Swarmwise Translation Notes

Swarmwise coverSo you’re translating Swarmwise into a new language? Great! Here are a few things to consider.

First, a lot of people read Swarmwise in electronic format in its free edition. If you want to translate it and publish it for free in a new language, I could not encourage this more. You do not need my permission to do so, as is also written in the book itself: it is published under Creative Commons BY-NC.

Second, I would love to have your translation available for sale to the public next to the English version. To do this, it helps if you translate into the ODT sources that have been published, so your translation gets the same style and layout. Also, the sensitive question of money comes into play here. Sales aren’t enough to make a big financial difference as of 2020, but I’m still offering the translator [edited 2022] all and any sales royalties from sales of their translation.

Third, the word Swarmwise, the book’s title, is hard to translate to most languages as it has two meanings: “being smart about a swarm” and “[working with] swarm methods”. You may have to choose one of these meanings, and the latter meaning is the primary one, that the book is about swarm work methods, and the preferred meaning for a translation if the pun ambiguity cannot be replicated. (The first use of the word swarmwise in the book, “…this was entirely due to working swarmwise…”, reveals this primary meaning.)

Fourth, oldmedia is another neologism used in the book. This may be hard to translate – the purpose of the word is to paint oldmedia as slightly out-of-touch, slightly stale, compared to newmedia or social media. Look at what social media has been called and find a translation for oldmedia that conveys the sense of looking down slightly on it, without coming across as overtly arrogant or unfriendly.

Fifth, be aware that I have released a minor update to Swarmwise as per September 1, 2013 – a version 1.1. The translator’s package above includes the new ODT sources and a diff to version 1.0 – you will find that it’s very few edits: the principal changes are an inclusion of a Table of Contents, an index, and replacement of the original images to match the font. There are also a few style changes.

Sixth, there is a reference to the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything on page 42. That reference is put on that page on purpose (and put into the index). If you can’t keep it on page 42, please delete the entire paragraph that contains the reference.