How-to Korean Translator, Chapter 1. Asking out Authors

Introduction

I’ve been asked some similar sets of questions from both readers and to-be translators for quite some time. These questions often range from where one might find popular Korean novels, how one might translate, or how one can communicate with the author whose novel they want to translate. Instead of explaining the basic steps to each and every person, I realized that it would be better to just make a set of tutorials to those who were all interested. So I decided to create some in my free time.

In this particular section, I’ll be talking about authors. How does one contact an author, and talk to him? It’s not as hard as you think, but it might take you a while to figure it out if you’re just starting.

Authors

There’s no real need to find authors if you’re planning on translating novels without permission. But if you are thinking of getting permission, tracking down an author and talking to him/her is one hell of an annoying job. There are tens of novel platforms out there in the world, and just as many methods to contact an author. One of the easier methods are to use the platform’s messaging system, but not all platforms have that (Naver for example). In this case, the best way to contact an author is to track down their blog, and send them a 쪽지.

I’ll break it down step-by-step, using Naver.

First, find a project that you’d like to translate on Naver Novels (novel.naver.com). In this instance, I decided to go with a novel called “판타스틱 남장신부”.

Choose a random chapter. Any chapter will do, so just click on a random one.

Scroll down to the bottom, and find “작가 블로그 >” located next to “작가의 말”. As you can see, I don’t have one in my instance. This makes things a little bit harder for me to track down the author.

Normally, it should look like this.

In the case where there is a “작가 블로그 >”, simply click it, go to the author’s blog, and send him a message by clicking on the 쪽지 button located at the author’s profile.

← The thing right here. Click it, and you’ll be able to send the author a message through your Naver account.

In the case where you can’t find the author’s blog button, things will get a little bit more annoying. The first action that you can take is to try to locate the author on different platforms. In my case for “판타스틱 남장신부”, I was able to locate the author on Ridibooks by searching “임혜 작가” (author name + 작가) on Google.

Of course, there’s no denying the possibility that this might be some other author instead of the one I’m looking for. We can work that out later, though. For now, I’ll try going into the author’s blog.

We can’t find 판타스틱 남장신부 in the list. Did we find the wrong author? Well, first of all, these are the list of the author’s completed works, so what we’re looking for will not be here. Second of all, if we go into the author’s page in Naver Novels (Just click the author’s name on the novel’s page), we’ll see that one of the author’s completed novels, 후회 끝엔 너, is located there.

So we ended up finding the author’s blog! From there, you can send the author a 쪽지 using your Naver account.

Now then, let’s move onto platforms like Munpia and Joara. How does one send messages to the authors who based their operations over in sites like these? The job is a lot simpler, actually. I’ll explaining this using Munpia.

First off, find a novel. Any novel. In my case, I decided to click on “톱스타 이건우”.

Go find the author’s name, click it, and you’ll see that as long as you have an account on the website, it would be possible to send the author a message through 쪽지.

The same method applies to sites such as Joara.

So that’s about it. There are obviously a lot more platforms out there that you might have to deal with, but these two are one of the biggest, and the methods that I’ve just described are one of the more foolproof ways to contact the author(s) of the novels you’re looking for. 

If you’re unable to find the author and would like some help, or if you have some other questions about authors that you’d like to talk with me about, you can either post your questions in the comments, or mail me at ensjtrans@gmail.com.

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