Translating a PhD thesis
Thread poster: buckstar
Jan 1, 2013

Hi!

I would like to translate my grandfather's 130-page PhD thesis, in which he wrote in 1984 in my country.
He has passed away but I would like to translate it to English because I believe the material would be useful in English-speaking universities.

I would not be able to personally translate it. I was thinking of hiring a translator from a translating company.
I have heard that I would need to contact the publisher to obtain the rights (even though it is
... See more
Hi!

I would like to translate my grandfather's 130-page PhD thesis, in which he wrote in 1984 in my country.
He has passed away but I would like to translate it to English because I believe the material would be useful in English-speaking universities.

I would not be able to personally translate it. I was thinking of hiring a translator from a translating company.
I have heard that I would need to contact the publisher to obtain the rights (even though it is my grandfather's thesis)? If so, how can I make my case? If they agree, who should pay for the translating fee?

I have never dealt with translators therefore I am not very familiar with the process.

Thank you!
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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:05
Italian to English
Suggestions Jan 2, 2013

Dear Buckstar

The rights to the thesis will lie basically with your grandfather's executor or the beneficiaries of his will - subject to any rights acquired by the publisher under the terms of the publication agreement.

I don't think you need to bother about "making a case" until you have established the position with these two parties.

The publishers will only be interested in paying for the translation if they consider an English translation to be a viabl
... See more
Dear Buckstar

The rights to the thesis will lie basically with your grandfather's executor or the beneficiaries of his will - subject to any rights acquired by the publisher under the terms of the publication agreement.

I don't think you need to bother about "making a case" until you have established the position with these two parties.

The publishers will only be interested in paying for the translation if they consider an English translation to be a viable commercial proposition and one has to ask why they wouldn't have done so before now if this was the case. They may agree to you approaching other publishers, but may want a fee for the foreign rights.

As for selecting a translator, a translation company is certainly a possibility but most will engage a freelance translator for the purpose and add a commission. Since you have discovered this site, you could use the site directory http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/ to find appropriately qualified freelancers yourself - or even post it as a job, here: http://www.proz.com/post-translation-job/ although with this latter approach you run the risk of attracting low-cost bids from people of uncertain ability.

[Edited at 2013-01-03 10:08 GMT]
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aliasonly  Identity Verified
Chinese to English
+ ...
Heaps of info at your disposal Jan 3, 2013

Welcome to the site and the treasure hunt therein, buckstar!

 


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Translating a PhD thesis

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