Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It Might be a Small World but I'm not Multi-Lingual

Remember guidance counselors back in high school? Remember being told there were certain skills we'd definitely want later and so we should take those classes now? Classes like typing and Spanish or French? Remember also thinking those same counselors were older than fossils and what did they know?

Or perhaps that was just me.

But here I sit, wishing I had learned to type. (Okay, yeah, so I do have my own system. Speedy, yes, but inaccurate as all get out. Not the most practical situation for someone who puts "Novelist" as her occupation on her tax forms.) Um, and perhaps also wishing I'd learned to speak (beyond asking, "Cerveza, por favor") and read a language other than English.

Because I now find myself in the interesting situation of being blogged about in other countries (Sweden, believe it or not!) and having no way of knowing what's being said. And of getting copies of my book in languages that weren't even offered in my high school (so, that gets me off the hook at least a little bit, right?).

And I'm tickled beyond reason with the idea that somewhere outside of Amsterdam, folks are kicking off their wooden shoes and curling up to read my words in Dutch. But I can't help but wonder how closely some of my carefully crafted prose has been translated. Do my alliterative phrases sound as lyrical in Finnish? And just what are the reviews extolling? Or lambasting?

So, if any of you are fluent in German, Swedish or Dutch, give me a holler and I'll send you one of my copies and you can report back. I'll make the same offer for Finnish and Complex Chinese characters (what does that mean?) when those versions arrive on my doorstep.

And finally, here's another neat picture:

a basket of books for a bookclub I donated for a silent auction at an author luncheon which was held to raise funds for Juvenile Arthritis my buddy Jen Vido in Maryland was helping organize.

To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, Oh, the places these books will go!


Christina said...

Hmmm...I'll have to see if my library has your book!
It's my dream someday to be an author, but I'm finding myself so swamped with my little ones, that I just barely have time to BREATHE!

kristenspina said...

Woohoo!!! Who cares if you can read it? No matter what, it's awesome. I'm really happy for you, Judy.

Lisa said...

Woohoo X 2 (to echo Kristin in the spirit of your Seussian sign-off).

The interesting thing about foreign languages is that so frequently, things really don't translate well. English is apparently maddening to learn for many people because we have SO many words. German, for example, has far fewer adjectives, so Germans often have a difficult time with all of the nuances of English.

But woohoo again -- I just think it's very cool to see your book in another language!

Anonymous said...

What a rush, Judy! Foreign editions and their covers are fascinating and terribly exciting. Good for you.


debra said...

Kudos to you on being published in a multitude of languages! Alas, I am only somewhat fluent in American English.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Christina, let me know if you find it . . . and if you don't! I hear you about having no time with your little ones. Hang in there--they grow up way too fast and then you'll have plenty of time to write.

Thanks, Kristen. It is pretty cool!

Lisa, thanks (x 2!). And I have wondered about the nuances of each language. It's just amazing to think my words are reaching readers around the world.

Amy, thanks. And I do love seeing all the different covers (and permutations of titles).

Hi Debra, Thanks!

Larramie said...

Actually, Judy, "...oh, the places your books have gone." How cool!

Joanne said...

Hi Judy,
The foreign book covers are just as intriguing as the languages. They have a distinct flair to them. Very cool, you must be proud!

Daisy said...

It's not too late to learn to type. Get yourself some software. No, you're not too old, so don't even go there!
But congrats on the translations!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Larramie--You're so right!

Joanne--They are neat, aren't they?

Daisy--Ah, spoken like a mom. I'm pretty wedded to my process now, though. I call it "Typing ugly."

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