We recently received our review copy of "101 Things a Translator Needs to Know," and evey though our reading lists are quite long, we had to read this one first (we devoured it in one sitting). Thanks to one of the authors, Chris Durban, for sending the copy. The short review is: we like it. A lot. Go read it.
|It's on the bookshelf! Picture by Judy.|
This nifty little book (it has no page numbers, but it appears to be roughly 200 pages) is published by the WLF Think Tank, which is an ad hoc group of highly experienced translators (who have more than 500 years' experience between them). Many great working professionals contributed to this book, and they include our colleagues Nick Rosenthal, Janet Fraser, Ros Schwartz, Terry Oliver, Steve Dyson, and many others. The book is lovingly illustrated by talented illustrator Catherine Anne Hiley, and we are very fond of her work, with the exception of some drawings that just don't work well in black and white (including the drawing of a prism). Her work is clever and engaging, and every single one of the 101 things (or tips) comes with its own little drawing. It's a great idea that really draws the reader in.
The 101 things every translator needs to know consist of very short and concise bits of information -- consider it the Cliff Notes of our industry. We've long emphasized the importance of being brief and concise for maximum effect on readers, and this book truly pulls that off. The advice is short (roughly half a page each), spot-on, gives you plenty of food for thought, and is quite wise. Even the titles are very witty and engaging.
Here are some of our favorites (yes, it's hard to choose just a few):
#17: Hallmarks of a good translation
#23: Beware of sharks
#34: When to say no
#49: Professionals v amateurs
#50: Don't bury your head in the sand.
#88: The customer is always right. Or is she? Note: We love the consistent use of the female pronoun.
#96: Be transparent.
#101: Rules are made to be broken
This is most certainly a book that belongs on every translator's shelf. You can buy yours here. It is worth every penny of the $20.56 cover price.