William Kent Krueger
William Kent Krueger

Lost in Translation?

My novels have been translated into many languages, none of which I can read.  I always wonder if meaning gets mangled in the process.  I’ll probably never know for sure, but a look at what translating has done to some of my book titles might provide a clue.  Here are some of my books with the titles they were given by my foreign publishers.  What a hoot!

Blood Hollow…..The Girl Who Died Twice (Japan)

Boundary Waters…..The Snows of Death (French)
Boundary Waters…..Night Trembling Wolf (Japanese)

Heaven’s Keep…..The Devil’s Mountain (Italian)
Heaven’s Keep…..The Citadel of God (Portugese)
(Two different approaches suggesting, it seems to me, two entirely different books!)

William Kent Krueger books in translation

Iron Lake…..Native American Winter (German)
Iron Lake…..The Whisper of the Wendigo (Spanish)
Iron Lake…..The Forest of Ice (Italian)

Thunder Bay…..The Spirit of the Beast (Finnish)
Thunder Bay…..Roar of Blood (Japanese)

Purgatory Ridge French editionOne of the titles that most mystified me at first, and then pleased me immensely is from the French edition of Purgatory Ridge.  It’s sold under the title À L’Heure où Blanchit la Campagne.  The Google translator gives me this: At the Time When the Countryside Whitens.  Suggesting snow, maybe?  “But”—my first thought was—“this story takes place in one of the hottest summers on record in northern Minnesota.”  Then my really brilliant media maven Sue Trowbridge enlightened me.  The title is a quote taken from a rather famous passage by Victor Hugo.  I’m quite happy to have one of my own pieces associated, even in a small way, with the work of such a literary giant.

If anyone has read any of my books in a translated language, oh would I love to hear from you and get your take on how well the story came through the process.

2 thoughts on “Lost in Translation?”

  1. I discovered your books sometime after moving to Dartmouth, NS in 2007. I immediately requested every title previously published. They would come in 2 or 3 at a time and I was kept busy trying to get them read in the 3 weeks allotted. I love reading about Cork and his family and the Native Lore that provides so much insight into the Native American Culture. I wish Cork’s wife had not disappeared from the series and still have hope that sometime in the future she will reappear having been saved by a mysterious stranger who in time heals her broken body, so she might return to her family. Gradually I have acquired most of your books, especially since I discovered ereading with my Kobo. Thank you so much for your insightful and delightful contribution to the world’s literary library. I do not have a website, but I am on Facebook.

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