Archive for the ‘Resources for Translators’ Category

A New List of Children’s Books Translated from Chinese, Japanese, Korean

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

David Jacobson is known to many as the author of Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, a picture book and anthology hailed for bringing a Japanese poet to life in English. Jacobson is now working to bring attention to more Asian writers and stories, by chairing a panel at the upcoming 12th IBBY Regional Conference in Seattle (October 20-22, 2017)—and by surveying children’s literature available in translation from Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

David Jacobson’s Survey of Translations of Children’s and YA Literature Translated from Chinese, Japanese and Korean – Jacobson – Survey of Translations (2017)

 

An exciting new resource, Jacobson’s list gives ideas for librarians and booksellers hoping to expand their offerings from Asia for children. Jacobson’s introduction to his list also lays out important information about the small percentage of English-language children’s books that are translations, and the skewed representation of the world’s languages within that small percentage.

Jacobson hopes to add to his list, so if you know of titles he might include, please comment on this post. The list covers picture books through YA.

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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.

Lynne E. Riggs introduced 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.

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