Translation ebooks is becoming a major field for translators. With the rise of ereaders and ebooks, people around the world want to see books in more and more languages to fit these newer formats.
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The Rise in Popularity of eBooks
Americans love to read. They read to relax while waiting for an appointment, on vacation, and before bed to fall asleep. Many Americans listen to audio books and many have taken up reading ebooks; print books are no longer the only way to go.
While reading actual books is still the major format for book consumption, ebooks are gaining a lot of popularity. According to Pew Research, about 28% of the population reads both print books and ebooks. Most readers who are using ebooks also read traditional books; the percentage is small that only reads ebooks.
Many traditionalists don’t feel comfortable reading ebooks. They want the smell of the book, the turn of the page, and the aesthetic of the cover. However, with a number of advantages, ebooks are on the rise. And with this popularity comes translation ebooks. Ebooks appear in a number of languages, and if you are an ebook author, translation is important to widen your market and reach more readers.
Unlike audio books, you still read ebooks, they are just in digital format. Some people love this and would have no other format, some are still lukewarm. Overall, however, ebooks are on the rise.
What are some of the Advantages of ebooks?
Before we get to translation ebooks, it’s important to see the advantages of ebooks over print. Whether you are a reader or an author or both, you’ll see a number of reasons why ebooks are a relevant format, even if they don’t take the place completely of traditional print books.
People love books. They love the smell, the feel, the authenticity. But ebooks have their place, too. In this day of electronics, being on the go, and sustainability, they are making strides in the book community. Kitaboo shares a number of advantages of ebooks.
- Many books on one device (and one size device). You can load however many books you want on an e-reader. It helps travelers, commuters, students, anyone who likes to take their books with them, by saving space. It also can save space in your home. Think about that 1,000-page novel you’re reading and the business flight you’re about to take. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to have an e-reader than that giant book?
- Easy accessibility. The content on ebooks is easily accessible. People can download books or other material and have it immediately instead of going to a book store or waiting on delivery of a book. Also, you can read ebooks anywhere and have your material with you. These are great for students or business people who are also reading school or work related material. Ereaders are not just for novels.
- Sustainability and environmentally friendly. According to Kitaboo, eBooks are environment-friendly. It totally eliminates the paper printing process, saving printing cost for the publishers. Approximately 2.2 million books are published each year, using around 3 million trees. Ebooks do not have this environmental impact.
- Features for easier reading. With backlit screens, e-readers can be easier on the eyes and make reading more comfortable. People also like them because of their built-in light. No need for a lamp on when reading in bed.
- Multiple devices. You don’t just have to read your ebooks on e-readers. You can read on your phone, your iPad or laptop, even your desktop if you want. Any electronic device can hold your ebook with an app. Again, this makes it easy to read whenever you want. Say you forget your e-reader at your doctor’s appointment and have a long wait. Pull up the app on your phone and you’re all set, place saved and everything.
With new concepts being incorporated into readers, they are becoming more and more like regular books, including cover art, bookmarks, and highlighting components. Though they may not be able to take the actual place of a well-loved book in hand, they are getting to be a close contender.
The Art of Translation Ebooks
Just as popular books are translated into many languages, so are ebooks. The translation of ebooks is an important component of ebook success. Translation ebooks can take make them more accessible and widen the audience.
Let’s look at Kindle ebook translation. If you are a writer and have published a book on Kindle, you may be considering having it translated into other languages so you can sell more copies and speakers of other languages can enjoy it. Kindlepreneur shares the importance of a good translation. In fact, they advise not to risk a sloppy or bad translation – it will tarnish your reputation and lead to missing out on potentially lucrative foreign markets.
So how do you get a clean translation? The first thing to do is to decide what language you want your book translated to. You not only have to match up the market of what country is buying ebooks but also where your book will do well. Once you know the language, then it’s time to find a translator. Sure you could put it all into Google translate, but do you really want to do that to your work?
One thing to consider is if you want a natural or precise reading. This article shares the debate on natural versus precise translation. it could depend on your time frame or your type of work or both.
One of the biggest debates in translation is whether to prefer precision or naturalness. In the case of an “ASAP translate” situation, the best thing is to err on the side of precision.
Looking for naturalness in the translation (ie: to make it beautiful, aesthetic) will simply demand too much time. Precision, on the other hand, is well within reach, even at urgent speeds of translation.
So if time is of the essence, go for precision. Also, if your work is more educational or nonfiction, you may want the precise translation. Precise doesn’t always mean literal, but you will lose a bit of the flavor of the work with a precise translation. In a fiction work filled with metaphors, symbols, and imagery, the figurative language you’ve spent so much time could be destroyed with a precise translation, and you may want to take the time for a natural translation.
Finding a Good Translator
Once you are aware of what type of translation you want, it’s time to find that translator ebook specialist. You may choose to go with a freelance translator, or maybe you’d rather work with a translation service. Both have some advantages. Let’s take a look.
A freelance translator is someone who has had training in translation and is fluent in both the languages you’ll be working with. It’s not enough to be bilingual or fluent in just the language you’re translating to. A translator should know the nuances of the work and both languages. Sometimes freelancers are great to work with as they can be more budget-friendly than hiring from a translation ebook service.
You may have to spend more time working with the freelancer. You’ll have to share all feedback directly, express your demands, goals, and deadlines as well as negotiate costs. You will be the one to make sure it’s all done right at the end. However, if you find just the right freelance translator, you may be able to work with this person for many projects to come without going through the search again.
Many authors enjoy working with translation services. The service has already checked backgrounds and skills so you don’t have to do this. You can pick and choose from multiple translators with the exact services and skills you are looking for. You also can be assured that deadlines will be met, and the service will make sure you are satisfied with your project.
With a translation service, the more you know upfront, the better your project will go. Make sure to discuss things like budget, deadlines, expectations, and whatever you else you need to before getting started on the actual translation.
Whichever way you decide to go with your translation ebook, make sure your final project is what you want. Someone will have to proof the final translation. Remember, you had an editor or proofreader before you published your first version. You should do the same here. If you’re with a service, they’ll be able to do this for you and make sure you’re happy with the final piece. If you are working with a freelancer, discuss what happens if you feel the final project still needs work. Are you paying one price or will each rendition cost you more? Will you need to hire an outside proofreader? If so, make sure the proofreader has valid credentials just like your translator.
All of these are important considerations to get the best translation of your ebook that you can. Remember, the translation is still your book, make it stand up to your expectations.
Not much is more exciting than to have a book published. Maybe it’s in print or electronic form, or both. Whichever the case, seeing it in another language makes it even more exciting. If you have authored an ebook, you’re probably thinking about a translation for it. It will increase your audience into foreign markets as well as to international speakers in your own country. If you are ready for this big step, make sure to find the best translator you can, whether through a service or a freelancer. You’ll want to be sure your book sustains the integrity you gave it and that each new language version holds the same content and value you wrote.
Good luck, buena suerte, and bonne chance!