Tags: translation


Thoughts about translation

(This was written with voice dictation software, so please excuse any weird capitalisation or punctuation.)

Make_believe_world recently posted a Russian translation of one of my fics, which has also been translated into Polish. (which I think is really cool, and here are the links: Russian, Polish though I don't know if there is anyone on my f-list who can read these languages)

Reading my own work in translation got me thinking about the whole process of translation, and how difficult it must be. Trying to be as faithful as possible to the original text, and yet making it sound good in the new language... But sometimes something that sounds great in one language just doesn't exist in another! I've never tried, but I have enormous respect for people who can do it.

What I have done is translate my own fics back and forth between French and English, which is way easier because when is your own fic you can just ignore or change anything that isn't working in translation. The bad thing, however, is that you usually discover loads of things that you could have improved in the original ;)

When I first started posting to livejournal and AO3, I was very shy about letting on that I also wrote fic in French that I posted elsewhere. I think I was afraid people might assume my English probably wasn't very good, and not want to read my fic (though actually I'm a native speaker of English). Later on I realised it was stupid to think like that. Fandom is full of non-native speakers writing amazing stories! I'd stopped writing in French by that point though, because I was writing for shows which had pretty much no francophone fandom.

Anyway, with all this thinking about translation I decided to go back and do another one, of my Holmes fics: Extrait des annales de la police métropolitaine de Londres. It was a bit painful, when I noticed some stuff that didn't work so well in the original fic ;) But it was also fun, because I could change whatever I liked. The Belgravia Burglar became Le cambrioleur de Clerkenwell, for instance - it just sounds better!

By the way, the English version of the fic was originally written specifically to be podficced, and you can find Miss_S_B's podfic on the audiofic archive here.