ljgoldstein (ljgoldstein) wrote in theinferior4,

Translation Offer

I just read this post from Benjamin Rosenbaum, where he points out the unfair advantage English speakers have in selling stories, and offers to try to redress the balance a little by translating stories from German to English.  Since he wrote the post nearly a year ago it's probably pointless to make any comments at his blog, so I thought I'd talk about what he said here.

Says Rosenbaum, "I'd like to see more authors do this. I'd like to see us in the English speaking world make translation a regular part of our literary practice, the way it is for authors most other places. It's interesting, it's invigorating, and it's only right. You don't have to be a specialized translator. You could just do one a year. Why not?"

So -- I would love to translate a short story from Spanish into English.  Like Rosenbaum, I would do this on spec, and only worry about money if the author manages to sell the story.  He suggests 25% for the translator if the story is sold, which sounds about right.

Unlike Rosenbaum, though, I don't want to try to sell the story to an English market -- the author would be responsible for selling it him- or herself.  Now that most submissions can be sent by email from anywhere in the world this doesn't seem like too much of a hardship for writers from other countries.  And of course I'd be happy to make suggestions about where to send it.

Rosenbaum seems to have thought about this a lot.  I can't improve on his list of what he wants from a non-Anglophone writer, so I'll just repeat it here (slightly abridged):

If you are an author from the non-Anglophone world:
    •    Find a story you think we should translate.
    •    The story must be under 7000 words and previously published in a significant market.
    •    You should specifically think that it is a fit for me because of what I write, rather than just "hey I heard there's a guy who will translate stuff on spec."
    •    Contact me here, and tell me:
    ◦    about the story in brief
    ◦    where it was previously published
    ◦    how to contact you.

One more reason I'd like to do this -- I'm really curious about the kinds of stories that are being written in the Spanish-speaking world these days, and would love to see what's out there.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment