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Finnish Translator Only Gets Three Weeks to Work on J.K. Rowling Novel

Otava, the Finnish publisher of J.K. Rowling‘s adult novel The Casual Vacancy, will only give the translator three weeks to work on the project. On top of this deadline, the translator will not be able to read the book prior to the English version’s September 27th release.

Translator Jill Timbers wrote a guest post on the blog Intralingo protesting Otava’s decisions. The Finnish publisher plans to make its version available in time for the Christmas shopping season. They also hope to thwart Finnish readers from purchasing the English edition.

According to Three Percent, Jaana Kapari (who translated the Harry Potter series from English to Finnish) refused to take on this project due to Otava’s strict constraints.

Here’s more from Timbers’ piece on Intralingo: “Discussion is swirling among Finnish literary translators about quality of translation, quality of (a translator’s) life, preserving true Finnish language versus slipping inadvertently into anglicisms under such time pressure, precedents being set (will the public now expect all books to be translated that quickly)…Some translators argue that it’s good best sellers are translated into Finnish even if time pressure means the level of the Finnish isn’t top quality. Others predict that soon ‘entertainment literature’ will not be translated into Finnish at all.”

What do you think? Is Otava shortchanging Rowling’s Finland fans with this three week deadline? (via Sarah Weinman)

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