By epaminondas, in 'General Latin Chat (English)', Nov 15, 2012.
Bedtime reading too!
Guys, I just thought - this is a unique place and a unique opportunity to ask this but: prof. Stroh would really be glad if his German book was ultimately also translated to English, but the obvious requirement is that the translator 1) is ideally a native English speaker 2) a good user of the literal form of his own language 3) has deeper than superficial understanding of the stuff connected to Latin and all the Latin culture and history that Europe experienced 4) reads German fluently and is used to read academical stuff pertaining to Latin in German (or is well to able to) 5) is really interested in what the book may tell to the public about Latin
So I thought, isn't here somewhere somebody like that [who can also fluently read German]: a Brit, American, Canadian, Australian who would feel like it? Particularly I thought about Aurifex who I have a hunch about that he can read German well, or I also thought about Callaina obviously.
The thing is that I could arrange this with the professor and if you were interested, this definitely could happen! Keep in mind that the book was a bestseller and it would put your name on the map of the Latin world quite strongly.
If you are not sure at this moment whether you feel like doing this, dedicating your time to it etc. etc., please don't answer immediately, but perhaps give yourself under the Christmas tree the book in German, try to read it, see if you like the book, think how you could put certain sentences into English and whether you think this is doable at all or not. And if you feel like it, I can seriously arrange this.
But it would be the best if we don't hesitate for too long: the professor is now 76 years old and... well it would be a good idea
As I say, if you think that this proposition is too crazy after reading this message, don't answer right away, think about it, try to get the book in German, see how well you can read it, and so on This could however be a very good sort of opportunity both for you and the professor in the same time, I believe.
According to this review from 2007, an English version is urgently needed, but perhaps Latinity has a different scale of urgency. It appears to be 415 pages long, though, which would be a substantial piece of work.
I forgot you in the post! (I'm facepalming)
I really wish someone would do this. I bet there'd be no shortage of volunteer proof-readers from this forum to comment on the translation.
I've yet to learn German, but I'd certainly more than happily volunteer as a proofreader of an English version.
Alas, my German is far too rusty for me to do this with any confidence at all.
Thanks for the response anyway!
I'd be interested, but only if there were a proper translator's fee involved. But I assume that if the publishers, who presumably hold the copyright, wanted to have the book translated into English, they would choose a more direct method of finding a translator.
Thank you for the answer! I'm trying to get this information.
In the case that we receive a negative answer about the fee or from some other reasons you feel that you don't want to enter the project, I still encourage other people who might have the abilities, to consider this work!
But in any case and up to this point, you were certainly the first one answering and, as far as I know, you have quite an ample background in all the 3 languages involved.
My German is very good and I have just ordered the book. However I am very short of time, and am no professional translator. It would probably be easier to try and raise money online and hire a professional. Even if the translator doesn't know Latin, perhaps someone here more knowledgeable than I could provide assistance with that.
I've got the book in French, highly recommendable indeed, though I've got the ancient edition lacking the chapter about France, even though it was displayed like the new edition on amazon I think.
But anyway, Godmy you should have asked him when the Latin version was due to be published I'd be more than willing to buy that.
Anyone got any idea of how much it costs to translate a 450 page book? I imagine there are all sorts of issues that can push a price up or down, but roughly, how many digits?
I don't really know, but I'd imagine five digits.
I quite believe that it is something of that order. It would probably be difficult to crowdfund the project to that amount unless some university classics departments jumped in to assist.
By the way, nothing to do with the specific project in question here, but it's reminded me of something I've been wondering that also concerns translations: if someone translates someone else's book, but rather than getting paid directly for their translation, they take part of the royalties from the sales of the translated version of the book, does anyone know roughly what percentage should be for the author and what percentage for the translator?
Thanks for the answers guys!
And currently I have no idea about the things that have been brought up, but I might in the future days, when I get some answers
There's no such thing as "should" in these matters, but here's some guidance on typical percentages from some people close to home:
Personally I'd want a flat fee as well as royalties.
By "should" here I didn't really mean anything else than what's usually done, on average. Thank you for the link, it's interesting.
I received a copy of the book by Prof. Stroh yesterday. It's very interesting, however I can see a couple of issues with putting together an English translation. One is that the book is written for a German audience, so some passages would need to be rephrased, rewritten, or eliminated. Another is that the author doesn't include sources for several statements. For example, on p. 24 he mentions that the Etruscan language was still spoken in Tuscany in the second century AD. On the same page, he tells us that Romans were annoyed when Cicero gave a speech in Greek in the Senate of Messina. No references are given to back up either of these claims, and many others. In the English speaking world, one would expect sources to be provided for such statements, even in a book written for the general public.
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