Lost in Translation? Not This Year! Translator’s Guide to New Year’s Resolutions


Hello, word wizards and language lovers! As the clock ticks down to the New Year, it’s time for us translators to shuffle our dictionaries aside and jot down our resolutions. This isn’t your typical New Year’s promise-to-do list that gets lost faster than a misinterpreted idiom. No, this is a practical, hands-on guide meticulously crafted by us at Sova Books. With over a decade in the translation publishing realm, we like to think we’ve garnered a bit of wisdom about the nuances and hurdles of the translation process.

Translators’ New Year’s resolutions

1. To finish at least five of the 37 long-standing projects I’ve unintentionally started over the years.

2. To curb my eagerness to translate every third book I read.

3. To keep my focus unshaken when drafting the Translator’s Notes and limit my research to the relevant issues.

4. To finally apply for that translation competition I’ve missed for the last six years. (Suggestion: set a dozen reminders, or perhaps tattoo the deadline on my hand.)

5. To limit the number of times I check my translation. (Suggestion: remember that ‘submitted’ beats ‘perfect’ in the publishing world.)

6. To take breaks. (Suggestion: staring at the wall counts if it means not looking at a screen.)

7. To expand my vocabulary beyond ‘lorem ipsum.’ Perhaps, even to throw in some ‘dolor sit amet’ for good measure.

8. To organize my translation glossaries, so I can find the right word faster than saying, ‘Where did I put that again?’

9. To start practising saying ‘no’ to unrealistic deadlines. Or at least, to try a hesitant ‘maybe?’

10. To keep my desk organized and clutter-free. (But first, I need to buy more cute stationery.)

11. To remember that ‘deadline’ is not a suggestion, and to stop treating it as ‘the latest possible time to start working.’

12. To diversify my work by translating children’s books. How hard can it be to rhyme in both languages?

13. To celebrate every completed project, even if the celebration is just a happy dance in my chair.

A collage of six book covers with artistic designs, representing upcoming titles from Sova Books
Sova Books upcoming titles

Cheers to new translated worlds!

As we wrap up this light-hearted journey through a translator’s New Year’s resolutions, let’s remember that while our goals might seem as challenging as translating ancient hieroglyphs without a Rosetta Stone, they’re undeniably worth the effort. Just as each hieroglyph is a step towards understanding, each resolution brings us closer to linguistic greatness.

At Sova Books, our engagement with Ukrainian literature and works in other languages about Ukraine not only brings us immense joy but also instills a profound sense of purpose. This past year, marked by numerous translation projects, has been a testament to our commitment to bridging linguistic gaps and celebrating cultural diversity. Our readers can look forward to seeing the results of our hard work as early as January 2024.

So, let’s raise our dictionaries in a toast to a year filled with flawless syntax, exotic idioms, and maybe, just maybe, less reliance on Google Translate. Here’s to a year of perfect translations or, at the very least, entertaining attempts at conquering linguistic challenges.

Happy New Year, dear polyglots! May your vocabulary be vast and your grammar impeccable. Cheers to new words, new languages, and new adventures in translation! Cheers to the translator’s New Year’s resolutions  🎉📚🌍

Also see:
Happy International Translation Day!