Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by Little Potato, Jan 28, 2020.
I asked my mom.
I have a specific list on NU that's basically "cool novels that aren't currently being translated", and whenever I run across a dropped novel where I'm dying to read it in my native language, I add it in. When it comes time to pick a novel to translate, I choose one from there based on whether or not I liked however much is already translated, and how well the author did in their other works. My Chinese isn't that great, so I'm a bit limited in terms of genre - I find it difficult to read historical novels in particular, so I try to stick to easy, modern, straightforward romance for translation when in reality I'd love to try other genres.
Unless the novel's pretty short, I skim but don't usually actually read it before translating because I lose motivation when that happens Although you're totally correct that it's running the risk of some awful ending!
Re: MTLing novels, I like to do the thing where you compare it with the raw. In addition to copy-pasting the MTL into the document I'm working on, I also copy-paste the raw into an online translator - the one I use has this automatic character dictionary where I can double-click on an unfamiliar character and up pops a little box with the definition. I like the MTL because it's super nice to already have kind of a suggestion for a word, and since my Chinese is weak, I feel better having some reassurance that I read it right. I more or less find myself completely rewriting most sentences as part of the editing, anyway.
So far, I've only worked on two novels. The first one was selected for me since I was actually hired, so not much in terms of freedom of choice with that one, while the second one was just selected off the NUF novel request threads.
In selecting that second one, among the things I considered were 1) whether the novel was complete, 2) what were the genre and general themes, 3) how many chapters there were, 4) who was the publisher, and 5) if I liked the writing style.
There certainly was some demand for the novel since it was on the request thread; level of demand does not matter to me much in any case. At that time, I was pretty much looking for an already completed novel with a manageable amount of chapters, and I wanted something different from my previous novel in terms of genre and themes. Consideration 4 was to avoid stepping on anyone's toes (ahem, ahem), and consideration 5 was out of immense headaches I've gotten from reading some other novels before this.
At the end of the day though, you do you. Everyone has a different set of priorities which may change at given times.
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