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text 2013-11-12 11:40
Badly Behaving ... Translator?

So, some time ago, I wrote a review of a translated book (I'm not going to link to which one). I wondered in my review whether a different translator would have made a difference to the quality of it. I suggested this in part because I found the writing pretty bland and I found no appreciable difference in the narration of the two MCs. I also commented on the randomised sprinkling of French phrases in the book followed by their English translation. As the book was set in France with French characters who should have been speaking French to each other, the effect was that sometimes people randomly said things twice. 


The translator has written a review on Amazon stating they are grateful to those who read it for what it was "supposed" to be - fool that I am I assumed if I was reading a book about two people who fall in love it wasn't unreasonable that I'd be able to work out what they liked about each other so much - and stating I shouldn't blame the translator for those French phrases because they were in the (not French) original.


So in addition to not having an opinion, I'm also supposed to know that a book set in France, with French characters, whose author has a French name, was originally published Not In French? Fuck off, translator.


Reviews are not for you. They are not there for you. I bought the book, I read the book, I said what I thought about the book online. Fin. Or Ende, if you prefer.


There are things we could talk about with regards to your translation, but my biggest issue I'd probably take to the publisher. Love Virtually (also originally in German) had two translators, one for each POV. This probably would have been better if the same had been done here - but it does raise the question of how much one should expect from a translator. Should you have done more to make the POVs distinct? Is that your job? 


Here is the thing though.



You do not get to tell people how they "should" read a book.


I get that you feel defensive, but I'm amazed I've made any difference to your life. I haven't lost you work, or destroyed your reputation, or done you any damage: I am nobody. If you've lost work, or had your reputation destroyed, or damage done, it happened because of you. Nobody gives a shit what I think about anything.


Apart from you, apparently.


And the fanboys of other books I've disliked.


But kudos for only giving the book 4/5 stars. 

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