Lost in Translation

I’ve been sending out reprint stories to potential foreign language markets. Not so long ago my Panda story was translated into Galician for the Spanish magazine, Nova Fantasia, which I was delighted about. On the advice of my writer friend Deborah Walker, who is vastly more experienced than I am when it comes to foreign sales I googled my name to see if any of the markets I’d sent to and not heard back from had published without letting me know. (Not apparently totally unknown.) Since I’ve been all over the internet like a rash with not only my writing but also my music agency and my singing (with Artisan) I expected to have to do quite a bit of sifting through. I was, therefore, very surprised to find this quite quickly: http://www.orsidellaluna.org/?p=2809 There I am, translated into Italian. (Edit note: Story now removed from the site at my request.)

Image from Orsi della Luna

Robot panda Image from Orsi della Luna

Now, I would be very pleased to be translated into Italian except… this isn’t from any of the story submissions I sent out last year. This has been up there since November 2011 – since a few days after The Loneliness of the Long Distance Panda was published for the first time in Nature Magazine.

I don’t speak Italian, but Google Translate gave me an English translation of the Italian one. I was amused to find that the translator has apparently taken my story somewhat more seriously than I’d intended, largely because (perhaps) Nature Magazine is a respected scientific journal. Anyhow, for your amusement I present the translator’s comment, stolen directly from the google translation of the blog Orsi Della Luna (without permission.) Sorry to disappoint, but – it’s just a story.

It says: This story was published in the most authoritative and prestigious scientific journal World, Nature, in fictional form admirably describes what happened to the pandas and all the animals that we love, and the fate that awaits them. The new technological and scientific perspectives for saving species at risk of extinction have destroyed the environment and polluted the air and water. This is the use being made of the economic resources for the conservation, for example by cloning and reproduction forced captive tigers and pandas; instead of investing in the more difficult task of recovering their lost habitat and protect these animals by humans. In the latter sense, humans must radically change their behavior, putting an end to the intensive exploitation of animals for food, the drying up of material resources, poaching damage to wildlife in their natural habitat, the entire production cycle until nothing remains. Probably this change will not happen, because men seem unable to achieve it. However, we should not allow ourselves the pleasure of ignorance and zeal absurd to deny responsibility for everything that we are doing to our planet and the living creatures. The fact that these considerations have been published in Nature is very significant: it is certainly not a magazine that gives a lot to the imagination and extravagance …

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About Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford maintains this blog. She is a writer of science fiction and fantasy (www.jaceybedford.co.uk), the secretary of Milford SF Writers (www.milfordSF.co.uk), a singer (www.artisan-harmony.com) and a music agent booking UK tours and concerts for folk performers (www.jacey-bedford.com). She's also a Home Office / Border Agency licensed sponsor processing UK work permits (Certificate of Sponsorship).
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2 Responses to Lost in Translation

    • Jacey Bedford says:

      I’ve sent them a request to take it down and they’ve complied politely. I think it was ignorance rather than malice as they are not a story site, but a site dedicated to prevention of cruelty to bears in China. While I appreciate their cause, unfortunately while the story was up on the web I couldn’t send it to any of the Italian magazines.

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