Variety is the Spice of Life…Translating Works of Fiction | Blog

Variety is the Spice of Life…Translating Works of Fiction

Variety is the Spice of Life…Translating Works of Fiction


At Translationz, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to translate a wide variety of documents. Over the past few months, we have translated technical manuals, e-learning programs, government documents, business contacts, websites, marketing materials, and more. Every document we receive is a pleasure to translate, and each project is unique and memorable.


We recently had the honour of translating two German to English novels by author Sergei Steffans. The books, Ich heirate eine Filipina and Der Mond und die Nachtigall, are currently published in German and are available for purchase on Amazon and elsewhere. These books will be available in English at a later date, and we will be sure to make an announcement when they are published.

Here a summary of the book Der Mond und die Nachtigall, as written by the author’s publisher:

“The Moon and the Nightingale" is a true heartache drama that touches your heart with its depth of feeling and moves you to tears. This is a story of true love! We owe this entertaining and tearful enjoyment to the author, Sergei Steffens. His novel is full of emotions and is written absolutely captivatingly. Reading it is a literary pleasure. This story is just wonderful and testifies of a passion that amazes the reader and captivates all senses. It brings entertainment that is simply fantastic and heals the soul. There is no better way to spend the evening at home on the sofa than with this book.”

Translating works of fiction is a great joy, and a completely different undertaking from translating nonfiction. In both fiction and nonfiction, it is vital that the author’s intended messages and themes be conveyed as the author intended. But when we translate a literary work, we are not just translating words and sentences; we are digging deeper to ensure that we are translating what lies between the words. Said a different way, we must be sensitive to the connotations and nuances of both languages, as well as to the cultural implications. In a fictional work, we must navigate not only the complexities of language, but also of subjectivity and perception.

Understanding the author’s intention is key. While translating, we try to get inside the author’s head and continuously ask ourselves, “Would the author write it this way? Would he say it this way?” Recreating the author’s voice is the key, and seeing the larger picture the goal. Writing is hard; sometimes, translation is even harder.

Achieving the correct rhythm and tone is important, and staying accurate and true to the original work is imperative. In addition, it is necessary to find the particular terms and phrases that will best resonate with the target audience. Puns, local jokes, and colloquialisms are often tricky to translate (most puns make sense only in their original language), and as a result, creative alternatives are sometimes required.

Translationz offers literary translations into nearly all of the most commonly spoken languages. We translate books, blogs, magazine articles, newspaper articles, screenplays, and short stories. We are committed to providing high-quality translations, crafted with precisely chosen vocabulary and local terminology that always remain true to the voice and intended meaning of the author.

Karen CEO 70

Written by:
Karen Hodgson, CEO of Translationz

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