Monday, February 02, 2009

Another translator speaks

Stieg Larsson's English translator has started a blog called Stieg Larsson's English translator. Early posts concern Larsson and translation, both in combination and separately, as well as miscellaneous pieces on such topics on how translator Steven T. Murray (Reg Keeland) learned Swedish and Danish.

I have special fondness for a post called Nuts & bolts of translation (1), which declares, among other things, that

"We are proud that our translations at Fjord Press were remarkably error-free, compared to most books today, now that publishers are cutting back on copy editing, or eliminating that step altogether."
© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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6 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Yikes! Kinda sounds like he's got some inside dope there dont it?

February 02, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't know the ins and outs of publishing, but I'm guessing a translator's working relationship with a copy editor would be similar to an authors. So I'd say Reg is in a good position to acquire inside dope. But if books are anything like newspapers, it does not take inside knowledge to see how cutting back on editing reduces quality. All it takes is a literate reader with a sharp eye.

February 02, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Or ear. I listened to the Da Vinci as an audio and many times nearly caused multiple deaths on I 25.

February 02, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Not that I'm tempted to act on this curiosity, but I wonder to what extent a narrator or reader with pleasing voice might divert a listener's attention from bad prose. If I ever try this experiment while driving, I shall make sure not to do so on a road through mountains, lest I drive myself over the edge.

February 03, 2009  
Blogger Reg said...

I-25, Adrian? What part? I live 2 miles from it.

When I was editing as a permatemp at Microsoft back in the early 90s and commuting 20 miles each way to Redmond from West Seattle (luckily against the main flow in those days), I discovered a company in Maryland that rented unabridged audiobooks on cassette. So I ordered Nostromo by Joseph Conrad. The actor/reader had a wonderful accent in French or Italian, but he used it for all the Spanish words. I returned the tapes for a credit, it was abominable to listen to. A case of lack of audio copyediting gone horribly wrong.

February 11, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Wow, I like idea of copyediting accents -- blue-penciling bad brogues.

This does not concern audio books, but it might apply to them. A Philadelphia author I know has a nice knack for adding a slight accent for certain characters when he does readings. This differentiates them nicely without becoming obtrusive. It also may offer a clue to which of his own characters he feels especially close to.

February 11, 2009  

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