The Popularity of Translated-Chinese Novel : The Effect It Creates

Do well and have well
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance

Something just pop out in my mind when I found for the N times my recent work being stolen. General wants to hug and sleep has stolen for long time, followed by Substitute Bride, etc and now the first chapter of My Silly Girl also taken. I don’t know how to describe my emotions at least I was not as emotional as first time when I found out the stealing actions.

Some of you, perhaps are those who have followed azurro4cielo since the first time it moved to wordpress but not many people know the first and second years blogging in wordpress, azurro4cielo just nothing than another ‘random newbie blog’ that just taking up tiny space in internet. Because no one bother to check its contain and thought this blog may die or shut in short time (At least Thunder thought this way before). Before I go further, I like to say my post isn’t pointed to anyone, any group, any people or any…

But this is pure about my personal thoughts and ‘experienced’.

My blog got its first recognition when I was translating General Wants to Sleep and Hug. It still clears in my head until today, it was the first time I got 50-100 views per day after I posted one chapter. Moreover, I got feedback from the reader for my grammatical errors, encouragement words, support and within a month, I got 1000 views which I never had for the first two years. Even I didn’t gain any monetary benefit but I was so happy because outside, there still people who understood my work hard despite of its lacking and flaws.

Flashback to three or four years ago, there were not many websites that host and doing this painful and tiring works moreover for free. At same time there were not many Chinese Novel to read because the translators were only picking whatever interest them (remember it was free). Shuhengbar is a great source to read Chinese Novel but at that time, the list of novel being translated is so limited only few not as today the list is growing to be longer and still getting longer.

My personal perspective about Chinese Novel Popularity (Either good or bad).

Chinese Novel Popularity is an opportunity
This opportunity can mean in many ways for me. Monetary Gain, Introducing Chinese Literature, Chinese Learning, Connection and etc.

I put Monetary Gain as the first opportunity that got influenced by Chinese Novel Popularity because there are many translators who are trying to exchange the amount of time and hard work doing translation works to money in form of donation and this is not wrong. But thing isn’t stop in here. There are people view Chinese Novel popularity as business opportunity, envision it as prospective long term business but do not have skill to do own translation then these people just stealing other people’s works and monetizing it.

As someone who learned economy, I understand about supply and demand relationship affect price for Chinese Novel. Price that I mean in here is an action that occurs because of the supply (Translators and Translated Novels) and demand (Readers). Three or four years ago, the supply for Chinese Novels were still so limited and most of the websites and blogs provided free. There was no real schedule and timeline when the novels would be completed and at same time there was no guarantee and promise the novel would not be dropped. Not long after that, few of the translators are demanded donation as exchange for the amount of time and hard work when doing the translation. And now, after Chinese Novel gaining quite high popularity, this become prospective long term business whether in clean or dirty ‘ways’.

Introducing Chinese Culture especially its literature.
China is one of the most populous countries in the world and at same time, it has large market within itself that’s why when talking about Chinese Novel, there are not many being sold overseas and officially being translated into other languages thus people outside of China not really know about Chinese Literature, especially its novel. In my case, I would not know Chinese Novel if I didn’t stumble in Shushengbar and few blogs alike Suteki’s. Before, my novel reading only limited to Indonesian Novelist and famous American or British Novelist works such as Harry Potter series, Twilight series and Japanese’s Manga. After I got to know about Chinese Novel, I could find the beauty of Chinese culture, its language in Chinese Novel that I read.

Chinese Learning
Since the supply for Chinese Novel is super limited while the demand is getting increase, some people are decided to learn  and then reading the raw (Chinese) by themselves in order to satisfy their reading craving without need to wait from others to do the supply (translator).

Because of Chinese Novel, new community is established. People from all over the world gathering as part of Chinese Novel readers and translators to share their likeness, thoughts about the novels. People who are stranger to each other before, because of sharing same interest then become friends.

Many Translators leave and come
Recently I can say there are quite many translators who works were read by me before but suddenly stopped and left this community. In exchanges, I can spot many new translators who set up donation bar for their works and the new websites that gathering translators to earn more revenue and even the despicable websites that stole other people’s works to gain monetary benefit. I barely can’t say this point is bad or good for readers and translators (put aside about shameless people who stolen other people’s work). From Translator point of view, it might a good idea to earn additional bucks from doing translation works as exchange of the amount of time and work hard that invested to do the translations. But translator might face legal suit from the original author who don’t get any percent from their piece of works. From Reader point of view, it is great to get many reading supplies from different websites moreover there are many genres to choose. But, free translation perhaps going to be scarce because the supplies need to be paid in the future.

This argument is more to translators side because not long ago, I read few comment about blog that put donation bar as the exchanged for chapter to be faster released, high quality of translation works but once the translator failed to do so, the cursing and asking for the refund are popping out from readers.
Then I concluded something in my head, once a translator has decided and aiming to get additional bucks from doing translation then it becomes pure business for both of translator and readers. Translation is responsible (you get the money then you must finish it) and this is quite burdensome furthermore, Readers seem to have right to urge and keep on bothering the translators regarding the translation works.




10 thoughts on “The Popularity of Translated-Chinese Novel : The Effect It Creates

    1. You got the point.
      As for me, the most important I don’t want to feel burden with the translation works because got amount of bucks, which make me feel more stressful and unhappy in order to rush my works.

  1. As a non-Chinese reader/speaker, I only see the good side of what online translators accomplish. I get to discover new-to-me authors through these translations as well as enjoy the comments portion.

    I have blogged in the past, however, and know the stress providing online content brings so I chose not to insert myself into the “please, more chapters” dialogue. This blog belongs to you so if you choose to monetize it or go on hiatus or stop translating, that is totally your business. If this was some sort of forum situation – then I might have some say – but it is not. When I read about poor blogging ethics such as stealing content or taking donations without providing anything in return, it does kind of ruin it for bloggers who handle their site ethically. I am glad you seem to keep an eye out for what happens to your content and that you plan for how to handle online pests. I enjoy your posts and hope to see them continue in whatever fashion you choose.

  2. I am forever thankful to you and all the kind hearted people who have spent their precious time to translate and also introduce to people like me the rich and facinating world of Chinese Novels….
    May God bless you…

  3. Hi I agree with humbledaisy. It’s a tragic shame that your novels are being stolen without credit. I know some of the other free translators have stopped posting because of this issue . This is a huge loss to us non Chinese speakers who have had a huge, untapped works open before us
    Thank you for your translations so far and us loyal readers will support whatever decision you take

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