Reading Russian, Poorly
I surely do get a kick out of reading reviews of Old Man’s War in Russian, primarily because the Google and Babelfish translations of what the folks have written are delightfully inscrutable: “Serious miscalculations Scalzi not have been allowed. At the very least, in the chosen path,” reads one, which is generally positive (I think), as is this one, maybe: “Good fantastic gunman in the best tradition of this genre, swallowed the day, with some claim to filosoficnosti, but after reading the special thoughts left.” Hmmm, maybe that wasn’t so glowing. Here’s an amusing one: “Not recomendovap to read a book to people who are more than 64 years not to incite false dreams.” Incidentally, it also appears that another translation of the Russian title of the book is “Destined to Victory,” which I must admit, seems a lot less lugubrious than “Doomed to Victory.”
It’s nice to see the book being discussed in Russian because, frankly, I have no clue as to how well it’s selling there or how it’s been received; Eksmo, my Russian publisher, hasn’t provided me with any of that information (and it’s early yet in any event). The fact people seem to be chattering about it, and generally seem to think it’s good book, is heartening. Now if only translation software were better, so I had a better idea what people were really saying. I suppose I could try to learn Russian.