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Translating myself

Having closed Guillotine Wind, my latest novella, I am now getting ready to post it to my Patrons – and this means translating it in Italian. Because it is good to be my patrons, and my Italian-speaking supporters get my stories in Italian, just as my English-speaking supporters get them in English.

This means a bit of extra work, and the hard part is not translating the text, but conveying the tone and the rhythms. And that is, after all, the crux of translating.

I am always dissatisfied with my own translations of my own stories – there is always something missing.

Case in point – the title of my latest novella: Guillotine Wind.
It’s good, compact and yet intriguing-.
Sounds fine.
In Italian it sucks, big time.

Fact is, what wind, and what guillotine?
Is it Il Vento Ghigliottina… but then it sounds like the wind is operating the guillotine… or is it La Ghigliottina Vento, that sounds simply stupid?
Maybe La Ghigliottina del Vento is better, but it sounds lame, and it’s four words instead of two, and it has the wrong rhythm.
Going the other way around, Il Vento della Gigliottina, would possibly suit a story set in Paris during the Terror, but not a story set in Siberia in the ’20s.

So in the end I just dropped the lot.
In Italian, the new novella will be called Vento d’Acciaio.
Steel Wind – a title I would not use for a story in English, because it was the name of a rock band.
See what I mean about being dissatisfied with my translations?

But I’m halfway through – the Patrons will get their story for Christmas.

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