At the moment I'm working with Trishbookworm - thankfully who's knowledge of French is streets ahead of my own - to translate an early copy (1879) of De Layens' seminal work, and the time is fast approaching when the current work-in-progress needs to be tidied-up in order to make it more 'digestible' to an English-speaking readership. However, I've run into something of a dilemma and I'd appreciate hearing from anybody who has views on this particular issue.
The dilemma surrounds whether this translation ought to be as near a replica as possible of an existing historical document (only now written in English rather than French) - OR - whether it would be desirable if it were to become a work by De Layens with a few 'added extras'.
For example, I've sourced some books written by French authors concerning De Layens' hive shortly after his death in 1897, and which were dedicated to him. These books provide details, for example, of how to make an 'economical' version of the hive, as well as providing various illustrations which are far better than those contained within the 1879 2nd Edition.
If I were to include these illustrations, it would make for a much better "How to" 'manual of beekeeping', but would no longer be an authentic translation of the 2nd Edition. Of course, that additional information could always be included in the form of one or more Appendices ...
A little more 'sticky' is the issue of whether or not to retain some of the expressions which De Layens used - for this is not just a translation from French into English, but also from the lexicon of the 1880's into that of the 2020's.
De Layens calls the 'principle bee', La Mere - The Mother - which I think is a far more appropriate term than 'Queen', as there's nothing remotely Queen-like about her - so that term will be retained. Likewise the male bees, which D-L calls 'males' - as that's exactly what they are. 'Drone' is what they do.
I will, however, need to compromise over the workforce: the 'ouvriêres' - which translates literally as 'factory-girls' or 'working-women' - which I think is a brilliant description as it reminds us that these bees are female and, as can be discovered from time to time, some of them can indeed lay eggs. But such a literal translation is clumsy, and so I'll concede here that 'workers' - although sadly a gender neutral term - is probably one best applied to these bees.
There are many other terms used which will need some care in their replacement: for example D-L talks about "ruches à calottes" - quite literally "hives with hats" - by which he is clearly referring to industry-standard expandable vertical beehives - but the point he is making when using this term (which is meant to be derogatory) is that such 'hats' are unnatural - in the sense that such discrete and separated honey storage does not occur within a natural bee nest.
Any thoughts, preferences or suggestions re: any of the above ? Would be appreciated.