Question Do you ask the author’s permission if you want to translate their work

Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by codenameve, Jul 2, 2022.

  1. codenameve

    codenameve Member

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    I want to create my own translation group but do I need to ask the author’s permission to translate their work? I mean the probability of the writer agreeing is 1% to none.
     
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  2. Amaruna Myu

    Amaruna Myu ugly squid dokja (●´∀`●)

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    by right, yes, but by left, most dont ask
    forgot to add, the rejections will be mainly by kr authors. cn authors who publish the stories in certain sites cannot decide if they allow you to translate or not, and jp novels are pretty lax about this. this is what I observed from past experiences
     
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  3. Agentt

    Agentt Loves cats and pats

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    I have asked many such authors, most of who don't reply back.
     
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  4. LaDyViL

    LaDyViL New Member Staff Member

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    If you're going to ask the author for their permission, then don't start translating. Fan translation is in itself a crime. Twist it however you want but fan translators are essentially taking an author's work and profiting from them without legal contract binding you and the authors.

    Some authors might be OK with it however a majority of them don't. There are also issues on license and copyrights that might rise from fan translations. Giving a green light to fan translators might cause them to have lesser chances of getting their works officially licensed too which would have guaranteed them a cut from the publication.
     
  5. eeeee

    eeeee Active Member

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    If you are an independent translator with little or no experience, and wish to translate with the author's permission. The fastest way is to join an official group who acquire license to publish original works. Many can be pretty shady, you can ask places like wuxia or etc. Then you don't have to feel guilty about asking for donations to make money. The con would probably be that you won't be able to 'choose' what to translate. Most likely the groups would aquire whatever license they want to work on and ask you if you could do that project. Such is the case with places like webnovel, from what I researched.

    The long route is to get a degree in whatever language you wish to translate works.

    You can't expect professional authors who are making a living off writing to allow fan translators to translate their work which they spilled sweat and blood for free.

    Many just translate without permission, and if authors ask to take it down translators will take it down. I rarely found a case when any fan translator had been sued for doing so.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
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  6. AA-Admiral

    AA-Admiral Member

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    whew, this was a question I wanted to ask before, quite a while ago, lucky I found this topic.

    your answers gave me great insights to the fantranslation industry. :blobsweat_2:
     
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  7. plum

    plum Well-Known Member

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    This is speaking only for Chinese novels.

    It depends on whether the novel you wish to translate has been licensed or not by a Chinese publisher. In some rare occurrences, the novel may not be licensed and from there, you can ask the author for permission. From my experience, most authors are actually pretty OK with it.