Imagine if only English speakers read the works of Shakespeare, Twain, and Hemmingway, if only French speakers enjoy the works of Maupassant and Zola, if only German speakers understand the works of Goethe, Schiller, and Heine, if only people who speak Spanish refer to the works of Cervantes and Lorca, and if Tolstoy and Pushkin be only learnt in Russian – the peace of mind of any person that can read would be so poor. There would be no such thing as world fiction. There would not be very many classic stories that set standards for human life and that also raise awareness for the spiritual world of every civilized people on the planet.
Remember when you were in the company of Tom Sawyer as a kid, when you cried over the fate of Romeo and Juliet as an adolescent, and when you became engrossed in reading the works of Hemmingway and Remarque after you were older. Your probably didn’t think about what language those books were written in. Heroes from books became dear to you, speaking to you with the same language, while your absolute favorite books became friends for life, and you aren’t bothered by the nationality of the author, and what language the author speaks and writes in.
So who are these people, who, regardless of religious and political differences, are spreading awareness for the entire progressive world community? They are translators that specialize in fiction book translation.
Fiction book translation is as old as civilization, and it is one of the most ancient professions. The emergence of translation dates back from the age of antiquity. As was the case for many areas of culture and science, Ancient Rome served as the cradle for the development of translation. Roman Philosopher and Politician Cicero is thus one of the first translators from Greek. He translated various works of the philosophers Plato and Demosthenes in the famous treatise “The Art of Poetry”, and some works of Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, and other Greek play wrights.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, all educated people used Latin, while the common people had not yet become a party to international communication, and demand for book translation went down. The occupational prestige of translators was also not high. European diplomacy had practically no need of translators and interpreters for a long time, since French was generally accepted in international relations. However, the rapid development of national cultures led to the flourishing of literary translation, both prose and poetry.
The modern world generally can’t live without professional translators, and translators of literary texts are in especially high demand. Any book publisher would be interested in cooperation with fiction book translation specialists.
Fiction book translation, while it may seem easy, is very specific, and only selected few are really capable to produce a quality literary translation. Its specificity lies in the fact that, in comparison to other types of translation, it does not only fulfill a communicative/informative function (after all, work with scientific texts, official business texts, or legal texts, however, involves a lot of scientific knowledge.) It also takes on a special aesthetic charge. That is why the translation of fiction is related to the creative knowledge of the world, i.e. related to the arts.
As opposed to business translations, where official phrases have to convey the information expected, or to simultaneous interpretation, where responding quickly and formulating ideas with precision are important, but the lack of sentence structure is perfectly excusable, translators consider fiction book translation one of the most difficult types of translation.
The fact of the matter is that the translator of a book is just like the writer, who practically rewrites the book from scratch, and creates it anew for the reader. And he/she won’t get by without a talent for writing. Fiction book translation from any language has to be done in such a way that the atmosphere of the story and the style of the author are retained in full. Managing to make a text interesting and readable, retaining its structure, conveying the intention of the author—now that’s talent.
Mastering the theory and practice of fiction book translation takes a lifetime for the modern day translator. If translators aspire to the status of a specialist in fiction book translation, they have to be part writer, part visionary and, of course, simply a very creative person, who is able to get to the essence of a text. Translators of books also have to be researchers to a certain degree, because it is hard to translate texts from another time period and another culture if you are not familiar with their characteristics. In addition, a master of translating fiction absolutely has to have a rich vocabulary.
Translators that are from the elite among the ranks of the world’s translations work with fiction book translation.
Our translation agency has such translators on its staff. We regularly work with book publishers and authors. Our book translators regularly expand their professional knowledge, thus guaranteeing success for your orders.
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