Friday, March 20, 2009

Worldwide Pants

This week I spoke to people in more countries than I ever have in my life. On Monday and Tuesday, I had phone interviews with newspapers in Korea and Germany. Both reporters spoke very good English…I mean, very well English…I mean, much better English than me. Thirteen Reasons Why came out in both countries not too long ago, becoming even more timely due to some of their recent national news.

In Korea, two of their most famous celebrities recently committed suicide, and rumors being spread online seemed to play a big role. Their media has now been spending a lot of time discussing rumors and that topic framed many of the reporter’s questions for me. Their version of my book includes an Author’s Note specifically dealing with rumors.

In Germany, they had a horrible school shooting last week with many similarities to what happened at Columbine ten years ago. Their communities are now having similar discussions on blame, personal responsibility, the influence of pop culture, and recognizing early signs to prevent future tragedies, all of which framed a sizable portion of this reporter’s questions.

Based on how the reporters reacted to and connected with certain elements in my book, and comparing that with American readers, it confirmed that people all over the world have the same basic desires and concerns...and there’s something comforting about that.

So that explains some of the Worldwide part of the title, but what about the Pants?

I also spoke to my UK editor who had questions regarding their translation. I know, questions about translating English into…English? You betcha! See, over there, pants means underwear. So in their version, we’re using the word jeans. They also want to change “so I practiced” to “so I practised” (with an s) because practice is a noun while practise is a verb.

Well, colour me confused!

4 comments:

Amy Tate said...

That must be an amazing feeling to know that you've impacted kids all across the world. Congratulations!

Stefanie Emmy said...

Hello, I am from Austria and just have to tell you how glad I am that your book is available in German now! I read it in English about three month ago and tried to convince some of my younger friends to read the book after I finished it, but most of them had problems with the original language. I think it would be really important that people, especially young people, read your book and talk about the pressing problems we've got in our society. So: Thank God "13 Reasons Why" is available in German now! From now on I will go around telling everybody they HAVE to read "Tote Mädchen lügen nicht".
Thank you so much for writing that book!
Greetings, Stefanie

Jay Asher said...

At my next book signing, I think I'll read from "Tote Mädchen Lügen Nicht" rather than the English version...because umlauts rock!

Wild About Words said...

Jay,
A few years ago, could you ever have imagined . . .
All best,
Donna