With this post, I want to explain you why you should edit your book after a literary translation into Italian.
This month has been awful for me, because I received many books translated into Italian to share with my Italian audience. Unfortunately, I refused to promote many of these translated books, because the translations were full of spelling and grammar mistakes. Then, I discovered, that the authors got the book translated thanks to free translation services. These services are offered by online self-publishing platforms or web marketplaces. On these websites, the author gives permission to translate his/her book to the translator, while the latter translates the book for free in return of book sales revenue. This system does not work for two main reasons: the translators who work for free are not interested in doing a good translation and the revenues of self-published and unknown authors are too low to reward the efforts of translators. This perverse and twisted job system produces only bad translations. Unfortunately, if to sell a book, you’ll take many years, to destroy a literary career you’ll take only a few seconds, because a bad literary translation can really destroy your literary career.
I think you know this, but I am also sure that your main concern is the money shortage.
Now, you are thinking: “ I have no money to get my book translated into Italian or into another language, and so, I decided to use a free translation service”. I tell you that you had better to avoid book translation, if you can’t spend money for this. A book in your language is always better than a bad translation. Remember, a literary career always starts from quality books and quality writing. A free translation never is a quality service. That is why I said that this month has been awful for me. I received dozens of books translated into Italian. The authors wanted to promote the Italian edition of the book with my Italian audience, but as soon as I read the translation, I wrote a message to these authors to inform them that someone had translated their book very bad. I am not discussing about simple typing mistakes, but Italian wrong sentences, spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Sure, I am not a native English speaker and for this I also make mistakes when I write in this language, but if I am a native Italian translator, I must translate a book into a perfect Italian. Free translation services, however, translate books into Italian wrong words, because maybe they were made by not native Italian translators or, much worse, by translation software. It is for this, many Italian pronouns become “quegli”, instead of “quel”. “Quegli” is an ancient Italian pronoun that the Italian novelists don’t use anymore. “Possa”, namely “ Could”, becomes ”Poscia”, a very outdated verb used in the Middle Age by Dante Alighieri.
Unfortunately, the Italians no longer speak the Italian of the Middle Age, but a very modern language made of brilliant and fast sentences. All these language sides can be considered only by a native Italian translator and through a professional translation. If you show your book translated into Italian for free, with a bad translation, you risk to destroy your literary career abroad.
Translation is a paid service and if you are a self-published author, you must also be available to pay for translation. The method to pay a percentage of book sales to the translator is wrong, because translation is a hard job and for this reason, it is also very expensive. If you are not available to pay for your book, it is better you turn your attention to traditional publishers. Unfortunately, traditional publishers don’t release books anymore. Many of them are going into bankruptcy and self publishing is the unique way to publish books. For this, I plead you to publish quality books, only. Quality writing is the only secret to sell books and to write successful books. Forget tips and suggestions, marketing strategies and so on!
Focus on creating quality books in your language, first, and then choose services to get quality translations.
At the same time, a good translation is the only method to gain literary success abroad.
I understand that you have no money to translate your book, but, if you got the book translated into Italian for free, ask for an editing service to an Italian editor, at least. I am an Italian writer and editor and I can help you to edit the Italian edition of your book. Furthermore, also professional translators make some mistakes during a translation, because book editing is an additional service that translators can’t do for free.
That is why you should edit the translated edition of your book, both the free translation and the paid translation.
Usually, when I translate a book into Italian, for a fee, I edit the translated book for free.
I ask a fee for my editing service only if the book has been translated for free or by other translators.
I can also take six months to translate a book into Italian, because after this, I edit my entire translation for free. Unfortunately, many authors say that they prefer a quick translation. A fast, free or rapid translation is always a bad translation.
I really hope you’ll decide to edit the translated edition of your book, especially if you got a free translation into Italian on self publishing websites or online marketplaces.
An editing service is surely less expensive than a book translation.
Sometimes, books have a good translation into Italian, but some typing and spelling mistakes. In this case, your book must be only edited to remove spelling and typing mistakes in Italian. This is a proofreading service and my fee is 1 euro a page.
For a bad translation, I must do another kind of work, such as rewriting sentences and paragraphs in the proper Italian meaning.
If you want only an opinion about the translation into Italian of your book, you can order this service on this page.
To edit the entire book in translation, my fee is fairly affordable, anyway: 5 euros a page.
Don’t forget to edit the English edition of your book, also.
For this purpose, I advise you see the website of an established editor for books in English: Alan Rinzler.