Author Translation, a literary translation agency

The excellent Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware, dedicated to exposing literary scams, has discovered Author Translation. This agency appears to specialise in EN->ES at extremely low prices – 0.02$ per translated word is quoted. As Victoria notes, they find English a struggle, but the sample Spanish translation provided (grab) -of an Arthurian romance self-published by one Kim Headlee- is also amateurish (observations / corrections in square brackets):

  • the moon lit the ice-crusted rocks and brush where Prince Badulf and his band hid -> la luna iluminaba las rocas con costras de hielo y rozaba [matorral: the translator has confused scrubland and a fleeting touch] donde el príncipe Badulf y su banda se escondían
  • the hardiest war-band -> la más dura de las bandas-guerreras [bandas guerreras: unhyphenated in Spanish]
  • a striking snake -> una serpiente batiéndose [serpiente mordiente: the translator has a snake beating itself, or something a fighting snake]

I suspect this is just one more person trying to figure out how to get through the crisis, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the good people of Virginia. On the other hand, even the good kings of Britain are beyond salvation.

Can you say, “Se siente el diente hiriente de la serpiente mordiente”?

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  1. I think you have no idea of Spanish. Your three "examples" are not true. But this is a "little gem" from another victim of the nazi dog of Victoria Strauss: Barbara Bauer

    Barbara Bauer to Author Translation service:
    I saw the article about you on Writer Beware. I want you to know that I sued all of them for slander in 2007. They are cowards, and would not show their face in court or furnish testimony under oath in a deposition. Nor would they prove that my Ph.D. from St. John's University in NY was false as they had claimed, or that I had never sold any books. They could not prove any of their lies in court! They are the ultimate liars. Don't waste your time on them. They are not worthy of your attention. Just continue to work with legitimate clients. The universe will take care of them, as I found out. Two of them died of cancer in 2013! Those who harm others they don't know will be punished by the universe. (or God, if you believe).
    Good luck to you .

  2. Colin: Headlee presumably means brushwood or scrubland or some such, and the translator seems to think the moon has brushed/touched on the hiding place of Prince Badulf.

    Anonymous, which is to say the translator in question: I'll happily withdraw and apologise profusely for any error you manage to demonstrate.

    I don't know who Barbara Bauer is, but I can already feel a tumour coming on.

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