Acknowledge Your Translator

While translators are used to working anonymously in most cases, they are always grateful when their name is mentioned. It’s a rare bonus for professionals whose work is typically invisible. Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their contribution – even if it’s only in the small prints that hardly a soul will bother to read.

So when I noticed that my name was missing from a book that I had recently translated, my heart sunk. Was it an oversight? As this was a second edition, I checked the previous edition to see whether the translator’s name had been included then. It had. Well, the book was printed now, so what could I do? Still, a book is quite a substantial piece of work and it is standard practice to indicate the translator’s name. I could not help but feel upset.

I decided to contact the project manager and asked whether my name could be added on online listings, which is also common practice, and on Amazon in particular as I have an author page there and wished to add this new book to my portfolio. She replied that she was going to contact me about this as she had also noticed the omission. She apologised and agreed to add my name on online listings. Luckily, they had only printed a fairly small number of books in the first instance, so they were going to print some more later, at which point they would be able to add my name onto the copyright page. After the initial disappointment, this was a relief; all was not lost.

By mentioning your translator, you support their claim (on their website, CV, etc.) that they have worked on your publication. It doesn’t cost you anything and, if your work is listed on their portfolio, the benefit can be mutual.

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