Resolved Is it allowed to reserve a novel for oneself to translate?

Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by Claire Lilly, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Claire Lilly

    Claire Lilly ~Fairy of the Moon Blossom~

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    Is it allowed to reserve a novel for oneself to translate (if it didn't get already picked up previously)? I don't mean a web novel, which is for free and anyone has acess to it, but a light novel you actually need to buy to translate it. To explain why I'm asking such a question is, that there are two light novels I really would like to to translate someday (I'm starting with my japanese lessons tomorrow), if I ever will be able to and the raws for them (unfortunately) don't exist as web novels and the books are already out of print (luckily I still managed to get my hands on used copies, but it was really not that easy and expensive to get them).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  2. PotatoZero

    PotatoZero Well-Known Member

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    I think you're allowed to translate whatever if you're starting from the very beginning
     
  3. Drakaos

    Drakaos Member (Patriarch?) of the Anti-Qidian Sect

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    There generally isn't any actual rules when it comes to translating, however, im sure most people will understand the circumstances surrounding the translation of a light novel, and i'm sure that as long as the terms are reasonable, no one is going to "steal" a translation project from another provided that they are aware of the fact it has been reserved.
     
  4. Robbini

    Robbini Logical? Illogical? Random? Or Just Unique?

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think there're any rules for or against 'reserving' totally untranslated novels.

    You can do it, and most would probably respect it, but if there are some who unknowingly had planned to translate it as well even before you , they might claim precedence and do it then, or some might become interested in it after you mention it and then decide to translate it or some might become interested after you start translating it and then the instant 3 month gap has occurred, they'll attempt to take over.

    Many varieties, but unless someone totally ignores public opinion or extremely seriously likes the novel, they would most likely atleast talk to you and then it depends on the discussion.
     
  5. mem

    mem Well-Known Member

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    i'd say it's a matter of respect and honor, announce that you're going to translate it and most people will respect it

    As for rules, i am incertain if NU has any in this regard
     
  6. Disgusting

    Disgusting Fetishist

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    Just don't announce it like.....
    "DIBS ON THIS NOVEL. DONT TOUCH IT BECAUSE I AM GOING TO TRANSLATE IT SOON."
    being nice and courteous goes a long way.

    Or you can just not name the novel and the likelyhood of said novel being translated would become even lower. (That is only true if this particular novel is not too mainstream and eyecatching to most translators.)
     
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  7. Jigoku Shounen

    Jigoku Shounen An Envoy From Hell

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    You can, but it isn't definite. Because there is no rule for it. Translators can pick up any novel they want, but whether that novel will have someone else calling dips for it, or someone else will "steal" your translation, or someone else will suddenly start doing chapters from where you stop after you finish your quota for the day despite how you already start doing that novels, all of them only come down to the matter of etiquette and manner, but they aren't force to be obeyed.
     
  8. Nimroth

    Nimroth TKA Fanboy

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    To be honest, just the fact that the books were out of print and hard to get is likely of much more help to you than a reservation could possibly be, since there is nothing forcing people to honor that other than possibly public opinion.
     
  9. Kuro_0ni

    Kuro_0ni Whimsical-Unknown Translator

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    I just say translate them. If you're using actual print and translating from that, it should be fine.

    Dont be discouraged by poachers. Concentrate on bringing your translations, your version of the story to readers.

    Amongst the Fan-translator community, we respect other translators projects.

    The business-like translators, do not always follow this custom. Because they only follow popular titles and what can make them the most money.

    And poachers (typically MTLrs) just mass translate usually on a whim.
     
  10. yukamichi

    yukamichi Member

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    Don't be surprised if nobody cares about how you were "totally going to translate that some day," especially if you're just starting Japanese classes now: it'll be years before you're able to do an even half-competent job. It's not your project until you actually have something to show for it, and even then if you're slow as molasses or doing a shitty job prepare to get (absolutely deserved, IMO) hate for trying to hoard a project just to sate your own ego.
     
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  11. Claire Lilly

    Claire Lilly ~Fairy of the Moon Blossom~

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    Well, maybe I should have formulated the question a bit different. But anyway, it's just a question, I didn't actually reserve novels, but just stated, that I really would like to translate them, if I ever will be able to, but only if it doesn't get picked up first by another translator. Actually feel free to do so.
    I didn't wanted to be rude and I'm sorry if you feel offended by now, but I really had the feeling you were a bit angry and let it out on me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  12. yukamichi

    yukamichi Member

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    Not angry, just trying to inject some realism into everyone else's "fan translator code of honor" BS. Too many people abuse these unwritten rules just to act like jerks and cause massive amounts of drama, all over this grandiose sense of ownership over something that they have no right to to begin with, and egged on by fans who care more about tribalism and stupid internet fights than anything else.

    The fact is that the number of people interested in doing J-E, people who will work on published stories, and people who are interested in older novels are all either dwindling or small to begin with. Chances are you could wait years and nobody else would show any interest in translating the books you want to. I actually think it's awesome that you're interested in translating something so off of most people's radar and hope you stick to your studies.
     
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  13. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian *Generous Scrooge*Blunt*Comedic Genius

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    It's a free country internet. Do what you want.
    Unless you are told to stop by the license holders eg J Novel Club then you are fine.
    Personally, it's dangerous to let others determine how you live your live.
    Peer pressure is bad but internet pressure is dangerous.
    If you check with everyone before you take a step in life then you won't go far.
    Drops mic!
    Wuji is that cool. :blob_sunglasses:

    Also, start right now.
    If you are crazy a perfectionist...You can always go back and make multiple edits
    You can edit as you go, it will help you as you study. It will give you questions to ask.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  14. readerz

    readerz BC Novels webmaster

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    :whistle: I have experience in this.

    Short answer: Nope.

    Long answer: You can "reserve" a novel by translating the prologue or first chapter. Once you have at least one chapter up, it doesn't matter where (some people even use google docs), then most other translators will consider it "yours" in a way. It's possible but very unlikely that someone will "poach" it away from you.

    But to reserve a novel when you can't translate (yet)? Nope, there's no way of doing that.
     
  15. def_nomad

    def_nomad Member

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    This might be a bit of a tangent, but you said it was out of print but that made me curious, have you checked if there's a digital version available on somewhere like bookwalker? Whether someone else could find it or not also depends on that. Also, when you start with your japanese lessons (maybe three weeks in, depending on the rate at which you learn), do try to read some of the book every once in a while and maybe add the words you don't recognize on it to a study list, that was how I went around learning vocab when I was learning japanese.
     
  16. Sephi-chama

    Sephi-chama Active Member

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    I think the most you could do is to declare your expressed intent on translating those works in the future and hope for the best. Just keep in mind that there is nothing that guarantees that other translators will respect your declaration of intent. And, technically, they don't have to, either.

    As long as the work isn't one of the more popular ones, the chances that someone else will buy the LN, enjoy it, and be willing to translate it is relatively slim. Still, if someone does end up translating it, you can always reach out to them as see if you can work out a compromise if you're really that intent on translating that work. If anything, getting someone to co-translate with you sounds like a great way to snag yourself a Japanese teacher, lol.