How to translate a book accurately and error-free

Have you published a book and want to translate it into other languages? Learn to sell your book internationally, translating and adapting your book properly.
Cómo traducir un libro con precisión y libre de errores

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Would you like to translate a book? What is the procedure to translate books into another language? What steps to take to achieve an accurate, adequate and error-free translation of your work?

Whether you dedicate yourself to it professionally, or if you are a freelance writer, translating your works can directly help you increase sales and get more readers from all over the world to read your books.

But those people who are not fluent in another language are faced with a first obstacle: How to translate, adapt and edit a book for an international audience?

Today you will learn the best ways to overcome these challenges with the best recommendations on how to translate a book successfully:

Determine your end goal

Before starting it is important that you are clear about why you want to translate your work into another language.

The translation process takes time, effort and money, so it is crucial to establish the reasons why you want to translate a book into another language before starting this arduous task.

Establish your target audience

When you are clear into which new language you want to translate the book, you will have to carry out some research tasks: bureaucracy, censorship and other types of issues that usually occur when publishing books in other countries.

Before you start translating, be clear:

  • What genres are popular in your destination countries.
  • Who are your competitors.
  • What other titles similar to yours have already been published.
  • What makes your book stand out in the market.

Clarifying these points will help you understand how your book will sell in a different country.

Consider using a machine translation

Keep your budget in mind, as if it is a non-fiction book, you may want to use a professional machine translation service, which is often an affordable option for translating common words and phrases. At this point it is important to be clear how to translate long texts online to choose the appropriate option for your book.

Although machine translation can help you with much of your text, you will probably need to turn to a professional translator for the parts that the system cannot understand. Finally, you will also have to contact a professional editor (or at least a native speaker) to help you give consistency and precision to the translation.

But what to do if you want to translate your book from a PDF file?

Here you can read an interesting article on how to translate a PDF file. They teach us step by step how to translate a PDF file for free with the help of an automatic translator, such as Google Translate, DeepL or the Microsoft translator (Bing). They also explain how to make a professional translation of a PDF document and what to take into account. Finally, they also tell us what method a translation agency uses when dealing with the translation of a PDF file.

Hire a professional translator

Having a professional translator can help your book translate properly, as they understand the culture of your target market.

These professionals can adapt the tone, message and structure, while preserving the essence of the original work. They will also localize the text, to ensure that cultural nuances are not overlooked and that basic errors in translation are avoided.

When it comes to professional translation, there are two options: contact a freelance translator or hire a translation agency.

Whichever option you choose, it is important that you are clear if you will have all the translation rights; how long to have the complete translation; if they have translated similar books; if you can make additional comments; and what is the total cost of the service.

Complete the editing and proofreading of the book

Just as your book was proofread and edited the first time you wrote it, you will also need an editor for the translated version of your work. With the help of your editor, your book will be free of spelling, grammatical and mechanical errors that the translator could make.

Translation services typically also include proofreading and editing in the price of their services. If you opt for a freelance translator, you probably need another editor or translator to validate the work done in the first place.

Editing and proofreading are additional costs that are still necessary to ensure that your book is translated with high quality standards so that it flows properly.

It publishes, markets and supervises

Once translated and edited, it is time to publish and market your book in other countries. If you have difficulty understanding the websites your book is sold on, your translator may be interested in helping you.

It is important to monitor the performance of your book in the target market: compare the sales numbers with what you expected, and see if you will recoup the investment you made in translation and editing.

New readers from other countries may come to you with praise and questions, so it's also important to be prepared to deal with this influx of comments and opinions in another language.

Other ways to do it easily

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