with its simplicity question stands in the base of the professional journey called freelance. But how many of freelancers can actually answer to this question?
For a long time, I was following this false belief that the answer to this question was something only high-level professional freelancers could know. I thought of it as one thinks about math; that only talented wits can get it. But in the cloud of this mindset, I forgot about one absolutely important thing: freelance is all about experience and every experience is different.
So the answer to this question is not one for everyone but rather it’s a mechanism that sets the tone to the future personal progress in freelance.
Over the years, I learnt a few ways that helped me...
It’s been almost five years since I first discovered freelance as a way of living for myself.
For a long time, I kept definition of freelance and business separate in my mind. When I started out as a newbie in the field of, as I used to define it, independent work from home I had no idea what a complex, demanding, and at times competitive venture it really was. And since usually the word business made me think about a tie and a black leather case, for a long time I was refusing to admit that freelance was also a very special kind of business.
Now, all those years later, freelance and business are some kind of synonyms for me. Because making a living as a freelancer means to be a good tête-à-tête businessman (woman).
How do you learn the mastery of literary translation? By translating.
The more you translate the better you get. But there is a side effect and I'm just going to call it what it is – over-confidence.
In real life, confidence helps us to move up the professional ladder, to get more friends or to achieve the boldest dreams we could only have. And yet, according to the law of the balance, good things are good in a right amount. Overdose of any good can be a cause of the most surprising in scale disasters.
Over-confidence in literary translation is like driving Bugatti through the streets of London in a doped state. In other words, not a good idea. But I’ll try to keep metaphors aside and get straight to the business.
For years, I was holding any thoughts of becoming a Literary Translator at bay, mainly, because as a writer, I did not want to do anything else but write. But life has its own ways with us and every time I was fortunate enough to stumble across an amazing book, I was shown over and over again the sad side of the exquisite world of writing.
Most of the things you write half of the world will never have a chance to know just because it will never be translated.
But today, when I am seriously taking on the Literary Translation Mission, I more and more discover pitfalls that I think might be the reasons why Book Translation, even to the present day, stays a blurry spot in the world of Literature.
How can it be otherwise, you can say, considering how t...
To make a written text shine you need to trust it to the hands of a knowing polisher
Exquisitely written books not just tell you a story, they speak it to you as if this very story is the echo of your own life. Exquisitely written books have logical flow and don’t tolerate meaningless words on their golden pages. Just like in the creation of life, in exquisitely written books all elements are important for healthy functioning of the whole organism (whether it is life or a story).
But what has it to do with book translation, you may ask?! And the answer to this questions is rather simple.
As I stepped in this multifaceted world of translation, the only question that kept me awake at night was ‘If my translation is CORRECT?’ Fidgeting over every word, scanning it scrupulously, checking all the possible resources, and comparing my translation to countless examples of others was my main routine. As exhausting and at times tiring as it was I enjoyed each time when I saw the product of my ‘labor’ and was enormously proud of myself when I noticed some kind of progress in the way I was doing my job.
But as more time passed, my insatiable craving to be CORRECT turned into a hump on my path of professional growth.
Naturally, I started discovering more and more odd details, mysterious I would say, in uncountable wa...
We are living in times, when everything has a price but this price is not always reasonable.
Who would not want to save some money if there is a chance to? Especially, when we talk about Book Translation.
Don’t get me wrong. There are no witless toilers ready to translate your book for a hundred of bucks. Book Translation takes time and money, and time is one of the main things that can help you to save some money! Another thing that might be useful regarding saving is Reason. About this we will talk in a moment, but before, let’s have a look at how price for Book Translation is formed.
There is only one way to turn one book into many, and it is to TRANSLATE.
Yet, the amount of books that never get a chance to be translated is enormous. It is even more so in the world of Indie Authors and their baby books. If you want to taste how truly dramatic this is, imagine ocean of books, drifting away from the starving hearts of its potential readers.
Imagine Shakespeare, drowned in among those drifting away waters of words.
Imagine Kafka, never crossing the border of Germany.
As a Russian/English speaking person, I’ve read dozens and dozens of books, some of them written by my favorite American/British Indie Authors, that will more likely never ...
I was born in Russia. How did it happen that almost half of my life I’ve consciously dedicated to learning English, I find rather hard to narrate in few words… But today’s reality is that one of the main things I do for living is working as a freelance translator, using both my passion for English language and my Russian roots to provide the best translations for my clients.
But sometimes, being a translator can be tricky. Mainly, because being a freelance translator means being a negotiator as well. So, before my work as a translator begins, I have to make sure that the ground for the work laying ahead is solid and my collaboration with the client is build right.
As a translator with experience, I’m aware of all the aspects...