Monday, July 30, 2012

Lost in Translation

Over the years a few of my books have been translated/published in other languages, and last week I noted the following book cover listed under my name.  The cover, supposedly, is yet another translation of my (best?) book:  Candles in the Dark.  But here's the problem.  According to my own research, this book title does not read Candles in the Dark.  It reads:

Life is S***

Quite a difference, I think.  If there is a foreign publisher with a sense of humor I can dig it.  No problem.  I can take a joke just as good as the next feller.

But if the book cover is, in actuality, a horrible translation, I'd hate to read the full text of my book.  God only knows what this publisher has done with my text.  I spent more time writing this book than I did planning any of my wife's birthdays or an anniversary (both of which I usually forget).  This book consumed a large portion of my life, including large chunks of my virility.  I could easily have expired while writing it.  I could have been buried in the back yard.

No, translations are not always reliable.  Anyone who has ever read an instruction manual written in China or Japan gets the picture.  Sometimes the English is mangled.  

Life is S***?  Sometimes the translation is S***.  

I have a queasy feeling about this translation.  Something tells me this foreign entity intentionally mangled my book for the fun of it.  But that's okay.  I'm not proud.  I can take a punch. But this could hurt.


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