East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Translating and Re-Writing


A&A new logo 230I already mentioned how writing my first Aculeo & Amunet story in Italian was a weird experience – how the characters changed, how their speech patterns altered.

How, in the end, the characters changed because of the language.

Now, I’m translating the story for my English-language readers.
Only, I’m not.

Oh, I tried.
It was horrible.
It was horrible on two counts: it caused me to see how poor is my Italian prose when it comes to narrate action, and it was so terribly slow going.

So I stopped translating the cursed thing, and I started rewriting it.
After all, it’s not like I have to respect the original text or whatever – it’s my frigging text, I’m free to re-write it as I see fit.

peripheriesThe end result is being published – in first draft, wharts and all – in monthly installments in the Aculeo & Amunet newsletter, which goes by the name of Peripheries of the Ancient World (and you cansubscribe to it! Here! And the next issue goes live in 12 hours! HURRY!!)

Certainly, the story is turning out much tighter, with snappier dialogues.
And the action is – better.
If I say so myself.


Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Translating and Re-Writing

  1. It sounds like you want to play a violin using a score designed for the flute.
    I think every language, when you use completely its telling power, has specific characteristics which simple translation can’t completely catch and show.
    So I think you are doing the right thing rewriting the story.
    Now you can use the full potential of English.
    And for example it’s really a good language when it comes to write action! πŸ™‚


    • Hmmm… I actually played a score for violin on my flute, once.
      And I used to duet with a violin player.
      Ah, the memories, the pain..

      But yes, jokes apart – changing languages means changing the toolbox we use to assemble stories – it should come as no surprise that results differ greatly…


  2. I absolutely love how this particular story keeps fluctuating between languages… I can see the paper someone will write in future years: “Switches – joys, troubles and mindset of the bilingual author in the Aculeo&Amunet Adventures.”


    • πŸ˜€
      But also “Failing at bilinguism – why writing poorly in two languages is not better than writing well in only one – the case of the Aculeo & Amunet stories.”


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.