Get to Know How to Cope with Problems in Novel Translation

Translating activities do not only require language skills, but also the ability to reconstruct a text from one language to another. The scope of this work frame, for instance, can be found in novel translations now that this text is more complex than academic text. Creative writing has the potential to have hidden meanings from an expression, so translators must be aware of this. As a result, they will be able to determine the appropriate translation technique in order to achieve equivalence in the target text.

Novel Translations Problems in a Conventional Way

Experts state that there are three difficulties to translate a novel namely linguistics aspects, socio-cultural aspects, and moral aspects implicitly. In line with this, the genetic factors, objective factors, and affective factors should be noticed as the translator’s challenge.

The genetic factor is the essential thing that must be considered by translators because they will be able to identify the figurative languages ​​in the novel. Meanwhile, the objective factor is the result of the translation, whether they succeed in achieving equivalence between the two languages ​​or not. Then, the affective factor is the assessment of the reader, whether the message conveyed is in accordance with their culture.

Furthermore, the scope of figurative language comes from idiomatic expressions besides its types such as metaphor and simile. Each unit has different strategies to translate according to what the experts have formulated. 

Problems in This Era

You can now enjoy a novel in a conventional or modern way. You can go to a bookstore to find your favorite title or access a site that provides the reading of your choice. Web novel translations are the term to define a source that provides translated foreign language novels. Professionals or beginners can participate here.

Professionals are experienced translators hired by providers, while beginners are common people who want to contribute to making it easier for other readers who share their reading tastes. This will at least have an effect on the quality of the resulting translation. However, there are legal and illegal web novel statuses.

Do you want to read untranslated web novels? You do not have to wait for someone to do it, because there are special machine translations for this entertainment text, such as ComradeMao. An instant process cannot really be expected. Language is something complex, so manual processes need to be intervened, such as distinguishing the gender of characters in novels and figurative languages ​​that require adjustments in the target text.

In the end, this phenomenon gave rise to two poles. Those who will always attach importance to the quality of the translation and respect the author or those who simply attach importance to the ease of accessing entertainment by reading. The first pole does seem idealistic, but it needs to be emphasized. Although the process to make it happen will be difficult, it does not matter as long as there is the slightest progress. Take a note that Skopos’s theory is not an excuse to ignore translation quality.


To produce the finest translations, you can become an academic by studying the theories or become a practitioner who has a lot of experience. However, you also need to know tips on how to get succeed in a novel translation job.

First of all, do not consider publishing your work as the fixed standard to reach the goal. The key to a better translator is to practice a lot. The salary received from translating is indeed a difficult consideration to decide. However, it is best if you start right away because this is one way to get better known.

Next, you need to adjust your salary if you meet the proper client. In addition, you cannot go wrong by joining a community and being proactive to enhance your opportunity. The last thing you should do to complete your competency is by reading. Your sense of language and your knowledge will be very helpful.

That is about consistency as the preparation for a better experience. Meanwhile, El-Shirazy (2008) states there are five basic skills to master as a novel translation solution namely vocabulary, grammar, language sense, socio-cultural in both source and target text language and literature sense. Besides, as Belloc (1991) claims that there are six rules to note, its realization requires those five basic skills first. 

As for the figurative language translations, Larson (1984) mentions that there are five ways to deal with this, as follows:

  • When the metaphor looks clear and natural, the literal translation is allowed.
  • Translating the metaphor by using simile through additional words such as like and as if.
  • Seek the equivalence of the metaphor in the target language.
  • Add the meaning explanation of the metaphor or add the topic as the point of similarity.
  • Translating the metaphor without using its metaphorical image.        

All in all, novel translations are one of the complex translating activities, but experience while working on them will be very useful to improve competence. If you are looking for a reliable translator, take a look at the portfolio and reviews of clients who have used their services. After all, the reader is an indicator of the credibility of a translator.

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