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Foreign Translations

Foreign Translations - an example book cover
Foreign Translations

You can now read foreign translations of novels by the Welsh writer Owen Jones in thirty-seven languages. Full details are on this blog

There are now several companies offering to facilitate the creation of foreign translations. This could be paper documents, website even novels. In fact, it has never been easier easier to read novels by authors from different countries and cultures. For example, the Welsh writer Owen Jones has books in thirty-seven languages. So, it is easy to imagine that most people in the world have access this Welsh writer’s work.

The Foreign Translations of Books by Owen Jones.

Owen Jones has been the main instigator of the translation of his books, because he is a self-published, or indie-published author. This obviously means that he has no agent or traditional publishing house to organise this sort of work for him.

“It takes a lot of time to find apposite narrators and translators”, he say, “and then to work with them suggesting translations and explaining difficult sentences. Naturally, that detracts from the time spent writing. It is the balance that each indie-author has to work out for him- or herself. The choice is between more books, or a wider readership? It’s a toss-up. However, it was an easy decision for me because I have always travelled, and speak seven or eight languages. I wanted my International friends to be able to read my books, if they want to…” he adds with a smile.

Which books by Owen Jones have been translated.

Owen Jones published his first novel Behind The Smile – The Story of Lek, A Bar Girl in Pattaya, in 2012. It was an immediate hit with the visitors to, and expats in Pattaya, Thailand. It is 112,000 words long, which has an effect on the willingness of translators’ to take it on. Jones works with narrator and translator colleagues who will accept a share of the sales revenues as payment. It is known as royalty share. Typically, the author receives 15-30% of the revenue, and the translator 60-70% with the intermediary taking 10%. It means that colleagues are less likely to take a risk on a large book, in case they have chosen unwisely.

Who translated the books?

The native-speaker narrators and translators of each language in the agency carry out the work on the books. Then the author and the collaborator work together to preserve as much of the meaning of the original text as possible.

Where can I find out more about these books in non-English languages?

If you would like to learn more about these books in other languages, you can start on this blog, Megan Publishing Services. The title bar (at the top of the blog page) contains many links to the various books, foreign translations and in English… even non-English audiobooks!

Are the foreign translations more expensive?

No, at least not necessarily. The author and the agency then choose a single, global price, which means that a book could cost, say $4.99 (+ taxes) in every country. However, $4.99 could be cheap in, say, Norway, but expensive in Somalia. So, it can work out more expensive, but then the people who want to read literature in foreign translations tend to have better jobs, so maybe that isn’t that important.

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