April Author Spotlight 2015
Letter ‘S’ is for Olga Nuñez Miret, Spanish Translator and author
Why do I recommend translating your novel into Spanish?
Spanish is spoken by 410 million as a first language and by 90 million speakers as a second language. English has 360 million native speakers and 400 million speakers as a second language. By second language I mean people who speak the language as well as another language fluently. That means that there are almost 1,300 million fluent speakers of English and Spanish. That’s a huge number of people. It’s 300 million speakers more than Mandarin Chinese. (There are also over 600 million speakers of English as a foreign language with varying degrees of competency, but these are not included in the figures I’ve mentioned). It sounds like a good idea to have your book available to a wider audience, but I’ll let Olga tell you all about it, after all, she’s the expert.
Why should authors have their work translated into Spanish, Olga?
Spanish is the second most widely spoken language after Mandarin with 404 million native speakers. Although many might read in other languages, most people who read for pleasure prefer to read in their own language and therefore the potential market for books in Spanish is very large. I also think it adds to the portfolio of an author and also opens up the opportunities to engage with a new group not only of readers but also of writers.
Which books have you translated recently? What are you working on now?
I have recently translated A Journey to Happiness from Spanish to English. This novel is a spiritual journey to Buddhism by bestselling Spanish author Paloma Caral. At the moment I’m editing a thriller translated to Spanish (Estrecho Mortal by Bob McDermott) and I’m also completing the translation of the last novel in my YA trilogy Angelic Business.
Which are the challenges you face when translating a novel?
Sometimes the book might be about subjects I’m not very familiar with and they require a good deal of research (I’ve translated books about the Incas, books looking at the history of the Vatican, and currently the book I’m editing is set in the world of international shipping business, so nautical terms are a must!), sometimes there might be issues of localization (do we want to use local names, are there terms or things that don’t apply or concepts that are unlikely to be understood)… A degree of interpretation of the original is required although luckily I can contact the authors for clarification if I need to. I try to do a quick draft and then re-read the translation and make sure it “sounds” right. Ah, if I spot the odd typo in the original I’ll report back (never enough eyes!).
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m from Barcelona and have lived in the UK for over 20 years. I love books and have written since I was very young. After studying Medicine and specializing in Psychiatry I could not resist spending more time with books and completed a BA in American Literature and a PhD on the same subject (also writing about films). Once I discovered self-publishing, it seemed natural to me to publish my books both in Spanish and English as I have always written in both and I find translating a great way to get to deeply understand other people’s writing and books. And it’s also a good way to edit my originals. Partly for personal interest and also as a psychiatrist I love interesting and challenging characters.
How can we find out more or contact you?
I have a Twitter account: @OlgaNM7
I also have a Facebook authorpage
Please take some time to check out some of the other blogs on the A-Z Challenge. There are plenty of interesting and varied topics.