5 tips when translating a book

5 tips when translating a book


You've put a lot of time and energy into writing your book. And as an author, you naturally want to reach as many people as possible with your message. If your book is a success in the Netherlands, you might consider publishing it in another country. But we can imagine that it is difficult to entrust your work to someone else. At the same time, having your book translated offers a great opportunity to share your story with even more people. Fortunately, there are excellent, motivated book translators with various specialties who will be happy to work on your novel or nonfiction book. These five tips will help you get a quality book translation.

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1. Think about the target audience of your to be translated book

You obviously already thought about the target audience for your book when you wrote it, but you may have a different target audience in mind for the translated book, requiring certain adjustments. Moreover, if you want to have your book translated into English, you need to consider the market to which you will release your book. Britons, Americans and Australians all speak English, but there are quite a few differences in spelling, the meaning of certain words and expressions used.

2. Request a sample translation

Translating a book is a big project and you don't want to find out only at the very end that you are dissatisfied with the style or certain translation choices. We therefore recommend requesting a sample translation that you can review, or have someone you know review if you don't speak the language yourself. Choose a chapter or section of it (about 500 to 1,000 words) that contains very creative or tricky bits, for example. This will give you a good idea of the style and quality of the translator.

3. Have your book translated by a native speaker

For best results, have your book translated by a native speaker. A translator who lives or has lived in the country of the target language knows the culture and customs inside out. He or she is also often more familiar with your target audience and modern language usage, so he or she knows just the right words to choose. A round of revision by another native speaker should not be skipped either. Translation is human work and things sometimes get overlooked. Someone who looks at your translated book with fresh eyes will spot any mistakes sooner.

4. Be available for questions

The translator is the expert in the language of the country where you want to publish your book, but you are the expert when it comes to the content of your book. A good translator does a lot of research, but sometimes feedback from the author is desired. Perhaps an important passage can be interpreted in several ways, or the translator is unsure between two possible solutions. By answering the translator's questions in a timely manner, you'll end up with a better book translation and avoid follow-up work.

5. Don't forget the marketing

Once you have your book translated, of course you need to sell it! Depending on how and where your translated book is sold, you may not need to translate things like ordering information and frequently asked questions yourself. But it is nice if promotional materials with, for example, a quote or summary of your book, match the actual translation.

Help with translating your book

Want to translate your book, but don't know where to find a good translator? Scriptware Translations is happy to arrange the translation of your book. We will find a suitable translator for each subject and type of book so you can reach a larger, international audience. Contact with us if you want to learn more about how we translate books, how to submit the book to be translated or what the cost of translating your book is.

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