Just over a year ago, I founded my service for novel translations from German into English. And it turned out to be a really good idea! In that time, we have been assigned with the translation of 14 books, some of which are still in progress. And fortunately, almost all projects are running absolutely according to plan and completely stress-free.
At the beginning of such a project, there are always stress factors, starting with the search for translators. I received plenty of applications, but only a few colleagues met my requirements. And even after some translators had made it into my team, I had to part with a few again, always because of unprofessional behavior, mostly because of the inability to follow simple instructions and to take responsibility for the resulting mistakes.
The only time really bad choice, however, was Andrea Carpenter. I hired Andrea to translate a book at the beginning of March—the first quarter was already translated (the original translator had to abandon the project for good reasons), the rest had yet to be done. She accepted the job enthusiastically and I paid her, as always, half of the agreed total amount: 2,500 euros. Mid-June was her deadline, and like all translators, she was supposed to send me the text translated by then every Friday.
On the first Friday, I received an e-mail saying that her computer had died and that the text she had translated so far was gone, but that the computer was already being repaired and would be ready on Monday. Stupid not to do back-ups, but nice that she still had my contact details and the source text. Alright, I thought, maybe she had my email address in her phone and my mail with the source text on the server, so I didn’t say anything.
On the second Friday, I received an e-mail saying that her computer was now repaired and she was working diligently on the translation.
On the third Friday, in response to my inquiry, an e-mail came saying that her cousin had been murdered and that she was totally devastated and had not yet been able to work. I offered Andrea to give half the workload to another colleague so that she would have more time to breathe (this way, she could have kept the deposit), but she refused.
On my urgent request the following week to send me what she had already translated, the next day came—wait for it—1,100 words. In fact, 1,100 words of the middle of the first quarter of the book, i.e. a part of the text that I already had translated. By then, four weeks had passed, and the book had not grown one bit. And my confidence was gone. After four weeks of lost time, the deadline could no longer be met—certainly not at Andrea’s pace. So I took the job away from her and passed it on to a very reliable colleague from my team.
And since then, Andrea has been playing dead. Two requests to transfer the deposit back to me have been ignored. And the suspicion is growing in me that I have simply fallen for a scam artist who only collects money and then makes off with it.
But that’s the good thing about my translation service: The authors aren’t bothered with such difficulties. I take care of the stressful part! The authors just can sit back and relax and receive their book in English on time for the agreed deadline. This book will also be finished on time and the translation will be totally great.
The translators who are still on the team after a year have my absolute confidence. It is a pleasure to work with each and every one of them. They are all so reliable and committed and friendly and professional that I could go into raptures. The same applies for my editors and my proofreader, on whom I can always rely and who are also quite taken with the good translations. Despite this one humanly disappointing experience with Andrea Carpenter, I am therefore very happy with the service for book translations into English and hope we will make even more authors happy with their book in English!
Since this book translation service into English is going so well, I have now also put together a team for novel translations from English into German. You can find the website here: Your book in German.