I heard from my Spanish translator for the first time last week, and I have to share the list of questions he had about my book. It's very cool to see what translates directly and what doesn't. I had no idea the word "glitter" was so present in the book! The email has been making me smile for days. Here it is:
I've been entrusted by Alfaguara with the Spanish translation of
your Book of Dead Birds, and I'm close to ending it. There are some
queries which I hope you can devote a small amount of time to. It's
been a real pleasure to work on your novel, believe me. I wish you a
great success. Here goes the list. I thank you in advance.
page 1: 'midnight bullets'. Did they fly through the 'hood as a
regular (per year) basis? Or something happened on that particular
page 4(top): 'pilly bedspread'.
pg 14(bottom): 'red bean buns'
pg 28(and more): egg-blowing. Can you explain to this dumb translator
the actual procedure?
pg 33(1st p): 'gooseneck lamp'
pg 59: Can you describe an 'airboat' please?
pg 64(top): 'a handful of glitter in the air.'
pg 66(2nd p): 'baggies', meaning condoms?
pg 67: What is a 'salt taffy'?
pg 74: Now here I'm lost: 'Tomato Adjuster'
pg 82(1st p): 'a nubby beige shade.'
pg 95: 'you dive my skin', suggesting penetration?
pg 109(mid): 'What's the damage?'
pg 114(bott): 'booty'
pg 117(2nd p): 'foil flavour packet' / Ramen: just a brand? thin,
pg 126: 'hostess stand' / baby-doll just any doll representing an
infant boy or girl? / what's 'tiki'?
pg 135: 'pacifier', what one gives babies to suck on? I'm afraid I
should've asked some rave's raver!
pg 136: 'glitter' --I hope it just means a long (and wide) shimmering
pg 138: 'bird song.' Songs about birds? Songs emulating bird voices?
pg 142: 'glitter' Really lost, again
pg 154: What's the deal with 'Sam and Ella (or Janet) Eeeeevening'?
pg 211(top): 'princess sleeve' / rosebud underwear (somewhat pink?)
pg 218: Foley person
pg 236(2nd p): these broken... people