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  1. #1
    toril is offline Newbie
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    Default Needing help in understanding a text for translation

    Hi all,
    I'm translating part of a book by Derek Nikitas, called Pyres from English to Norwegian. The book is in the crime/noir genre.

    I'm wondering about this:

    1.

    Her ears thrummed once, then seared, stunned by the gun blast. Moist breeze flicked across her face.

    It's the second sentence that gives me headache. Is the "moist breeze" coming from the outside (caused by the gun blast?) or is it a way to describe that she's perspiring?

    2.

    Then, next sentence:

    Then came a second impact and the whole earth jostled.

    Does it mean a second shot by the gun or a second sound caused by the first gun shot? And "the earth jostled"? Meaning that the earth was shaking?

    3.
    And the next:

    ...a million crystal bits poured onto the seat where Luc had just been reclined.

    Does "had just been reclined" mean that she was forced to lie down (by the seat moving or by the shock of the gun) or that she had lied down by herself?

    4.
    And also:

    Dad lurched backward into his seat and there were thick warm droplets of dark red rain wetting Luc's upraised hand and spackling the back window. And puffs of yellow foam coughing backward from Dad's headrest.

    It's the second sentence I'm wondering about: what is this "yellow foam" supposed to be? And when it's "coughing backward from Dad's headrest", does it mean that the yellow foam is coming from the headrest or from Dad himself (some sentences further down we learn that he's dead, with a "ruined skull")?

    I appreciate any insight!

    Thanks!

    Toril

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Needing help in understanding a text for translation

    The headrest has foam inside of it. Well, it did before the bullet went through. That's why it looks like the headrest is coughing up foam.

  3. #3
    toril is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Needing help in understanding a text for translation

    Thanks, Gil!
    To your question if I'm sure this was written in English; yes. The book is published and can be found on Amazon, in fact it was nominated for an Edgar Award (The Mystery Writers of America) for Best First Novel. I could provide links, but I haven't posted enough to be allowed to do so.

    Thanks for your comments! It makes me realize that some of the sentences are difficult to understand, especially if you read them "logically". It seems that Nikitas is writing partly from the perspective of Luc, who is a fifteen year old girl, and uses the language in a sort of a tight, graphic way (that doesn't always make sense) to make us perceive the events from this girl's point of view and through her emotions.

    So my job as a translator is then to (1) understand what is meant and (2) be true to the tone of the text and write in a similar way in Norwegian.

    And actually, I find it quite fun. :)

    So once again; thanks for your clarifications!

    Toril

  4. #4
    toril is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Needing help in understanding a text for translation

    Thanks, SoothingDave!

    Yes, I believe that what Nikitas is referring to is then the foam inside the headrest, and that from Luc's perspective it seems like "yellow coughs".

    Toril

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