Thursday, May 02, 2013

Dan Brown Translators at Work in Bunker

A couple of weeks before Inferno is published, it’s nothing like a secret that Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown has a new book coming out. If it’s up to his European publishers, though, what’s inside the book will remain hidden from public view until the last possible moment.

According to the LoveGermanBooks blog, translating a Dan Brown book is no picnic:
Eleven translators into various languages, all spending weeks working in a windowless basement room beneath the Mondadori publishing house in Milan. They weren't allowed to take mobile phones in there, had to access the internet under surveillance via one computer, and worked until at least 8 pm every single day of the week. Although they were allowed to use the staff canteen, they had fake alibis in case anyone asked them what they were doing there.
All of this fuss, the blog tells us, is because the book is coming out simultaneously in several languages to avoid potential loss of revenue.
The foreign publishers seem to feel it's a good idea to make their translators work under these backbreaking conditions so that they don't lose revenue to the English original by bringing the translations out later - and because they obviously don't trust them not to pirate the content. Lord knows Dan Brown can hardly afford to let anyone know plot details beforehand; in 2011 he was apparently worth $400m.
If you want to know a bit about what’s inside the book, we previously reported on Inferno here and here.



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