Helen DeWitt

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I have set up a wiki for translators and publishers here.

When a text is translated one often gets this sort of appeal for clarification:

Dear Helen,

I hope you are fine. I've got 2 questions for you:

1) about these lines:

Well I know I'll be blue
If my true love's untrue
I don't think I could ever bear to part
Don't you walk out the door tomorrow
Leaving me to grief and sorrow
Cause I'll beg or steal or borrow back your heart

I'm not sure, is it a parody, or, say, stylization? There is not any Beatles' text like this, right?

2) I put the berimbau and the bow on his keyboard.

Which keyboard you mean, a computer's keyboard or a piano keyboard?

That's all for today. Best regards from my daughter. I've bought her un Imagier Franco-Japonaise (pictures+ Japanese words& French translations), but Nico immediately took it and refuses to give it back. Too bad.
Keep writing.
Lena

The author is often the last to know that foreign rights to a book has been sold; even when the author is informed, she is not normally given contact details for translators. Different translators raise different issues; it would be helpful for everyone to have access to all answers, but the author has no way of passing them on.

I thought it might help to have a wiki where correspondence could be posted and translators could also post contributions themselves. (Translators often have to do research or draw on their own store of knowledge to catch cultural references; if they were willing to put what they knew in the public domain, research would not need to be replicated and oversights could be avoided.)