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Thread: Spells for Languages

  1. #11
    Second Year Ravenclaw
    Beset by Owls

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    Though I think it is possible to print a newspaper in dozens of languages that can be swapped around with a spell, the writing process would be monumentally expensive and time-consuming. I doubt that such a newspaper could be put out within a day of an event because of the huge effort required to provide the same story in dozens of languages.
    agreed, with some exceptions. It depends on the context. I think a bi- or at most tri- lingual newspaper of this sort in areas where multiple languages are spoken is feasible. On the other hand, if it is a short, simply written special for something like the Quidditch world cup where the publisher has access to journalists in several languages and an audience who may need them, then it might be a good idea. I suppose the principles of economics still apply to wizards. If you're going to pay a translator, there better be people who are going to use their services, or you've just wasted a lot of money. Maybe if it were a huge international corporation they might get enough sales to support the expense, but those don't actually seem that common in the wizarding world, which in my opinion appears to be more on a local scale in terms of businesses.

    If it is still absolutely essential to your plot to have this sort of newspaper, I'd make it at least a weekly, and maybe stress that it is very simple and undetailed, only fit for business travellers who can't speak the local tongue very well, and can't find anything else in their native language.

    Or, perhaps you could make it a collaboration between editors in different countries. Instead of being the same articles only translated, each newspaper could send its own edition to the compiler, who could perform the spell on the paper and sell it for slightly more than a regular newspaper. I could see this sort of thing having a larger market, for immigrants who want both local news and to see what's going on back home, or for prospective tourists who want to see events in the place they want to go, or students who are researching foreign languages and cultures. Then, the expense would only be for the spell and the postage, maybe rights (I am very poorly versed in copyright law) and the writing would be done already.

  2. #12
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    OliveOil_Med's Avatar
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    However, I do have to question the practicality of such a newspaper. You have at least THIRTY languages present - just think about how many translators you'll have to hire just to publish one article!
    Wow, I certainly seem to be doing a lot more thinking about newspapers than I ever thought I would have to do in writing fanfiction.

    I do know that most major newspapers at least have a distribution office in others citys. Maybe with my papers, these offices could also employ interperators to translate the stories.

    Also, maybe another idea would be to look at the geography of where they newspaper would be publish, and limit the translation to what would be necessary. For example, where I live, it would be highly useful to have a paper that could translate into English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. But, I doubt the people in my region would see very high sales in a Polish edition of the newspaper. What I'll do is create far less translations, and old have certain languages availible in certain areas.

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  3. #13
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
    Setting Off Fireworks in Potions Class
    Tim the Enchanter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Wow, I certainly seem to be doing a lot more thinking about newspapers than I ever thought I would have to do in writing fanfiction.

    I do know that most major newspapers at least have a distribution office in others citys. Maybe with my papers, these offices could also employ interperators to translate the stories.

    Also, maybe another idea would be to look at the geography of where they newspaper would be publish, and limit the translation to what would be necessary. For example, where I live, it would be highly useful to have a paper that could translate into English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. But, I doubt the people in my region would see very high sales in a Polish edition of the newspaper. What I'll do is create far less translations, and old have certain languages availible in certain areas.
    That sounds like a better idea - have decentralised, local newspapers catered to the area rather than one big (and expensive) national paper. And with a national paper, I'd hate to imagine how long it would take an owl to get from one coast of the USA (which I'm assuming is the setting of your fic) to another to deliver the daily newspaper. Poor bird...

    Tim the Enchanter

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