Monday, 18 June 2012

More on Self-Translation

...as defined previously, as in publishers having their own books translated into English and then putting them on the eBook market from afar...

Cologne-based publishers Lübbe have started doing just that with a serialized "webnovel" called Apocalypsis, written by Mario Giordano. You can download installments in English via Amazon or iTunes. Unfortunately I don't have the right device, which meant I had to ask someone to do me a favour. The reason being that I was interested in who translated it but the translator's name isn't given on either of those two pages, nor in any of the publicity material I found. That's unusual - most German translation contracts stipulate that the translator must be named in publicity material.

But she is named in the eBook itself: Diana Beate Hellmann, Los Angeles. She's an experienced translator, albeit in the other direction. But they also name the English editor so I assume the translation is of decent quality. Aside from the translator invisibility issue, if you're going to do the job yourself then this is the way to do it.

According to this PR text, the book "contains a  captivating blend of text, illustrations, video, audio, and interactive enhanced elements". Apparently, "what starts out as a sophisticated Vatican conspiracy, soon develops into a uniquely intense and spectacular thriller. Pope John Paul III has disappeared without a trace. The whole world is searching for him, including journalist Peter Adam. What he finds out exceeds the bounds of human imagination: evidence that the church is on the brink of doom and so is the world…."

Oh my. It's certainly an interesting experiment, and was launched with a bit of a bang at Hay Festival on 8 June, although not so much of a bang that I noticed it over here. And I love the way the protagonist has a totally international name - he could be German or Australian or Dutch or South African, for all we know so far.

Amazon.com puts episode 1 at "#107,624 Paid in Kindle Store", compared to "#1.054 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop" for the same episode in German on Amazon.de. It's a bit too early to pass judgement, admittedly, but perhaps that demand issue I raised previously might be coming into play... But then of course I have to say that to prove my pessimistic point. I certainly wish them the best of success!





2 comments:

precy said...

Nice post.I really love the books on german.Good thing it was now possible to have it in english translation.Having known for a fact that Germany is referred to as “the land of Dichter und Denker” or “the land of poets and thinkers”.

toom smith said...

Really amazing blog and I was thankful to you for sharing such useful information. Love to read translation books
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