How To Translate A Book: Everything You Need To Know

A translator has the ability to understand, read, and write a text document into another language. To be able to translate text or to be hired as a translator, one must be fluent enough in another language and meet the qualifications.

A translator has a good understanding of the source language and the culture where the text originates. While translators interpret different forms of printed texts, this article talks about how to translate a book.

How to translate a book as an art

Translating a book into another language is a tough job. It requires deep passion and an interest in another language, interest in reading and literature, and knowledge of the subject matter.

The art of translating a book includes some processes, finding your niches, interest, and developing skills. While there is no set method on how to translate a book, and it’s about finding your own way, here are some guidelines on how to translate a book.

Steps before translating

Before translating a book, make sure that you are ready and you know how to start. The first key before translating is to plan ahead and then, if you need to, adjust during the process. Understand that this task requires commitment and time.

Know your time

Before accepting a book translation job, be honest with your client about when you can finish it and deliver. You can always negotiate about the price and the deadline but make sure that you do this before you accept the job. You and your client should agree with each other.

You should understand that it is important to deliver the book on time. This is because the publishers follow strict deadlines and the manuscript has to go through proof readers, a designer, and a printer. If a book is not translated on time, the entire publishing process will get delayed and cost a huge amount of money.

Read the book first

If you will be working on a fiction book, the best way on how to translate a book like this is to read it and know the characters and the story before you translate. If you will be working on a self-help book or other general reference book, understand what it tries to convey. This way you will be able to understand the gist and tone of the book before you translate it.

Know the author

After reading the book, learn about the author. Research his works, his writing styles, and the kinds of books he writes. The short biography at the back of the book usually tells a great deal about the author. Then, try to reproduce and imitate his style and adapt it to your own culture.

Tips during translation

If you don’t have any experience yet in translating a book, try your translating skills at Babelcube. There are many books that you can translate. Although it has no guarantee that your translated books will sell or not, what you get the most from here is the experience and your name will be featured on the published book.

If you plan to get paid while translating books and other text documents, you should avail yourself of the resources held within Translation 101. This guide teaches you all about becoming a professional translator, including where to look for potential clients who post translation jobs and where freelancer translators can look for jobs. This guide can help you learn how to begin earning as much as $100 per text depending on the number of pages, length of book, or the agreement between you and your client.

You can work with a publisher or an independent author. They can be easily found at LinkedIn, online forums, workshops, and social networking groups. But before you contact them, research their works and styles of writing.

If you are a translator who already has experience in translating a book, creating a portfolio of sample translated books will help you be found by clients or help you find clients. This portfolio is also a good sample of your works and can show your potential clients your styles and skills.

When you’re done translating a book, proofread your own work or have someone proofread it for you. Translating a book can be very hard for beginners but as you gain experience, knowledge, and time management skills, translating a book can be very fulfilling.

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