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Lost in translation
A sunny day in July. I am sitting on the terrace outside. Our publisher Lannoo Campus just sent the first version of the English translation of the book and I am going through it page by page to check for content.
When I arrive at page 47 I read our story on how we the publication of our first book in Mandarin 10 years ago. Desperate for some distraction from the time consuming checking exercise I start surfing the web, wondering if I am still able to find a reference to the Chinese book. I come across an article published in a Chinese magazine and file it for our ‘Flash back Friday’ posts on Facebook. I notice that the article mentions an ISBN No. and I type it in at the Amazon website: ISBN 978-7-80652-765-8
A big smile appears on my face since this is what I find:
Of course, I have no Chinese character keyboard and no idea what would come up if I would type it in Chinese characters but in the English version Chantal is totally lost in translation. And my own name has received an interesting twist…
The publication of our first book in Mandarin was a huge lesson in ‘letting go’. We had -and still don’t have- any idea how well the book was translated.
My biggest learning from this? When you cannot control things, let go with a smile… and keep believing in the best intentions when you hear or see something that does not make sense. After all, many things are ‘lost in translation’ also when we speak the same language. And a final word to my great friend, business partner and co-author Chantal: As we all know, it is impossible to ‘loose’ you in translation J
PS If anyone reads Chinese, it would be great if you could check this ISBN No. (at least I ‘think’ it is an ISBN No. …) and let us know what it says…