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How I am attacking the translation of the Van Houtte Family Story


Translation progress was slow for the Van Houtte Family Story; not due to lack of effort.

Work has kept me considerably busy (I do not take time at the office to work on this project).

I took time to structure my online Brand.  I have no fantasy of getting rich with this book, having stated this project is an opportunity to learn and have fun.  I made good progress on my online brand by aligning and updating the following:


Blog:        (used to be

These will help when the book is ready for publishing.


So far, I was translating each paragraph, sentence and word of ‘La famille Van Houtte, l’histoire d’un bon café‘ with the intent to properly do it the first time (grammar, prose, historical pertinence, etc).  Nice intent, but slow.  Now, I will approach the translation in phases:

1) Conduct Raw Translation – about efficiency, nothing fancy, I will translate intuitively, knowing there will be many mistakes on all angles.  This will allow me to efficiently rip through the French version to end with only an English one (even if of low quality).

2) Sculpt Raw Material – about effectiveness of quality, once the raw translation is done, I will have a rmv.001 (raw material version) in English of ‘The Van Houtte Family Story‘.  Since there will be many reviews, I can attack quality more effectively.  rmv.001 will become rmv.002, etc.    Like a sculptor starts with a raw block of wood, clay or marble, the raw translation will be my raw material.  I will reread an undetermined number of times the rmvs for quality of the English, structure, flow, historical accuracy, refinement of interpretations (filling-in of the blanks where facts are not available), etc. until I feel ready for official draft versions.

3) Shape Material – at this stage, the raw material is no longer a clump of mud, but actually looks like the eventual finished work, which requires refinement and polishing.  This is where I will have draft versions ( of the book for review by others.  I will be emotionally tested.  In RM, I’ll be able to rebuttal critique easily, but in Shaping, the intent is to take and accept criticism, no matter what.

WHY THIS APPROACH….read-up on my next post!  😉

From → Van Houtte Story

One Comment
  1. I know you best (ok, second best) and see where this is going. This method could apply to many translating, but is likely best suited for those that have your skills….Who else can guess what you are up to?

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