Way back in 2014, back when sewing blogs felt a little different from the current vibe, I was approached by a marketing person at Tuttle Publishing about reviewing a couple of Japanese sewing books that had been freshly translated into English. I said yes, of course. As I was corresponding back and forth with the marketing person, I offhandedly mentioned that if they ever needed another translator, I was happy to help out. A single sentence in a short email.
A few months later, an editor from Tuttle Publishing reached out and asked if I would be interested in translating this book. I said yes, of course. And then I kept saying yes and the other day when I received another translation assignment, I noticed that somewhere along the way I had stopped keeping track. I was shocked to count up the books — I am currently working on my 20th translation project!
There are 17 shown up there from 2014 to 2020 and three more will be published next year, which I can’t show yet. Translation projects are a different animal from working on the books I publish through Sasquatch Books and Little Bigfoot. I am paid a one time fee for the translations and don’t get any royalties. I love doing the translations because they require me to use a different set of problem-solving skills. It’s still writing, but with a twist since the original words aren’t mine and I’m tasked to convey the nuance of the Japanese text while keeping an English-reading audience in mind.
I’m learning all about natural dyeing right now via this latest translation project, and it’s so educational! Very much like a science project!
More than anything, I was marveling that all of this came from putting out a simple question. It makes one wonder, “What else can I ask?”
I hope you are all doing well, my friends! I’ve decided to make some website/blog changes over the next few weeks, so I may skip a blog post for October, but I will definitely be back for November. I apologize in advance if things get glitchy around here. In the meantime, I am sending you all shiawase* thoughts!
*Shiawase is a Japanese word that roughly means happiness or good fortune.