In 2005, Jens Harder approached me to do the translation to Ticket to God, his installment in the 6-story collection published by the Berlin-based Avanti-Verlag, Cargo: Comic Journalism Israel-Germany (ISBN-10: 3980942899 / ISBN-13: 978-3980942898).
Over at Atomic Avenue, Jack Abramowitz says the following about the collection: "Six artists — three from Israel and three from Germany — went on a sort of exchange program. The Israelis visited Germany; the Germans visited Israel; and both groups detailed the impressions they received from their trips.
For some reason, the Germans' impressions of Israel are more engaging. Is Israel inherently more interesting than Germany? Are the German artists more talented storytellers than the Israelis? Is it just dumb luck? Whatever the reason, Tim Dinter, Jan Feindt, and Jens Harder tell us quite a bit about Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, The Church of The Holy Sepulcher, and life in a Bedouin village. The contributions of Yirmi Pinkus, Rutu Modan, and Guy Morad, while still enjoyable and exhibiting talent, tell little of Berlin; rather, they resemble 'what I did on my summer vacation' reports.
Even though the stories may tell readers less about Deutschland, they still say much about the artists. Morad's Memories, for example, is presumably autobiographical. It's as well constructed as any tale of pure fiction could hope to be, even though its Kreuzberg setting is not indispensable."
This is to date the only graphic novel I've worked on. The other times I've been approached to translate one, I've had to pass up on the project — less due to the meager budgets than to the unrealistically short schedules demanded.
A general hint to all clients strapped with a low budget: if you want to get a quality translation at a low budget, make sure that you trade-off by offering the translator a longer-than-realistic schedule and not an unrealistically short deadline. No translator is happy to do a low-paying job with a stressfully short deadline that literally prevents a quality translation. A professional translator is likely to say "No" to such a project simply because it's fraught with negatives: you get less pay but double the stress, and you also have to turn down other small, beer-paying jobs that you might have slipped in in-between were it not for the tight schedule.
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