I wanna be translated
April 30, 2012 9:19 PM Subscribe
I'm interested in translating someone's dissertation/book from Spanish to English. Is there some way I can make this happen? If so, how do I go about it?
I'm a graduate student and recently read a dissertation in urban studies, a field allied to mine. The author is a young scholar, obviously pretty unknown as far as I can tell. It's a good book, and covers, quite in depth, a subject that there are few to no full-length works about.
I've always been very interested in translation. I've done small-scale translations from a different language (not Spanish) to English before. I'm obviously not a professional, but I feel confident that I could do a good job on this.
I want to translate this book! I think it would be really cool to make this work accessible to Anglophone scholars. I have no idea how academic translation works, on the business side, though. Does the fact that this book (published by UNAM press in Mexico) already exists in bound form in Spanish mean it'll inevitably be translated? Or will this only likely happen if this author becomes the next Foucault? The book is very interesting but markedly a social sciences academic text, not a beach read.
I'm not driven by money here-- I'd do it for free as a pet project to have under my belt (though I guess if I translated it and it was sold, I'd expect some small cut). Who should I contact? Should I translate a selection of it and then approach the press with "Hey, look at this! Like it?" Should I approach the author first independently?
Am I being super-naive and this is just not possible, full stop?
Any advice appreciated!
Throwaway email email@example.com. I'm happy to share many more salient details by email-- this is anon because I don't want this to be one of the few google hits for this obscure book/scholar, not because I want out-and-out secrecy.
Thanks in advance!
(I understand that some people may be dubious about my general ability to translate this book-- I recognize that thought but ask you to assume for this question that I am competent, though advice on how to present my lack of professional experience is welcome.)