Saturday, April 21, 2007

Party Post Number 22

JULIE COHEN writes sexy, funny, emotional romance for Mills & Boon Modern Extra (Sexy Sensation in Australia) and for Headline Little Black Dress, and spends a lot of time laughing for no reason. Her next UK releases are ALL WORK AND NO PLAY... with Mills & Boon in June 2007, and ONE NIGHT STAND with Little Black Dress in November 2007 (August hardback).


One of the really thrilling things about being a Harlequin/Mills & Boon author is that your books are released in different countries. Usually you find out about this when a foreign edition comes in the post. For me this entails five minutes or so of delighted staring, trying to figure out from the cover and the unfamiliar title which book of mine it is. You can see easily by checking the copyright page or looking at the back cover for the characters' names, but I always try to guess. I'm horrendously bad at languages other than English, so this is a real brain strain for me.

The other game that's great fun is finding a particular scene and trying to work out how it's been translated. It's even more fun when it's a sex scene. I've found there's a world of difference. For example with my first book, FEATURED ATTRACTION, the Spanish edition, EL AMOR DE SUS SUENOS, has excised most of the sex scenes (and it's therefore a MUCH shorter book). The French edition, BRULANT FACE-A-FACE, has edited them some, but not as much as the Spanish. And the Italian edition (ATTRAZIONE EVIDENTE), as far as I can tell, keeps every last word. Maybe they even add some. Is this because of the individual translator, or because of different cultural preferences?

Vocabulary is another thing. I like to call a male sexual organ by its non-euphemistic name, and so, apparently, do the Italians. (I like the Italians.) But for the Spanish, my hero has a "miembro viril". And in French, it's "le sexe puissant".

I do wonder what sort of education I'm getting in foreign languages this way.

I haven't yet seen my book DELICIOUS in a foreign language, but it has been released in Australia and is currently available as an ebook on www.ebooks.com/. It's out in Germany in June and in the USA, with the title translated from English to--er--English as MACALLISTER'S BABY, in August. I've got a copy of the UK edition to give away to someone who leaves a comment below, preferably telling me how you'd translate the p-word into any other language...



Blogger hari said...

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6:28 AM  
Blogger Cherie J said...

LOL! That is so funny! I am of hispanic heritage and even though I was born and raised here in the USA I do know fluent Spanish. The literal translation of "miembro viril" is viril member. Miembro was familiar to me as being used but I have never heard any hispanic call it a miembro viril even if it was something you felt comfortable speaking about in an everyday conversation. No need to enter me in the drawing. I just noticed that I won a book from Anna and I don't want to be greedy. I would rather see someone else who has not won anything get a chance to win.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Karen G said...

I was laughing when I read this post. I never though of this. It must be great fun reading the translated scenes. The p word in Hindu is lavda. Maybe you will see this one someday in your book.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Minna said...

"Is this because of the individual translator, or because of different cultural preferences?"

It's always interesting to see how things are translated in different languages. I can tell you that it's probably a bit of both. And the publishers of course have their say about how you are supposed to translate something. And then there are all those culture specific items... OK, I better not get started.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

lol... I love this post! Reminds me of the movie title, Lost in Translation :)

8:58 AM  
Blogger catslady said...

LOL my 84 yr. old mother speaks Italian - should I ask her? Love all the covers.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

What a funny post. I never thought about the translations and the words used. I think it's interesting that some tranlations don't keep the whole scenes.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Julie Cohen said...

Thanks for the translation of the Spanish, Cherie. A Spanish-speaking reader of mine translated some of it for me and I must admit I was laughing like crazy.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Julie Cohen said...

Lavda. Thanks Karen...maybe I can use that one day. ;-)

11:51 AM  
Blogger Julie Cohen said...

Thank you for your comments Minna, Ali, and Maureen.

Catslady, I dare you to!

11:52 AM  
Blogger robynl said...

German: der Penis; not much change there.
The book sounds very interesting.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Lois said...

Never thought of what happens when translating much. . . the only language I can read is English, so I'm always seeing the original. LOL :) But yeah, I guess there might be changes due to cultural sensbilities and what have you. . . alas, I don't have any words for you to add to your collection of ah, p-words. :)

Well, I did have a Klingon Dictionary once upon a time. . . :)


1:25 PM  
Blogger KimW said...

That would be neat to read a foreign book and see what the translation. Of course, I'd have to have the story in English, too. The only translation I know is the language spoken from the very, very young. Wiener, pee-pee or dingus. lol

3:29 PM  
Blogger cas2ajs said...

I don't know about foreign translations - but before my ex left,he kindly taught our son to call it his "buddy". I have since convinced my son to use the anatomically correct "p" word since I prefer to hear that term as opposed to the euphemism his dad taught him.

4:09 PM  
Blogger jennybrat said...

Hi Julie, in Mandarin, you can translate it to 男性 (male part/member) :)

4:31 PM  
Blogger Julie Cohen said...

Robyn, nice to know the Germans are not so different from the English. ;-)

Lois, I totally want to know the Klingon translation.

Kim and Cas2ajs, the very young speak a whole different language. I will draw a discreet veil over what some of my friends used to call their bits when they were children...

Thank you Jenny; are those characters representative in any way (she asks with her dirty mind)? ;-)

3:42 AM  
Blogger Tessa Radley said...

Julie, thank you so much for partying!

I love your DELICIOUS cover - that black and white look is really erotic.

I've been reading through the posts and having a giggle...


3:44 AM  
Blogger Julie Cohen said...

Thank you for inviting me, Tessa! This party is such a great idea and I've really enjoyed reading the posts and comments. I can't wait till your book is out in the UK!

4:59 AM  
Blogger Julie Cohen said...

Wait a sec, wait a sec, it IS out in the UK! I thought it was only the US! OMG I am such an idiot! Blame my newborn baby head and the fact that the lift to the bookshop in Smith's is really stinky so I haven't been up there this month

Off I go to the shops, to dare the stinky lift!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Little Lamb Lost said...

Hmmm...I was amused to have learned that "Bite" pronounced bee-tuh was a slang term in French for penis. Assume that English speakers must be careful to pronounce the word correctly in case of severe and painful misunderstanding with their partner.

7:27 AM  
Blogger CrystalG said...

There are a few Japanese translations for th "p" word. They are: inkei, dankon, youbutsu

6:09 AM  

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