Process and Points of Consideration for Translation Publishing

Process and Points of Consideration for Translation Publishing

September 16, 2016

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Translation Publishing

Translating publications written in different languages in order to publish them as a translated version is a field of translation called "Translation Publishing". Until the translated book reaches the bookshop shelves, a very careful translation process is involved starting with the selection of original texts that are expected to attract high demand in Japan. As well as being an accurate translation, translation publishing requires a high level of translation that including a natural writing ability that maintains the world view of the original. Let's examine this process along with important points of consideration.

What is Translation Publishing?

When publishing within Japan, originals written in other languages are normally translated into Japanese.

First of all, there are two types of translation publishing: books and magazines. Furthermore, there are also genres such as fiction and non-fiction in books. Fiction covers all types of novels, and it is categorized into pure literature works, mystery, science fiction and children's books according to the target reader and the content of the book. A translator who is involved in translation publishing is commonly put in charge of a publication according to the genre. The choice of a translator is very important as some genres require a very high level of specialist knowledge.

Getting the book to the shelves... The Process of Translation Publishing

When translating foreign publications into Japanese, we must first consider whether the publication will generate sufficient sales in Japan. Because translation publishing involves large overheads such as obtaining copyright permission, translation and editing, careful scrutiny is required before starting the actual translation. At this point, there is a process involved called "Reading". Reading is a process in which the translator and the rough translator read through the original carefully and write a brief summary and feedback, which are then used to evaluate sales points.

Once the publication for translation is chosen, copyright permission is obtained and then a translator can be selected. The translation work involves careful checks by an editor and a proofreader, repeated verification and editing with the translator and finally binding the translation into a book. In order to avoid any mistranslation being discovered after a book has reached the shelves, the process is based on careful and trustworthy checks made by a number of people.

The Importance of Japanese Writing Skills

In translation publishing, as well as the ability of the translator to understand the original, strong writing skills in the target language are also required. For example, let's consider translation of a book written in English into Japanese. In order to properly understand the writer's intention and grasp the content of the book, we can say that it is ideal to understand the English as it is written. Of course, publishing translators are required to have a high level of comprehension skills in English.

Furthermore, it is important to have the Japanese language skills to accurately translate the original content. The ability to understand English as it is written involves a different set of skills than the ability to express the English meaning in the appropriate Japanese. Expressions in Japanese that do not spoil the sense of the world that the writer is aiming for, prose that suits the content and a sense of Japanese that affects the lines of the characters are areas where translators can demonstrate their skills.

Requirements for Translation Publishing

It could be said that translation publishing is one of the most unique and difficult genres of translation as it is not only essential to translate the source language correctly, but also the translated publication must communicate the underlying intention and sense of a world. It may be easy to understand written English if it is a picture book for children. However, how the English is expressed in Japanese can be altered in various ways according to the translator. Important points for a translated publication are how well the meaning of the original has been grasped and how appropriate the expressions used in the translation are.

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