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Those pesky Germans...

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Offline NilsAnd Reading out of print Danny Dunn books
11 Oct 2014, 12:29 PM | Post: #1

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Those pesky Germans...

This would almost fit under Rosen's very entertaining "How to" thread, but I don't want to hijack that, so I'll start a new one instead.
Here's the story:
In the spring I was travelling for work, and at one point I got talking to a colleague about writing. He got quite enthusiastic so bought (thanks!) and read one of my books. As it was written for kids he then wanted to read it to his grand daughter, but... she is German and too young (7) to follow the English. In a fit of enthusiasm, he then asked if it would be ok if he translated the book. I had no problem with that - the famous "it seemed like a good idea at the time". Actually, I thought it would be an interesting experiment. And it has been! A couple of months passed and I thought he had given up. Then... one day... I received an email with the translated version and a question if I thought it was good enough to use for the German market. I would get it for free, which is nice. But... here is the snag:  I can read German ok, so can follow the story BUT my understanding of the detailed grammar is poor. So... I can't tell how good it is. There we are. I have a translation but I'm not sure what to do with it. 
Luckily I have other colleagues - one who regularly translates between the two languages - who have offered to take a look. Maybe this will work out in the end. Who knows? 
I think this is a typical illustration of the challenges we all face. Things are fine within the comfort zone, but could be quite confusing/tricky if we take one step too far.
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Offline Paula Jane
12 Oct 2014, 10:23 AM | Post: #2

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RE: Those pesky Germans...

I hope it all goes well, Nils, any advantage you can make is worth going for. You never know Germans may really take to the story! Though I would try to test the translation a few times first on anyone who speaks fluent German.

I've thought of having my stories translated, but a lot of them are in rhyme and this would get lost in the translation. Pondering

Let us know how you get on and if you get any sales.
Paula
Children's author and illustrator.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paula-McBride/e/B005IQ4UMA
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Offline George Hamilton
12 Oct 2014, 11:01 AM | Post: #3

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RE: Those pesky Germans...

Have you thought about finding a reasonably priced German proofreader? That would be the direction I would go in.
Offline NilsAnd Reading out of print Danny Dunn books
12 Oct 2014, 02:10 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Those pesky Germans...

Thanks for the useful suggestions. Luckily, one of the people I am talking to also does proofreading. We'll see how it works out.
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