The Holy Quran with Urdu and English translation Speaking a second or third language can be wonderfully rewarding, especially for a writer. Being able to read literary works from other countries opens you up to a whole new understanding of the way language really works, and becoming a literary translator is one of the most rewarding ways to use that skill. UNESCO, the educational and cultural division of the United Nations, has maintained their index of all translated books since 1949. Every year, they add at least 100,000 new titles which span over 1,100 languages. Needless to say, there is a big market for literary translators. They’re often the unsung heroes of a book or book series’ success – would Harry Potter or Twilight be as successful if nobody could read it in anything but English? Can you imagine a world where Shakespeare wasn’t accessible to everyone, or where non-French speakers never got to read Moliere or Samuel Beckett? All of this is thanks to great translation.
1. Breaking In
You may find becoming a translator is really not that different from becoming an author. In the past, many literary translators started out translating other things – work documents, forms, instruction manuals, and more. While most translators still recommend building your track record that way, there’s also the world of online publication. Just as indie authors can e-publish their work on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, you can publish your translations. When an author has been dead at least 70 years, their work is considered public domain, so you don’t have to ask permission to do a translation. If you want to translate something newer, you can always contact the author and ask permission, as long as you have an understanding of U.S. copyright laws.
2. Learning the Industry
Translating requires extensive study of what constitutes staying true to the original meaning of an author’s work. Even then, you won’t always get final say, especially if you work on popular or controversial novels. The case of renowned Scandinavian language expert Steven T. Murray’s translation of Stieg Larsson’s Men Who Hate Women into the more commercial Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an interesting one. Murray felt the novel had been changed in too many substantial ways and opted to use a pseudonym. As a professional translator, he was dedicated to preserving more than just words, but the tone and message of the work. Translators read up on their craft, as well as attending seminars and fairs to meet other people who translate for a living and get a better understanding of the industry’s goals and standards. If you integrate yourself into the translating community, online or offline, you will get a better idea of what veteran translators experience.
3. Finding Work
According to the UNESCO database, quite a few books are translated. The bad news is, very little of this translation work reaches the United States. Finding steady employment as a translator can be hard. Like any writer, you need to market yourself. Amass experience by publishing online and set up a professional website where others can view your work. Then register with the American Translators Association – a sure sign to publishers that you are qualified for the job. After that, you can simply query agencies with a strong focus on translations by providing a resum editing and samples. You can search for specific job listings for translators or simply ask them to keep you in mind. And if you’re attending book fairs and seminars, you’re likely to make some important contacts.
Truly great literary translators can be hard to find, because they must also be great writers. A translated book has to do much more than make sense, it has to preserve the literary value. Readers must enjoy it while also understanding the spirit in which it was originally intended. It’s not the easiest or most predictable career, but it is extremely rewarding for those who truly love words.
Filmmaking is such a seemingly glamorous and grandiose venture and these days, film schools produce thousands of graduates annually but did anyone outside the film industry ever notice of how minimal it is able to produce actual successful filmmaker? Or maybe this has remained a hush-hush in the film industry. Whether this issue be admitted or not, it has become quite evident that the film industry is suffering from the lack of better produce from film schools. Now this is one issue that may be worth probing.
So, why can’t film schools produce good filmmakers – ones who are sure to come up with great ideas that sell big?
Perhaps it is best that we take a closer look at how American Public Education is and how it has evolved. There has been this concept of providing for and upholding public education since the early 1800s and although this has given birth to equal opportunity to more people, this has also paved the way to education that is less qualitative. Let us not forget that when it comes to filmmaking, creativity, personal initiative and entrepreneurship should be tapped and nurtured from each individual. This is a filmmaker’s lifeline.
What film schools produce these days is what you may call a herd of good workers.
These are non-creative people who hardly think out of the box. The credit to them is the fact that they hardly fail to “please the boss”, they are able to do what is required of them but hardly thinks of what pleases them. Now, isn’t this a classic example of a produce without a creative juice to squeeze out of? The film industry can’t have these.
Another error is perhaps on the fact that film schools give emphasis on the wrong things – things that are unnecessary in the actual film making practice. Instead of nurturing the free spirit and enthusiasm within the student, film schools tend to change them into mindless and lifeless followers. They become quiet and plodding instead of vibrant and outspoken idea-makers. They get taught to obey and never argue about any concept that seems incongruent with their observation or idea. Of course this is good – for a factory worker but not a film maker.
Film schools wrongfully injects in the students the concept that working in the film industry means you get a glamorous and high-paying job in Hollywood and still get them home by 5 in the afternoon. The truth to the matter is: if you intend to succeed as a true filmmaker, there can be no “this time only” for work and you need to start small, work your way through time, coming up with original and creative ideas until that well-deserved break to success.
Every business has its ups and downs and not all businesses will see its progress right from the start. When you enter into a business you cannot expect that it can take off right away, right after you launch it. This is also true in the movie industry and when you are into filmmaking, do not expect that it will ripen right away.
If you are into this business you cannot expect that you will be the winner right away. This only happens in fairy tales. In the real world you have to continuously refine and adjust, to be the real winner in the end.
You may have a very good movie idea, good concept, and the project very awesome. This independent move project of your may be the ideal concept, you think, but despite its being very revolutionary you are not seeing people see this or try this. This is probably because the project is new and never been tested, and despite having no competitor nobody is buying it.
Your new independent filmmaking venture may be new in the business and without yet the expected competitors. But you are not experiencing people to try it or see it, is this because you are new and haven’t got the people’s trust? Is it because people have not heard or read about your company?
Just like any business you’re promoting your new venture. You are also marketing and selling to people who are new in the business. To these people you are a new concept that is still alien to them, having not encountered like yours before. In this process you will still have to build trust, and this can mean a very long process that you have to undergo.
Many people have these challenges may falter or quite even before they are halfway through the challenge. Will this happen to you? You may still be the winner, after all. Anyway, there is a cool idea where you can show and offer your concept to people. This is Crowd funding. There are sites in the internet where you can explore and find out what this is all about.
Crowd finding will allow you to lay out your movie ideas to a crowd of people who are online. These kinds of people may be those who are the enthusiastic kind about sponsoring a movie. But do not source out your entire budget through this method. Limit your crowd funding campaign to a few thousand dollars. This is because you are only trying to sell your movie concept and source out your initial funding. Source out your entire budget through this method will bound to fail.
This is probably a more saleable sales pitch for your prospective investors. This is because you are selling the concept and not the whole project. Because you have now gathered a few thousand dollars you can now finish your independent movie project. You are going to satisfy your sponsors with the finished project.
All these can mean that your new filmmaking project and concept is the ideal thing and you can source out your initial audience through crowd funding. You can also make the initial steps in doing the distribution and other things which you can have control of.
Although there are no business guarantees to think of, like many business, you are proving that your concept is cool and awesome and you can source out an audience. This may make prospective movie investors to buy now than later.
Independent filmmaking as a business is just like all other businesses – it is dead without its patrons and especially its investors. The fact that you can actually get by with a lot of patience and a lot of waiting around for the right break is there but it can be painstakingly cruel to most independent filmmakers.
Let us take a closer look at how your independent movie project could be put alongside a start-up company. Many independent filmmakers have good and even great ideas when it comes to film creations but the problem lies on how it gets its success after its launch. Even if the concept is great, unique and original – as almost all independent films are, most people won’t go for something that is not heard of, known or that is not patronized by someone they know.
This is true with prospective buyers or audience as well as prospective movie investors. This is how most independent filmmakers often end their quest for finding success in filmmaking.
Independent filmmakers need to continually refine their concept and make it into one that is simpler to understand and embrace by the audience and movie investors and at the same time, they need to find resources to help them through. As an independent filmmaker, you are the one approaching prospective investors who are basically new to filmmaking and from their buying standpoint, you (including your movie and movie business) are a new concept, something that they have never tried before. You are bound to find yourself having meetings spent educating and building trust which guarantees no success at most times.
Of course it isn’t always bad news for independent filmmakers. There is good news and it comes in the form of “Crowdfunding”. There are sites that allow you to explore crowdfunding, the likes of www.IndieGoGo.com. Here you will be able to toss in your movie idea to crowds online and most of them you will find to be more than happy to sponsor a movie project or two. Of course a word of caution to those interested with crowdfunding, limit your crowdfunding campaign. Remember that there are budgetary essentials aside from spending on crowdfunding – like your movie’s real budget. The beauty in crowdfunding though is that you will be able to test your movie concept and demonstrate to investors that you are able to grab interest in the marketplace.
Business still holds no definite guarantee more specifically when it comes to independent movie business. The aforementioned steps that you may be able to take however should give you a push for a start-up way to attract movie investors so utilize them wisely. You might be surprised when you find prospective movie investors giving you a try now and not having you wait longer for your break.
Claudia Marone is a producer, screenwriter, novelist and founder of this blog. She was born on March 23, 1981, in Washington, D.C.