Before I go to sleep

Jul 4, 2011 | Translation

Before I go to sleepI’ve just finished this great debut novel by SJ Watson – Before I Go To Sleep – well worth a read. And I noticed from the cover that it is now being sold in over thirty languages – that’s a lot of translating.

This led me to the author’s blog and a look at some of the other countries’ covers. Sometimes even the title has to change to suit the novel and the language (another good reason to use humans to translate).

ForIch darf nicht schlafen the German edition, for example, the original title was felt not to have enough resonance when translated – instead it is called Ich Darf Nicht Schlafen – translated as ‘I Must Not Sleep’. It has a very different cover as well.

Or maybe you’d like to read it French? Same title as the original, different Avant d'aller dormircover…

Covers and titles are a vital component of a novel – getting it wrong can be a disaster. And the same goes for the translation.

Which translated books do you know that have got it right… or wrong?