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German readers, help with a translation writing question.


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Ersteintrag: 19.06.2011, 20:13:09 GMT+2
Declan Conner meint:
I've just had a short story translated to German. Translators for fiction literature are hard to find, with most services translating technical text. In the story I use thoughts in italics without 'he/she thought' and it has been translated in the style I wrote it.

When I passed it to a German friend, he said he was sure that using 'he/she thought' was the norm in German books.

Can anyone enlighten me.

Veröffentlicht am 19.06.2011, 20:15:09 GMT+2
Declan Conner meint:
Sorry, just posted this to recieve email notifications.

Veröffentlicht am 19.06.2011, 22:29:04 GMT+2
Jana Schaper meint:
To answer your question hopefully since I've read a lot of books already. Anyway, I think 's/he thought' can be used in German, yet in English it is seen as speaking language. To differ those, I use the same way you described above in English since I'm a native German. I think if you use the thoughts in italics, there shouldn't be any problems.

Hope to have helped a bit! ;)

Veröffentlicht am 20.06.2011, 02:10:52 GMT+2
Declan Conner meint:
Thanks, really appreciate you taking the time to reply. It has helped. I feel more at ease now in using italics without 'he thought' as a tag etc

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 20.06.2011, 12:04:14 GMT+2
Mr. X meint:
hi, there definitely should not be a problem with your using italics. maybe it's not a very common way to do this - also in english literature - , but I think that every reader should immediately understand these "asides" as thoughts. moreover there's also literary freedom, isn't it?

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 20.06.2011, 14:18:24 GMT+2
Erdbeerheld meint:
I agree with Jana. I've read a lot of books in my life, some of them using the 'italics version', some declaring thoughts each time in words. Personally, I like the 'italics way' much more, as it does not repeat the same vocabulary over and over.

But your friend is not wrong either: You can read many books without ever coming across one's thoughts being put into italics. In my (native speaker) opinion, both are correct.

Veröffentlicht am 21.06.2011, 14:20:58 GMT+2
Amazon-klant meint:
Personally I'd leave the 's/he thought' out. If the reader isn't aware that the italics are thoughts, I'm sure s/he will catch on
the next thought. I find thoughts in italic attractive in stories as it helps me to immerse myself directly into the inner rumblings of the charactar without having to step over a textual threshold that would distract me.

Veröffentlicht am 21.06.2011, 19:27:26 GMT+2
Simone Oliver meint:
I agree, that nowadays you can write it however you want to. The italic writing definitely makes the distinction clearer and also differentiates thought from dialogue which is what counts.

Veröffentlicht am 22.06.2011, 08:53:57 GMT+2
Emma290497 meint:
Agreed too - use it as creative licence.

personally I've only come across the italics (as thoughts) in English (books) - but I guess sooner or later readers will catch up, since I suppose the "thoughts" will not be in "quotes" like actual dialogue... and will from the the context be identified as the inner "dialogue"

Veröffentlicht am 22.06.2011, 14:02:57 GMT+2
Declan Conner meint:
Thank you all for posting you thoughts on the subject. I'll go with the style of italics as written. I envy the German schooling system of teaching English as a second language. I feel like I am working blind. My ambition is to have all my short stories translated to German and to include both German and English versions in each eBook. However, without a working knowledge of German, it makes the checking of a translators work very difficult. One misinterpreted word can change the whole meaning of a scene as I have found out from a German Beta reader of my first translated work,which I hope to upload soon.

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 22.06.2011, 14:07:01 GMT+2
Emma290497 meint:
Hi Declan,
it might be a good idea to hold on to that German beta, because it's absoutely true - the German language is often very specific and there are - as anybody learning a foreign language, will know - very subtle differences if not in the meaning then in the feel or the connotation of words.
good luck either way

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 22.06.2011, 18:48:49 GMT+2
hi declan,

I just read your posting and all the answers. and I can only verify the opinions of people here - because I'm a real free-lance translator with Random House and what we call in German "Lektorin", meaning I check translations into German whether they are good or better works because they correspond in style, ingenuity and contents with the original. That goes especially if creativity is asked for to create new German words like they had to do for harry potter f.i. (I hate the translation of Clockwork Angel, because there was somebody on that book that had no inspiration at all).
ok, I stop babbling, I just get carried away whenever I talk or write about good versus bad translations. A good translation is one that can even spin straw into gold and still keep the style of the author. If you like to know anymore about translation work or would like some real good but not too expensive translators just send a mail: magpielea@t-online.de. wishing you all the best
Biene

Veröffentlicht am 23.06.2011, 20:28:53 GMT+2
See, Declan, all sorted. Sorry I didn't get back to you yet, my friend's rather busy and didn't answer my e-mail yet. Looks like my assumptions were correct. Seems 'global' to do it this way. Since you're self-published, the most important point is to be consistant. An publishing house would ask you to follow their 'inhouse-rules'.

Veröffentlicht am 26.06.2011, 02:28:53 GMT+2
Declan Conner meint:
Thanks Stella, appreciate you taking the time to make enquiries.

Elster, appreciate the email contact address.

I have to say I am feeling nervous about publishing, Das Ende, oder ein neuer Anfang, (The End, or a New Dawn) probably by the end of next week. My Beta reader says it is a smooth read and he only needed to suggest minor alterations which I am checking back with my translator to clarify. The nervousness comes from it being a first work in German as I plan to have the other 11 short stories translated. For now, I will stand or fall on the first publication, so I am desperate to get it right. I will be including American and British English versions with the German translation of the story in one eBook for the reader to make the choice. That should make it an interesting read for translators, so I guess I will soon find out if it is considered to be good translation, or not. The English version reached the finals of a competion judged by Harper Collins editors and authors, so I am not worried about the story, just the translation.

Veröffentlicht am 31.07.2011, 22:57:41 GMT+2
Declan Conner meint:
Der Feind im Innern (Eine Kurzgeschichte.) (Eine deutsche und zwei englische Versionen in einem E-Buch zusammengefasst.)

Das Ende, oder ein neuer Anfang (Eine Kurzgeschichte.) (Eine deutsche und zwei englische Versionen in einem E-Buch zusammengefasst.)

Well I Das Ende getting a number 1 spot, or Der Fiend getting a number 5 spot. Thanks everyone.

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 08.09.2011, 21:09:54 GMT+2
Don't pay too much attention to conventions, use italics consistently instead and readers will understand.
Just my 2 cents...
cebu

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 09.09.2011, 16:00:40 GMT+2
Declan Conner meint:
Thanks Christian. I did use italics and so far nobody has complained. Having said that, although I have made sales I have'nt had any reviews yet.
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