For an authorised translation, the publisher must first buy the foreign rights to the books of the series. The publishers then select translators locally.
Rothfuss understands the difficulty of translation and has written multiple times about it in his blog. To facilitate the translation process he has put together a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions list for the translators: "It clarifies things that are potentially murky, and brings up some of the potential difficulties that I’ve become aware of." He has also set up a forum where translators of the books can visit, ask questions and read the answers he has posted up to questions from the past. As of August 2011, there are over 300 of question-and-answer threads in the forum and the FAQ list he has compiled is more than 60 pages long.
Issues in translation
The Kingkiller Chronicle has been known to present challenges to translators, such as rhymes, culture, songs, jokes, invented words, and names that revolve around spellings or initials. These have been dealt with by various translators with different degrees of modification to the meaning of the original text.
Culture and language
Many of the nuances of American culture and language will be unfamiliar to international readers. Rothfuss gives the idiom “pulling my leg” as an example of a phrase that doesn’t mean what it actually says. In English, if a man is pulling his leg, it means you’re playing a joke on him, teasing him. Rothfuss explains: "There are a thousand little things like that stand in the way of true fluency, and you can’t just copy them over into the new language and have them make any sense."
Rhymes and acronyms
The series involves many songs, poems, and rhymes. Rothfuss discusses the difficulty of staying true to the letter of the work, or true to the spirit of the work: "A word-by-word translation is going to be clunky and awkward. But a beautiful one isn’t going to actually say the exact same thing as the original. A translator needs to walk that fine line between. Or rather, they have to dance madly back and forth over that line." He also likes to use odd turns of phrases in his work which taking literally do not make sense and are therefore very difficult to translate.
The nicknames Rothfuss has given to various places has also proven to be difficult to translate. Notable examples are the nicknames the students give to the buildings of the University, like Fishery for Artificery, which are some kind of slang, and the names Auri has made up for the places in the Underthing, which are more intended as puns, like the word Billows (which was misheard by Kvothe as Belows, Bellows, Blows).
Invented words and names
Rothfuss invented a great number of words and phrases for the books such as names, magical words, items, and place names. Many of these words involve wordplay, rhyming, and historical references that are difficult to translate.
Rothfuss explains that he doesn't use names that actually exist in the world, because they tend to accrete and evolve over time: "I work hard to create real-seeming names for things in my world. Names that give a strong impression without actually saying anything. Names like Mincet lane, and Cricklet, and Downings. These real-seeming (but in reality made-up) names sound really good in English, but they’re a huge pain to translate."
Some translators explicitly ask Rothfuss if he can give them permission to change names of characters that have a very English sound into something that would suit their own culture. For example, Dutch translator Lia Belt asked to change Jake, Graham, Shep and Carter to Jaap, Gard, Stef and Karsten. Rothfuss has agreed to the change, but explained that Carter is, by profession, a carter and advised the translator to maintain that.
Implication in texts
Rothfuss relies heavily on implication in his writing. He intentionally implies more than he actually explains in the text, as he believes it makes for a more engaging reading experience. He explains with the following example: "While he’s narrating, Kvothe rarely says something clear-cut and expository like, 'Wilem obviously thought I was a fucking idiot.' Instead, Kvothe describes what Wilem says and does. Maybe Wil makes a sarcastic comment. Maybe he looks disproving. Maybe he raises an eyebrow. If I do my job right, it should be abundantly clear what Wil thinks of Kvothe. Best of all, it has more of an effect on the reader because you see it and know it for yourself, rather than having it poked down your throat by a narrator."
List of editions by country
The original American English versions of the books were published in the United States by DAW Books, and by Gollancz in the United Kingdom. The publisher of the Dutch edition of The Name of the Wind, De Naam van de Wind, was the first to buy the rights for a foreign edition.
There is currently no official list of authorised translations available. The following list of all editions is compiled by contributors of this wiki and may not be complete.
|Country||Language||Title of series||Publisher||Translator|
|Brasil||Portugese||A Crônica do Matador do Rei||Acqueiro||Vera Ribeiro|
|Bulgaria||Bulgarian||Хрониките на Кралеубиеца||Прозорец||Ангел Ангелов|
|Catalonia||Catalan||Crònica de l'Assassí de Reis||Plaza & Janés||Ernest Riera Arbussa|
|Croatia||Croatian||Kronike Kraljosjeka||Algoritam||Petra Mrduljaš Doležal|
|Czech Republic||Czech||Kronika Královraha||Argo Triton||Jana Rečková|
|Estonia||Estonian||Kuningatapja kroonika||Varrak||Juhan Habicht|
|Finland||Finnish||Kuninkaansurmaajan kronikka||Kirjava||Satu Hlinovsky|
|France||French||Chronique du tueur de roi||Bragelonne||Colette Carrière|
|Germany||German||Die Königsmörder-Chronik||Klett-Cotta||Jochen Schwarzer|
|Italy||Italian||Le Cronache dell'Assassino del Re||Fanucci||Gabriele Giorgi|
|Israel||Hebrew||רשומות קוטל המלכים||זמורה ביתן||עמנואל לותם|
|Hungary||Hungarian||A királygyilkos krónikája||Gabo||Bihari György|
|Latvia||Latvian||Karaļkāvēja hronikas||Zvaigzne ABC||Zane Rozenberga|
|Lithuania||Lithuanian||Karaliaus žudiko kronikos||Tyto Alba||Aidas Jurašius|
|Poland||Polish||Kroniki Królobójcy||Rebis||Jan Karłowski,|
Mirosław P. Jabłoński
|Portugal||Portugese||A Crônica do Regicida||1001 Mundos||Renato Carreira|
|Romania||Romanian||Cronicile Ucigasului de Regi||R.A.O.||Graal Soft|
|Russia||Russian||Хроника убийцы короля||Эксмо||Олефир А.|
|Serbia||Serbian||Hronika o kraljoubici||Laguna||Vesna Stojković|
|Slovakia||Slovak||Príbeh kráľovraha||Ikar||Michal Jedinák|
|Slovenia||Slovenian||Kraljemorčeve kronike||Mladinska knjiga||Sergej Hvala|
|Spain||Spanish||La Historia de Kvothe||RH Mondadori||Gemma Rovira|
|Sweden||Swedish||Berättelsen om kungadråparen||Ponto Pocket||Ylva Spångberg|
|The Netherlands||Dutch||De Kronieken van Kvothe||Boekerij||Lia Belt|
|Turkey||Turkish||Kral Katili Güncesi||İthaki||Cihan Karamancı|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Patrick Rothfuss Blog. On the Perils of Translation (January 31, 2008)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Patrick Rothfuss Blog. Fanmail Q&A: Why does it take so long to translate the book? (August 26, 2011)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Patrick Rothfuss Blog. The Perils of Translation: Babelfish (December 11, 2008)
- ↑ Patrick Rothfuss Blog. The Perils of Translation: Part 2 (February 11, 2008)
|Works in the The Kingkiller Chronicle series|
|Novels||The Name of the Wind (2007) ▪ The Wise Man's Fear (2011) ▪ The Doors of Stone (to be released)|
|Companion tales||How Old Holly Came to Be in Unfettered (2013) ▪ The Lightning Tree in Rogues (2014) ▪ The Slow Regard of Silent Things (2014) ▪ The Tale of Laniel Young-Again (to be released)|
|Derived works||Cealdish Currency (2013) ▪ The Name of the Wind Playing Cards (2014) ▪ Pairs (2014) ▪ TV Series, Movie and Video Game (optioned)|