Archive for the ‘Resources for Translators’ Category

Children’s Literature Translation FAQ and Model Contract

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Further to my post about the “3 Cs” for translators (copyright, compensation, credit), here are two places to learn more about arranging children’s book translations.

1) A Model Contract for Literary Translations | PEN American Center

This document gives clear guidelines and links to PEN’s comprehensive Translation FAQs. I highly recommend reading the Model Contract and Translation FAQs top to bottom if you are a translator or hope to hire a translator. This will save you much wondering and puzzlement!

PEN Model Contract

2) Translation: Some Frequently Asked Questions | SCBWI

I wrote this far-less-comprehensive FAQ (posted 2 September 2015) to address basic procedural questions about children’s book translation. The page links to recent articles and book lists.

SCBWI FAQ article

Thanks for reading!

3 Cs for Translators: Copyright, Compensation, Credit

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

As Translator Coordinator for SCBWI Japan and the first International Translator Coordinator for SCBWI, I often encounter questions about recognition and remuneration of translators.

Translators need to know if they are accepting terms that uphold the profession. Publishers need to know translators’ roles and needs.

All translators deserve certain terms and conditions, what I call the 3 Cs:

Copyright

  • Translator holds copyright to the translation
  • Author holds copyright to original text
Copyright information for The Devil's Whisper, authored by Miyuki Miyabe and translated by Deborah Iwabuchi. Published by Kodansha USA.

Copyright information for The Devil’s Whisper, authored by Miyuki Miyabe and translated by Deborah Stuhr Iwabuchi. Published by Kodansha USA.

Compensation

  • Adequate advance
  • Royalties

Credit

  • Name on book’s cover, title page
  • Profile in biodata
  • Name on publisher’s website and entries with online retailers

For examples of appropriate crediting of translators, please click here.

Translation of a children’s book is a creative act. The translator reads and interprets what an author has written—and not written—and renders it in a language that may look, sound, and act utterly unlike the original.

The translator considers cultural gaps, the background knowledge of new readers, and literary values of the target market. The translator must also write well—as well as established authors in the target language.

Far from converting a text, a translator renders or performs it much as a musician performs a piece. The composer has notated music in one form, and the musician brings it to life in another.

As a harpist deserves the 3 Cs for recording a sonata composed by someone else, a translator deserves the 3 Cs for translating a story authored by someone else. The translator’s task differs from the author’s, but it is creative and essential. In children’s publishing it is also a freelance not in-house task, so must be credited for the translator to build a career.

Increased awareness of the 3 Cs promises to help translators pursue their vocation, resulting in a great body of world literature for children. There’s another C!

Further information:

Skirting the Juniper Brambles: A Translator Narrowly Misses Getting Trapped in the Copyright Thicket
By Anne Milano Appel with legal commentary by Erach F. Screwvala, Esq. in the ATA Chronicle

Copyright “Rustling” in English-Language Translation: How Translators Keep (and Lose) Rights to Their Work—Data from Translations Published in 2014
By Wendell Rickets on ProvenWrite.com
Copyright “Rustling” in English-Language Translation: How Translators Keep (and Lose) Rights to Their Work—Data from Translations Published in 2014

An Author Asks: Why Should a Translator Get Royalties When the Story is Mine?
By Lisa Carter on Intralingo.com

Intellectual Property and Copyright: The Case of Translators
By Linda M. R. Esteves in Translation Journal

Short Stories Japan: Literary Fun for All Ages

Short Stories Japan logoBy Hamish Smith, Osaka

Short Stories Japan is a new website that is just what you might guess it to be—a place for short stories from Japan translated into English. Most of what gets posted is suitable for all ages. While the internal monologue of a twentieth century feminist might not be up everyone’s alley, there are plenty of ghosts, wandering bards, vampires, mischievous talking animals and wine-sipping demons to keep both young and grown-up readers entertained. We also have a growing number of “weird tales” that encompass fairy tales and other stories for children. It is still early days yet, but if the current trends continue, Short Stories Japan will be a site with something for everyone.

Short Stories Japan is also a place for people to discuss the soul-crushing process of literary translation. All translations are discussed openly on the message board, making the site not only entertaining for readers, but also useful for learners of Japanese and literary translation.

I created and operate this site in cooperation with Edward Lipsett of Kurodahan Press. All translators who post at Short Stories Japan retain the rights to their translations.

Essay Asks, “What Exactly Is Translation?”

Nihon jido bungaku (Japanese Children's Literature)

The Sept-Oct 2011 issue of Nihon jido bungaku (Japanese Children’s Literature)

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

When Deborah Iwabuchi and Kazuko Enda translated the ebook Little Keys and the Red Piano by Hideko Ogawa—described on this blog here—they and Ogawa read an essay by Yumiko Sakuma in the journal Nihon jido bungaku (Japanese Children’s Literature), “What Exactly Is Translation?”

In the essay, Sakuma describes her career as a translator of children’s books from English into Japanese. (Her oeuvre includes Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda, Hitler’s Daughter by Jackie French, and titles by Uri Shulevitz, plus U.S. president Barack Obama’s picture book Of Thee I Sing.)

Sakuma explains and shows how a translation for children goes far beyond a literal rendering, and may involve changes—even to characters’ names—to accommodate readers’ needs and backgrounds.

Thanks to Sakuma’s essay, Iwabuchi writes, the author of Little Keys and the Red Piano showed “enormous empathy for her translators” and considered every question they raised with her. Iwabuchi found Sakuma’s article so helpful that she has translated it into English in full. It now appears on the SWET website.

“Pianyan, Little Keys, and Yumiko Sakuma” by Deborah Iwabuchi

If you are a publisher working with a children’s translation, an author being translated, or a translator explaining your art, treat yourself to this essay. It puts words to how translation involves so much more than conversion of language.

Scholastic Picture Book Award Competition Open to Asian-Themed Books in Translation

The Scholastic Picture Book Award 2015 competition is open. Entries of unpublished, Asian-themed picture books up to 500 words will be accepted until December 19, 2014, at 5 p.m. Singapore time.

Picture book text must be in English, but works in languages other than English may be considered, if an English translation is submitted with the original text and illustrations.

Here is a Japanese version of the entry form and competition rules: Japanese Translation Scholastic Picture Book Award 2015 Entry Form

Japanese authors and illustrators who seek a translator for this competition are encouraged to email SCBWI Japan Translation Group: japan (at) scbwi.org

For a nominal fee, a member of SCBWI Japan Translation Group will translate the text plus bio(s) of the author and/or illustrator and a summary of the book. The translator will also provide a translator bio. The translator will request an introduction to the publisher if an English-language version of the book is slated for publication.

We hope that many Japanese picture book creators will participate in this competition!

Scholastic絵本賞2015では、現在絵本の作品を募集しています。

  • アジア在住のアジア人であり、18歳以上の絵本作家、イラストレーターであれば誰でも応募できます。プロ、アマを問いません。
  • 0歳から6歳を対象とした、アジアに関連する内容、お話の絵本(長さは最大500ワード。日本語としておおよそ原稿用紙4〜5枚程度以内)を2014年12月19日17:00(シンガポール時間)まで受け付け中です。

原稿は英語が原則ですが、翻訳があれば応募できます。日本語原稿と一緒に、英語の翻訳を提出してください。未出版、未契約の作品に限ります。

詳しくはこちらをごらんください。日本語応募要項

SCBWI Japan Translation Groupでは優秀なネイティブ文芸翻訳者が英訳のお手伝いをします。ご希望の方は japan (at) scbwi.org 宛にメールでご連絡ください。

翻訳料は¥10,000となります。絵本の本文、作家やイラストレーターのプロフィール、本の短い要約など、必要な資料を英訳いたします(翻訳者のプロフィールも付け加えます)。

英訳が出版される際には担当した翻訳者を出版社に紹介し、できるだけ優先されるよう、推薦してください。

ひとりでも多くの日本人作家やイラストレーターが応募してくださいますよう、応援させていただきます!

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014 in Yokohama

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By Deborah Iwabuchi, Maebashi, Japan

Thirty-one translators and future translators from throughout Japan (and beyond) gathered on October 18, 2014, at Yokohama International School for SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014. This event was packed with sessions guaranteed to satisfy and inform Japanese-to-English translators of all interests and levels.

We participants gained valuable insight into many aspects of translation. Along with learning about theory, new trends, new equipment, resources available to us, and advice for doing a better job, we were encouraged by the need for translated children’s literature in the world as a whole, and in the English-language market in particular.

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Cathy Hirano discusses the importance of and barriers to children’s literature in English translation.

Cathy Hirano, translator of the Moribito series by 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Nahoko Uehashi, began the day with a moving talk about why she translates for children and teens in a translation-resistant environment. Juliet Winters Carpenter followed with a talk about translating voice, based on her work translating A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, which won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award Grand Prize for Fiction and the 2014 Lewis Galantière Award from the American Translators Association.

A Skype session followed with Daniel Hahn, program director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, about pathways to publication in the UK. Located in Karachi at the time, Hahn gamely used video, audio, and instant messaging to describe ways to approach British publishers.

Daniel Hahn appears via Skype from Pakistan.

Daniel Hahn appears via Skype from Pakistan.

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Juliet Winters Carpenter discusses developing characters in her translation of A True Novel.

After lunch, Carpenter offered a workshop in which she critiqued translations of two excerpts from A True Novel. Fifteen translators had submitted versions of one or both excerpts in advance, and Carpenter considered each submission in turn. Later, Carpenter selected and edited several translations of one passage for the SCBWI Japan Translation Group blog:

One Passage, Seven Translations—Minae Mizumura

After Carpenter’s workshop, Alexander O. Smith, translator of the Batchelder Award-winning novel Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe, demonstrated how he uses voice recognition software to translate first drafts. Finally, Lynne E. Riggs and Avery Fischer Udagawa spoke about resources offered by the organizations SWET and SCBWI.

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Lynne E. Riggs introduces SWET and the book Japan Style Sheet, a guide to publishing in English about Japan.  Avery Fischer Udagawa next described SCBWI and its resource The Book, focused on children’s publishing.

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Alexander O. Smith (seated far left), among others, offered an impromptu seminar during lunch.

SCBWI Japan’s biennial Translation Days (see reports from 2010 and 2012 in PDF) are characterized by the intimacy of a small gathering. The YIS venue provides us with an ample, comfortable room and the equipment for presentations and workshops. Talks and breaks and lunch are all held in the same space, so there is a great deal of mingling. Friends enjoy time together, and we get to know people we usually only see on email lists and Facebook. At this year’s sessions, about half of the participants were “old hands,” and about half were younger translators and graduate students thinking about a career in the field.

Speakers at Translation Day are top professionals in our field. Some had traveled quite a distance to be there this year, and all had prepared well for their presentations. That, one might assume, would be sufficient, and yet each and every one of these talented people spent any free time they might have had answering questions and giving advice to anyone who cared to approach them. Most of us translators work in relative isolation, so we appreciate (more than words in any language can express) these rare opportunities for enrichment and networking.

Participants were delighted with this event, and non-SCBWI members commented on how impressed they were by its organization. The program was coordinated and emceed by SCBWI Japan Translator Coordinator Avery Fischer Udagawa. Avery, based in Bangkok, together with Regional Advisor Holly Thompson, traveling in Massachusetts, and Assistant Regional Advisor Mariko Nagai in Tokyo, miraculously planned and executed Translation Day. YIS teacher and SCBWI member Trevor Kew kindly and efficiently took care of logistics. Many thanks to all in charge, to all who spoke and to the many translators who attended!

Most of the group at the end of a productive day—translators from all over Japan and beyond.

Most of the group at the end of a productive day—translators from all over Japan and beyond.

SCBWI  Logo

SCBWI LA 2014: A Translator’s View

SCBWI Summer Conference 2014

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Last month I attended the 2014 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, thanks to a generous Tribute Fund Scholarship. I soaked up info from keynote speeches, panel discussions, break-out sessions, intensives, a manuscript critique, and socials, and talked up translation and the SCBWI Japan Translation Group.

Theme Building, Los Angeles International Airport

Theme Building, Los Angeles International Airport

Children’s Book People Everywhere!

This conference was a meet-up of 1,235 children’s book people at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles.

The first person I met was my roommate, illustrator and fellow Tribute Fund recipient Marsha Riti of Austin, Texas. This piece of hers shows how excited I felt!

"Feisty Tricycle" by Marsha Riti

“Feisty Tricycle” by Marsha Riti

I soon also met up with friends whom I see too rarely in Asia, beginning with SCBWI Japan Regional Advisor Holly Thompson.

Avery Fischer Udagawa, SCBWI Japan Regional Advisor Holly Thompson, Writer Li-Hsin Tu, Illustrator Kazumi Wilds

Translator Avery Fischer Udagawa, writer Holly Thompson, writer Li-Hsin Tu, illustrator Kazumi Wilds

One of many delights of SCBWI LA was the International Social for members of all non-US regions worldwide. Special thanks to International Regional Advisor Chairperson Kathleen Ahrens of Hong Kong, Assistant International Advisor Angela Cerrito of Germany, and International Awards and Publications Coordinator Christopher Cheng of Australia. It was a bonus delight to connect with Kenneth Quek of Singapore, Director of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content!

Oodles of Opportunities

I met few translators in LA. 😦 On the upside, I found many chances to study craft and ask how to publish more translations. To quote my bit of SCBWI Japan’s blog coverage, I valued . . .

Chances to improve my work: I took part in a one-on-one manuscript critique with SCBWI President Stephen Mooser, who has authored more than 60 children’s books. He reviewed the first ten pages of my middle grade novel translation as writing in English, providing feedback on how I could improve my language. I also took a half-day intensive on novel revision with Linda Sue Park, a Newbery Award-winning author. From her I learned several ways to make a completed draft “strange” to myself, in order to spot where to streamline the language. Every segment of her intensive applied both to writing and to translation.

Opportunities to ask editors how they acquire translations: I attended break-out sessions by Alessandra Balzer, co-publisher of Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books; Mary Lee Donovan, editorial director at Candlewick Press; Dinah Stevenson, publisher of Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and Julie Strauss-Gabel of Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. Each of these editors fielded a question about how/whether she considers works in translation and how these might be submitted. So did Arthur Levine of Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., and Andrea Welch, senior editor at Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Andrea’s half-day intensive on picture books exposed me to numerous new ideas, and again applied 100 percent to translations.

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Discovery while jet lagged: Source text + bobby pin + laptop = setup to prevent over-editing a first draft

 

Time to network with members of the We Need Diverse Books Campaign: The We Need Diverse Books campaign took the US children’s lit world by storm in May, showing the need for main characters of color and of diverse cultural backgrounds (among many kinds of diversity). Since translations are a source of diversity, I was thrilled to talk with authors Lamar Giles and Meg Medina, leaders in the We Need Diverse Books initiative. I also hung out at a We Need Diverse Books lunchtime chat and heard a panel by Lamar Giles, Meg Medina, Linda Sue Park, authors Sharon Flake and Suzanne Morgan Williams, and agent Adriana Dominguez. Their discussion galvanized me to bring more books from overseas to young readers. Kids deserve to explore stories from their whole world!

I got mine!

I got my button!

US Children’s Publishing in Microcosm

SCBWI LA was my best glimpse to date of the US children’s publishing world. This was partly due to “state of the industry” keynotes that detailed trends in the US market—noting, for example, that picture books are aiming younger as chapter books take off, or that contemporary realistic YA fiction still has a place, or that literary MG novels are in demand. (Hooray!)

I heard these updates and more in presentations by Justin Chanda, vice president and publisher of three Simon & Schuster children’s imprints, and Deborah Halverson, editor of SCBWI’s detailed and ever-evolving Market Survey. While neither of these speakers mentioned translations, both spoke to the need for diverse books and provided big-picture info useful to translators.

I also got an overview by looking around in the socials and sessions at this large conference, and seeing how many US authors there are. This conference was larger than one small town I lived in as a child! I learned that lots of people are creating content for US readers in English. Their work for the highly competitive US market sets the standard for translations from overseas, as well.

Conference-goers in costume to celebrate Tomie dePaola's 80th birthday

Conference-goers in costume to celebrate Tomie dePaola’s 80th birthday

We love Strega Nona!

We love Strega Nona!

Finally, insofar as SCBWI itself represents US children’s publishing, I found reasons to take heart: SCBWI has established a new Translator category for members! In addition, an Advisory Board meeting after SCBWI LA included a discussion of initiatives to support translation. I see these as encouraging signs.

Meanwhile, stocked with info from LA plus the fuel of renewed and new friendships, I am ready to return to work!

P.S. When I got home, my daughters pored over picture books I had bought in LA and claimed illustrators’ postcards to use for crafts. It was a treat to watch creators’ efforts feed hours of play!

 

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Six-year-old’s expansion on postcard by Ryan Jackson

 

For even more info on the 2014 SCBWI Summer Conference, click here for the official  blog coverage and recaps.