Ros Schwartz on the craft of Literary Translation

Ros Schwartz on the craft of Literary Translation



hello my name is Ross Schwartz and I'm a translator from French thanks for us can you tell us how did you get into literal translation well it's a bit of an embarrassing question by accident I lived in Paris for a number of years when I was in my 20s and while I was there I found a book that I just completely fell in love with and I just started translating it I had no idea how you went about translation this was in 1979 it was before there was any translation teaching translation studies I just did it and then I looked for a publisher for it and I would not advise anybody to go about it that way and it took me five years but I did eventually find a publisher in the meantime I came back to the UK and I tried to find a job and I discovered that I was unemployable because all I've done was live in France and he could speak languages so I had to invent a job for myself so I literally launched myself on an unsuspecting market as a translator at that time I suppose publishers weren't very well informed there wasn't really any training and it was enough to say I'm a translator I have recently had to look at a book that was published a translation of one that was published in early translation a publisher wanted to reissue it so I asked them if I could have a couple of weeks to go through it and I had to completely rewrite it so I I think like I was I learned on the job and then Dean do you make a living from literary translation now know I've always combined literary translation with other work for a long time it was many commercial translation and I had a small translation company and in a way my commercial work funded my literary work I now do a lot of teaching workshops and other other things that bring in money I can't say that you can make a living from literary translation and work to the quality that you want to work because literature installation is very time-consuming and you just can't translate enough books in the year to make a living so what would be your main piece of advice to aspiring weary translators so my main piece of advice would be to read and read and read both in the language you translate from Eminem would you translate into and perhaps the best way to get started is to find a book that you want to translate and take it to publishers and propose it to them there's no point writing to publishers saying hello I'm a translator so there's there's a lot of competition out there you need to be seen as somebody who knows what's going on in the literary world finds interesting projects and stand out from all the other aspiring translators but be realistic in your expectations even if you do get a commission that you're unlikely to be able to make a living for a very long time thanks for and lastly what book do you dream of translating in the future and when I do from time to time come across a book that I feel really passionate about and then I chant in it and take it to publishers and there is a book that I'm looking at at the moment that I really love which is called dramedy new by Avilan bevel and it's a novel in seven voices but about a woman who gives birth not realizing that she was pregnant and it's told in different voices by all the people involved in this drama and it's it's a fascinating book great thanks rose thanks very much thank you pleasure

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