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Re: Thoughts, opinions, rank speculation requested

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  • jsyeaton
    ... Fronek also has to miss the bus/boat (note - not tram, metro, train, ...). In my own case a day late and a dollar short is often appropriate. ... It s
    Message 1 of 31 , Jul 1, 2004
      --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "janvanek" <jan.vanek.jr@s...>
      > S krizkem po funuse (what's the English counterpart anyway? I see
      > Lingea has it as translation of "lock/close the stable [door] after
      > the horse has bolted" or even "too little too late" but well...) as
      > usual:
      Fronek also has "to miss the bus/boat" (note - not tram, metro, train,
      ...). In my own case "a day late and a dollar short" is often
      ... Please note that he was
      > slightly bitter or at least overworked at the moment, though he can
      > hardly blame anybody else or even the the world at large for having
      > to make up for a missed deadline... :-))

      It's always worth a try, though.
      > -- quote begins --
      > Maly pruvodce po cenach za literarni preklad
      > Prumerna cena se jiz nejakych devet let drzi na 120 Kc na
      > normostranku. Naprosti zacatecnici dostavaji leckde 80 (no reknete,
      > moji mili technicti prekladatele, prelozili byste za tento obolus
      > jen steblo pres cestu? A vidite, takova Zuzana Stastna prelozila
      > Orwellovy "Barmske dny" za presne takovy honorar - a to zacatecnice
      > rozhodne nebyla, spis jen nakladatelstvi Volvox Globator skudli na
      > vsech frontach). Regionalni nakladatelstvi rovnez davaji kolem 100
      > nms.
      > Cenova diferenciace mezi prumernymi a vynikajicimi prekladateli
      > neexistuje. Po dvou trech knizkach se dostanete v Praze tak na 130
      > nms. Narocnost knihy prakticky neni zohlednena - pokud tedy Pavel
      > Dominik preklada Rushdieho ci Nabokova, dostane cca 160 za nms, a to
      > ma mezi literarnimi prekladateli zcela ojedinelou pozici. Pritom
      > diametralni rozdil v narocnosti mezi takovym "Pninem"

      Pnin?!! This is obviously - on the best theoretical grounds -
      impossible to translate.

      a generickou
      > detektivkou lze nahlednout velmi, velmi snadno. Tedy: Pavel se na
      > trhu penalizuje za to, ze ma rad tak narocnou literaturu.
      > Kdyz pred revoluci vychazelo maximalne 400 zahranicnich knih do
      > mohl se literarni prekladatel dockat reedice, za niz se vyplacelo
      > 70 procent puvodniho honorare, dnes je tato sance pri 8000
      > prekladanych titulech prakticky zanedbatelna.
      > Z cehoz plyne: skutecne dobrych literarnich prekladatelu je na trhu
      > vzdy mene, nez je potreba, ale vic, nez by se clovek za tu legracni
      > mzdu nadal. Porad tu funguje neco jako nadseni pro dobrou vec -
      > otazka je, jak dlouho tvari v tvar rozevirajicim se nuzkam mezi
      > honorovanim technickeho a literarniho prekladu vydrzi.
      > Poznamka pod carou: literatura faktu je zpravidla honorovana o 20 Kc
      > lepe nez beletrie. Treba vcera mi volali z Ikaru, jestli bych za 145
      > Kc na nms nechtel prelozit Clintonovy memoary. No, nechtel.
      > VJ
      > -- quote ends --
      > Petr Vesely:
      > > Yeah, that's what puzzles me too, but during my browses on the
      > > Internet I've never seen a single one offer for translators
      > > on fiction, books, etc.
      > Well, it just doesn't work like that; I can't think of an exact
      > comparison, but let's say how many advertisements for actors, or by
      > them, do you see? The field is too small and the required
      > qualification too specialized for advertising to make sense; it
      > on a more personal level. Which can have its Dark Side in houses
      > inclined to it, of course (cf the "teticky" bit in the state-of-
      > dubbing lament hidden at http://nosek.i-line.cz/cestina/Dabing.rar )
      > but OTOH, as Viktor puts it:
      > -- quote begins --
      > Jo, vysvetli jim jeste, ze zadneho self-respecting redaktora by ani
      > nenapadlo shanet prekladatele dejme tomu Iana McEwana na internetu.
      > Ze kazde nakladatelstvi ma svuj vice ci mene ustaleny kadr
      > prekladatelu, ze se tam lidi chodi nabizet a ze hlavne redaktori (ci
      > jini lide jako treba ja) maji prehled, kdo co dela, co komu jde,
      > takze bud si redaktor vybere primo, nebo mu je ten clovek dohozen.
      > Pripadne si prekladatel prosadi knizku a pak si ji samozrejme
      > V.
      > -- quote ends --
      > Yes, I have seen very few straight offers for fiction translators,
      > and most of them were early in the 90es (or in the publisher's life
      > cycle) and came from smaller, dubious or at least in one case
      > outright infamous outfits. If one wants to start translating
      > zie is implicitly expected to be savvy enough about the state of
      > things not to be in it for the money, and have the initiative to
      > approach the publisher, presenting zir credentials and do a trial
      > translation (unless already coming with a particular title). Due to
      > all things outlined above, anybody halfway decent should not have
      > trouble getting hired - you wouldn't believe who (and how)
      > for BB Art, say.
      > It is very hard to tell how many people derive most of their income
      > from, or rather devote most of their workig time to, specifically
      > fiction translations (and related activities); I'd hazard a guess in
      > high two-figure range. I have absolutely no idea how large the
      > is altogether, and what percentage of all >CZ translations it
      > constitutes.

      As I said, it sounds like a Golden Age to an American. The crucial
      point isn't how much one gets per page, but that there's a steady
      supply of pages: one book a month at even 50 Kc/NS is 15,000 Kc,
      almost the average wage, which is from what I've read more than most
      people earn, anyway.

    • jsyeaton
      ... They are generally in a better position than those of us in LLD ( languages of lesser diffusion ) - better references available, more work, etc. But then,
      Message 31 of 31 , Jul 1, 2004
        --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "kzgafas" <kzgafas@t...> wrote:
        > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "jsyeaton" <jsyeaton@y...> wrote:
        > > As far as "living" on the income from translation, well, some
        > people
        > > do very nicely, especially those with some business sense, but in
        > the
        > > US, a lot depends on the business cycle: every recession wipes out
        > a
        > > few more experienced people and brings in new people (who lost
        > some
        > > other kind of work). This last recession has been rough, at least
        > for
        > > Russian translators (which is normally about 50% of what I do) -
        > after
        > > the downturn in Russia, there was one in the States, and I know at
        > > least one guy (experienced, intelligent, a lot higher production
        > rate
        > > than me) who lost his house because of too little work and an
        > agency
        > > that starting paying ever more slowly. Other people just aren't
        > there
        > > any more.
        > >
        > > Judy
        > And what about those in the US who work in major language
        > combinations like Eng<>Ger? Aren't they doing OK? I mean people who
        > are established in the profession.
        > K.

        They are generally in a better position than those of us in LLD
        ("languages of lesser diffusion") - better references available, more
        work, etc. But then, of course, there are more competitors. There's no
        such thing as a safe job or occupation in the US, and recessions are
        scary for almost everybody. The weaker dollar may be helping now -
        that was another big problem for a long time. From the look of my
        mail-box, things seem to be generally picking up.

        The government used to act as an employer of last resort for many
        translators, when the CIA hired hundreds of people to translate tons
        of newspaper articles from around the world. It was how most Russian
        and Central European translators learned the trade, I think, and was a
        reliable stand-by in slow periods for even established people. Now -
        well, if you know Arabic, you're golden. But perhaps on the way to

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