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Thread: Crowdfunding Translations

  1. #1
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    Crowdfunding Translations

    I am currently attempting to come up with a 'system' of sorts to 'solve' all these translation-related dilemmas.

    I have so far located two Professional Translators (one from German to English and the other one from French to English), who are also Alchemists and also connected with other Alchemists for double/triple checking. The work of the first translator already speaks for itself, the second translator (who is NOT a member of this Forum) still needs to be verified.

    First, a text is chosen, one in which more than just a small handful of people are interested in.
    The text should also be one that the translator agrees to work on, with all the much needed dedication.

    If it works out, what I suggest is to create a 'pool' of compensation money (somewhat similar to crowdfunding).
    The asked amount would be decided by the people involved with the actual work (i.e. the Translator/s, etc).

    The asked amount will be made public, a special account would be established and entrusted to someone that all parties agree to consider trustworthy & reliable, and the interested parties will 'donate'/'support this account' until the specified amount is reached, to make sure that nobody looses money AND that a good translation results.

    If the amount is met within an established time frame, an approximate deadline would be set and the work would commence.

    AFTER the translation job is done, the money from the 'trust' account is transferred to the Translator/s and the Translation is uploaded to the Internet, where everyone can download it 'for free', thanks to the support of the Patrons who donated to the account.

    IF, however, the amount is not reached, the donations would be returned to the Patrons and the translation will simply not happen.

    The translations would also be in simple PDF format (no hard copies), thus bypassing printing houses/costs, shipping and middle-man fees.

    Some sort of contractual agreement could also be drawn, to pre-eliminate any possible breaches and/or misunderstandings.

    This concept is not quite polished yet, it's just a raw draft, but I would be interested to hear if you guys think such an arrangement could actually work out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post

    This concept is not quite polished yet, it's just a raw draft, but I would be interested to hear if you guys think such an arrangement could actually work out.
    The general concept sounds interesting. The only problem (as always) is base (crass) human nature - the huge percentage of people who want anything for free, even if they can afford some sponsorship. Rather than contributing a few dollars (coffee money) to support the cause, they rely on others to sponsor their own selfish needs. Thus they will wait for it to become free rather than make even a token contribution. That really limits the amount of sponsors who don't feel like sponsoring the selfish.

    Thus it might be better to password protect the final PDF, and if anyone wants a copy, they pay a small nominal, affordable fee (say $5), plus sign an agreement not to share the document with others, for the password. The sum of the small fees could go back to help sponsor the next project.

    Just thinking out loud.

    Illen
    Last edited by Illen A. Cluf; 01-30-2015 at 06:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Good ideas, Illen!

    This was the kind of development I was hoping for...

    As I said, I just suggested a 'draft'... It's open to improvements!

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    Thus it might be better to password protect the final PDF, and if anyone wants a copy, they pay a small nominal, affordable fee (say $5), plus sign an agreement not to share the document with others, for the password.
    Yet, since you mentioned 'human nature', there would (most likely) always be someone who will (maybe) pay the small fee and then put it up for 'free' download...

    That's why I suggested the 'arrangement' the way that I did, also hoping that if a small (but significant enough) number of potential Patrons is interested, we could bypass the rest of the 'human nature' factor altogether...

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    Have you ever heard of Kickstarter?

    It is similar to the idea presented in you OP Andro.

    A friend of mine used it to produce one of his music albums. The idea is, whoever is interested donates money and if enough is raised by the 'deadline', then the funds are transfered. If not, then the project isn't funded. Apparently he was satisfied with how it worked.

    At least that's how I remember it being explained. Might be a system worth looking into to cover the cost of translation/publication.
    Last edited by Kiorionis; 01-30-2015 at 08:53 PM.
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post

    That's why I suggested the 'arrangement' the way that I did, also hoping that if a small (but significant enough) number of potential Patrons is interested, we could bypass the rest of the 'human nature' factor altogether...
    Yeah, I realized that, but thought that the small fee wouldn't really hurt anybody and would encourage more sponsors and also help to support additional projects. Even though one or two may be unethical, break their promise and share the document publicly, hopefully there would still be enough others supporting the project to help build the pot a little. Also, it would be more difficult to admit (and share) the existence of a password than it would if the document did not have one. More people would likely think twice about either sharing or receiving a password-protective document than one that was not protected. Thus it wouldn't prevent, but at least limit unethical distribution. Think of it as similar, in a way, to renting a Movie DVD. The minimal fee allows one to borrow and watch a DVD that others have paid a lot more to own. Some people will still copy it and give it to others, but there will still be enough ethical people who will rent it for the small fee. In this case, people will even be able to own it for the small fee.

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    Speaking from lots of experience on the subject, I can say that finding a professional translator who has a very good knowledge of both English and German and can provide an adequate translation of old German texts, specially on alchemy and chymistry, is VERY difficult. It took me several years to find just two of them who performed well enough for me to hire them, and even then I had to basically still "train" them to get familiar with the "lingo" of alchemy/chymistry.
    Last edited by Andro; 02-02-2015 at 09:24 AM. Reason: Personal stuff temporarily archived.

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    1. No one is 'at the helm'. Perhaps we can see it more as a joint effort/Cooperation.

    2. No one is forcing anyone to participate.

    3. I have suggested two possible translators for this potential enterprise. They are the only ones I know. If there are others, let them come forward... or be introduced...

    4. If there are issues of a more personal nature between previously involved parties, PM is the way to go.
    The non-personal (professional-related) position has been clarified from JDP's side.
    For strictly professional-related issues with the specific translations, please go to the threads dealing with the respective texts (not on this thread, please).
    Also, 'Reason' and 'Common Sense' can often be very relative/subjective terms - so no need for 'name calling'.

    5. Personally, I don't believe in such a thing as a 'perfect' translation. Even 'normal' texts are often difficult to translate, let alone the multi-layered lingo of 'Hermeneutics'...

    6. Maybe we can evolve from this, and, instead of 'finding fault', actually try to cooperate harmoniously, put egos aside, on ALL involved sides, and get better results in doing so.

    7. Maybe 2 (or more) translators could even work together on a project... There are lots of options, we just need to be open to them...
    ______________________________________________
    Or maybe this whole thing was a bad idea to begin with...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    1. No one is 'at the helm'. Perhaps we can see it more as a joint effort/Cooperation.
    Obviously one or two of the translators will have to be the one/s coordinating the projects, and therefore "at the helm", so to speak.

    2. No one is forcing anyone to participate.
    I know, but for the benefit of all people who might be interested (including myself) I thought these comments I wrote ought to be considered.


    Also, 'Reason' and 'Common Sense' can often be very relative/subjective terms - so no need for 'name calling'.
    In some contexts there is no such "relativity", logic and common sense are one and only one anywhere and by the standards of anyone in his right mind. In this case, if a translator refuses to go over his own translation to attempt to correct whatever problems there may be in his work, and he/she is fully aware that his/her product is not perfect, then that translator is not working according to common sense and logic.

    And it is not "name-calling". I attempted to work with "sam" on a translation recently and I found him refusing to work in an appropriate manner for a translator, making unreasonable demands and refusing to go over his own work. That's why our "experiment" in such cooperation work did not get any farther.

    5. Personally, I don't believe in such a thing as a 'perfect' translation. Even 'normal' texts are often difficult to translate, let alone the multi-layered lingo of 'Hermeneutics'...
    Neither do I, therefore the more reason to be very cautious of working with someone who does not want, or needs "permission" from mysterious third parties, to go over his own translations after they have been reviewed and feedback sent back to him for discussion and possible correction or improvement.

    6. Maybe we can evolve from this, and, instead of 'finding fault', actually try to cooperate harmoniously, put egos aside, on ALL involved sides, and get better results in doing so.
    It's fine with me, but I am not the one who needs an attitude or work-plan change. I have been working with German and Arabic translators for years now. I know very well how to work with them, and there simply is no better way than the one described above, specially for complicated subjects like alchemy & chymistry: translator makes preliminary translation, submits it for review, gets feedback, answers questions/comments, if necessary corrections are made, and finally a more polished translation is arrived at. This is the best modus operandi. Anyone refusing to work like this simply does not have what it takes to be a good translator.


    Or maybe this whole thing was a bad idea to begin with...
    The idea is good, I have been proposing it for years, but it's just too difficult to get enough people who will contribute. As Illen A. Cluf explained before, most people lose interest quickly as soon as it starts involving their pockets. Unfortunately for those who want everything for free, translations do not grow on trees, so it is absolutely necessary to invest time and money to get them done.
    Last edited by Andro; 02-02-2015 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Personal character references archived.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    Or maybe this whole thing was a bad idea to begin with...
    No, as a past and potential contributor to several books, I think that it's a necessary topic that's long overdue. My main surprise is that only four of us have joined this discussion so far - I'm very thankful to the three of you. I suspect that most members are likely bored at work and only post there on Company time and therefore we see so few posts on weekends from the more serious students of the art. Also, so few seem to realize the amount of effort and devotion that authors take to make material available to them, since most of it has become free after some individuals break authors' conditions or Copyright Protection to distribute works, thereby removing much potential opportunity for authors to recover their costs. This applies to other media as well, such as music and movies. There's widespread copying of Copyright material, causing products to increase sharply in price and discouraging many authors and artists from publishing.

    As mentioned earlier, that is one reason why we currently hesitate to publish the "Recreations Hermetiques and Scholies" (which provides a most valuable perspective) and other works in progress. The concerns discussed by a previous author of the "Thirteen Secret Letters" is a real concern. Human greed is also a real concern, and from my perspective it has increased sharply over the last few decades as selfish greed increases and moral ethics decreases. It's great to maintain a positive attitude with respect to human behavior, but that positive attitude has done nothing to improve the situation over the years. Tolerance has only made it worse. People now EXPECT and DEMAND others to slave for them for free so that they can benefit their lazy asses while the contributor spends countless hours of time, resources and money of his/her own to provide that benefit for the greedy-minded, often without so much as a "Thank you". I know, because it has already happened to me numerous times. The more you share, the more that people take advantage of you and abuse the conditions of that sharing. I don't mind making material available for others, but I do mind when it continually costs me (and other authors/translators) plenty of personal time, resources and money to do so, especially when often there is almost no appreciation whatsoever.

    I have therefore only tended to share the results of much of my work over the years amongst a few trusted friends. I wish it could be otherwise, but as you can see, only the four of us, out of what, hundreds of members?, have even bothered to share our thoughts.

    Let's hope that others will join in with their thoughts.
    Last edited by Illen A. Cluf; 01-31-2015 at 04:25 AM.

  10. #10
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    Hi Andro,

    I see you churned on our little discussion re: crowdfunding. Very good. I have of course also digested the stuff but haven't come up with a fully satisfying (or rather polished enough) version for public consumption, so for today I wont discuss it here any further.

    IF there are issues with any of my books / translation I am more than willing to look at them and of course let necessary correction be made to the book(s). Anyone going to the respective LULU page can see that "Naturweg" is now in its 14th incarnation, so quite a few changes have already be made.

    I hope to find time tomorrow to work on my crowdfunding version and will then add this here as appropriate. Today our little group has a Skype discussion round for which I have yet to translate a longish text, so that has priority.

    -sam
    Last edited by Andro; 02-02-2015 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Personal stuff/references archived.

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