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Translating Chick Lit – Who, Me?

cat, translating
Me, translating chick lit?

Essays by Norman Spinrad, YA fantasy, YA urban fantasy, Kim Newman, Rick Hautala, that’s what I’ve translated so far. See the pattern? It’s the stuff I enjoy reading, too (although I do tend to read whatever I get my hands on).

Now, since finding work is not easy at all, it would be a bad idea to be picky, so, when I got the offer to translate a chick lit book, I immediately said yes. After all, it’s not that I hate chick lit; I’m just not all that interested in it. And frankly, when I think of chick lit, I think of Bridget Jones, a woman who works in the publishing industry but doesn’t mention books even once, and instead obsesses about the calories she gets into her body and whether she’s going to be with this guy or that. Yawn. Oops, sorry, that was rude of me.

However, I didn’t get to translate anything like Bridget Jones. I got Better Together by Sheila O’Flanagan.  The main character, Sheridan Grey, is a sports reporter who loves her job and is great at it. While I’m not interested in sports, I do like people who enjoy their jobs; and I also liked that Sheridan was doing something that’s usually seen as a girl’s job. And when she lost her job, her flatmate and her boyfriend in just two days, her feelings and self-doubt and her actions were very understandable, and something a strong person would do.

The other main character, Nina Fallon, is shaken after her husband’s infidelity – they’ve been together for over 20 years and have 2 grown-up kids – and is also worried because he threatens to take her house and her income (she runs a guesthouse) if she doesn’t take him back, but she fights the impulse telling her to forget her pride and her hurt (it wasn’t his first time), the impulse which is strong indeed because of the force of habit of living with him for so long.

The 2 women are different, but both strong in their own way, even though they doubt themselves, and I enjoyed reading about them, just like I enjoy translating that book now.

And so, it turned out to be yet another new thing I do, something I’ve never done before. Not quite getting out of my comfort zone, it’s not that different, nor do I loathe it, but still, it’s somewhat new.

And I like it.

How about you? Have you done something new lately, big or small, and how do you feel about it?


A writer, a reader, a dreamer. Dreaming myself into existence.

7 thoughts on “Translating Chick Lit – Who, Me?

  1. My newest thing has been reading a couple YA fantasies. Fantasy isn’t something I’m usually into, but my funds are limited and I’ve been reading a lot of Indie books when they’re listed free for the day. I found myself really enjoying the two fantasy stories I read. Both are the first books to new series, so I’ll probably be reading even more in the near future!


  2. I have been completely out of my comfort zone for the last month, dealing with my oldest going away to college. It is a learning experience for both my son and myself, but I know we will get through it and both be stronger because of it.


  3. Ivana, I would love, love to translate Chick Lit! Oh my, this sounds like fun! Contrasting female characters, lost jobs, infidelity…What’s not to love! 🙂


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