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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wolfborn in Translation ... I wish!

Some time ago, I emailed the foreign rights lady at Random House Australia to ask when, if at all, my lovely YA werewolf novel, Wolfborn, would be available outside this country in a format other than e-book. I should say that some folk in the US and elsewhere have taken the trouble to get it anyway, through Fishpond or wherever. But naturally, you’d like to be able to get it in your own country and, if possible, in your own language. The lady replied that they were hoping, at some stage, to distribute it in the US and UK, she just wasn’t sure exactly when and meanwhile, they were negotiating translation rights in a number of foreign languages. She would get back to me when she knew for sure when the book would be available in the US and UK. I still haven’t heard, although I know she will tell me when she does and will leave it a little longer.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d have a bit of fun with the translator facility on, translating the opening line of my novel. All the below but French were languages which Random House was, according to the rights lady, negotiating for translation of my book.  I put the French in because Anthony Panegyres said it would be lovely in French. Oh, and apparently, according to, loup-garou is not only a werewolf, but a more general term for a bogeyman or bugaboo of any kind. Personally, I’d rather have Lord Geraint hiding under my bed than a bogeyman, but there you are.

First here’s the original English version:

They executed a werewolf in one of my father’s
inland villages the week I left.


Ils ont exécuté un loupgarou dans un des villages de mon père, à l'interieur des terres, la semaine où je suis parti.


Ausgeführt werden Sie einen werwolf in einem der Dörfer der Woche meines vaters ging ich.


Zij voeren een weerwolf in één van mijn vader  dorpen landinwaarts de week IK links.


Są one wykonane z wilkołaka w jednym z mego ojca na wsi żeglugi śródlądowej w tygodniu I po lewej stronie.


Ők végre egy vérfarkast egy belföldi falvak a héten apám.


Mereka dieksekusi manusia serigala di salah satu desa pedalaman ayahku minggu aku pergi.

If you speak any of these languages and Translator has got it wrong, do let me know – the only one of these languages I speak, despite my surname, is French, and as far as I can see, that one is correct.

And if you live in any of those countries or the US/UK and want a chance to read a print copy of Wolfborn in a local edition, feel free to nag your local publishers! J

Meanwhile, I can daydream. I have actually seen some of my books in Chinese. It’s a thrill, although I can’t read the texts, but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised, only a couple of years ago, to get a royalties cheque from Allen and Unwin for the Chinese edition of my second book, Potions To Pulsars: Women Doing Science, a book that has long been out of print in English!


miki said...

Hum sorry but the french version is wrong..; it doesn't mean anything juste words put one after the other ^^;;

They executed a werewolf in one of my father’s
inland villages the week I left.

Sould be translated like:
Ils ont exécuté un loupgarou dans un des villages de mon père, à l'interieur des terres, la semaine où je suis parti.

that's a correct phrase ^^;;

oh and loup garou is werewolf not other in french ^^;; garou is the word for shifter

all the best

Sue Bursztynski said...

Quite right, Miki, I was very tired and didn't notice that my original was wrong, with two words put together, so it all came out as gibberish, in ALL the languages. I put it back into draft and did it all again and you'll see it's correct now. But thanks for the comment.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Oops, no it's not. Fix it again. Thanks!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Fixed! I have copied and pasted your version. To be honest, I just took the Dictionary version anyway, instead of doing it myself. Thing is, dictionary is just a bit of software. I remember reading once that an attempt to translate "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" into Russian resulted in "The vodka is strong, but the meat is rotten".

I have no doubt had some mistakes in the other languages, which I don't know at all, but hey, this was just a bit of fun. ;-)

And I am so very glad to know that I was right about the meaning of loup-garou (that's how I've found the word elsewhere, not as one word, and how it's spelled in my novel). I will use this as an example to my students to be careful in their research on-line!

miki said...

loup garou can be written in one or two words both are correct ^^

Anthony Panegyres said...

Troublesome, yes - but very lovely :)