How long to translate a long novel
Thread poster: TixhiiDon

TixhiiDon
Local time: 17:51
Japanese to English
+ ...
Nov 1, 2018

Hello Proz.
I've been asked to translate a large novel from Georgian into English. I estimate the finished English product will have around 170,000 words. I was told they are not in a particular hurry, and also, since Georgian is not my main priority, I would be working on the translation mostly on weekends and evenings. Moreover, this will be the first full novel I have translated.

I'm considering asking for a year to complete it, and I was wondering if this sounds reasonable
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Hello Proz.
I've been asked to translate a large novel from Georgian into English. I estimate the finished English product will have around 170,000 words. I was told they are not in a particular hurry, and also, since Georgian is not my main priority, I would be working on the translation mostly on weekends and evenings. Moreover, this will be the first full novel I have translated.

I'm considering asking for a year to complete it, and I was wondering if this sounds reasonable. I would like to take on the project, but I really don't think I could complete it any faster.
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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
Russian to English
+ ...
In memoriam
Six months Nov 2, 2018

I think six months should be sufficient. I have translated a 120,000 word novel in two months. I asked for and was given six months to complete it, but I didn't want to be rushed. But for this specific book, only you can say.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sounds OK to me - you can always deliver early Nov 2, 2018

TixhiiDon wrote:
I estimate the finished English product will have around 170,000 words. I was told they are not in a particular hurry, and also, since Georgian is not my main priority, I would be working on the translation mostly on weekends and evenings. Moreover, this will be the first full novel I have translated.

I'm considering asking for a year to complete it

My experience - in editing rather than translating books - is that your availability and motivation both fluctuate. You'll need to push yourself a bit at times, but you also need to have some free time to relax. Don't risk burnout for this project. You also mustn't underestimate how long the work around the actual translation will take. You'll need to spend time to ensure consistency, so glossaries and other notes will be needed, along with at least a basic style guide. And checking your work isn't going to get done in a few minutes - even a simple spellcheck could take hours! Also, make sure you agree with your client about proofreading. Are they going to see to that after you deliver? If so, will you check the results? Or are you going to be responsible for getting it proofread, so you need to factor in cost and time?

Don't forget: BACKUPS!!!


Katarina Peters
Kay Denney
 

Alistair Gainey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
Member (2009)
Russian to English
What are your other commitments? Nov 2, 2018

I'd certainly ask for at least a year were I going to be doing other stuff as well. But I'd try to get it done earlier anyway. On that score, you'll need to be disciplined: if the client isn't bothered about deadlines, it'll be awfully tempting to take on other, better-paid work in the meantime, and before you know it a month will have gone by and you'll have translated just a handful of pages. I could be wrong, but I'd imagine that the resources available for Georgian aren't as extensive as tho... See more
I'd certainly ask for at least a year were I going to be doing other stuff as well. But I'd try to get it done earlier anyway. On that score, you'll need to be disciplined: if the client isn't bothered about deadlines, it'll be awfully tempting to take on other, better-paid work in the meantime, and before you know it a month will have gone by and you'll have translated just a handful of pages. I could be wrong, but I'd imagine that the resources available for Georgian aren't as extensive as those for other languages, so that won't help either. Also, do you have a family, or is working in the evenings and at weekends not going to affect anyone other than you? And even if it isn't, can you keep it up for weeks on end?

Another thing: make sure you get paid in instalments. Good luck!
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Katarina Peters
Josephine Cassar
 

TixhiiDon
Local time: 17:51
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Food for thought Nov 3, 2018

Thanks very much for all the advice. Always good to have input from those more experienced than oneself. I’ll go ahead and ask for a year but try to get it done a bit earlier than that.

 

Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
It took me 9 months to translate a novel of 90,000 words Nov 3, 2018

Hi Alistair,

I translated a novel a couple of years ago in my spare time and it took me 9 months.

It all depends on the time you want to dedicate to it.

Good luck!

Natalia


 


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