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translating into a language other than your mother tongue
Thread poster: Ilaria Meliconi
Ilaria Meliconi
Local time: 21:57
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 10, 2003

yes I know, I've seen lots of posts everywhere on professionalism etc, and I do translate only into my mother tongue (Italian). However, this time I was asked to do a free translation into English for a kid's website (I offered my services and only found out later that 1) the site belongs to a 16-year-old, and 2) the translation needed was into English not into Italian - I felt I couldn't say no). I am an IOL member and I abide by its code of conduct, but would this not be some sort of special case? If my cousin asks me for some help in translating into English, do I say no?! Maybe I am being over-concerned, but I would appreciate the opinion of other proz members, especially if IOL members.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
Translating into other languages than your mother tongue Sep 10, 2003

Yes, I think this is a special case and if you feel confident that you can produce high quality, you should do it.

You can also add a disclaimer if you feel that would help.


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:57
German to English
Special case I reckon... Sep 10, 2003

...and if you want the text read, send it over and I'll cast a friendly critical eye over it!
Best regards
Dan (not IOL member by the way)


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:57
Italian to English
I wouldn't worry ... Sep 10, 2003

... after all, if you're doing the translation for nothing, it doesn't really count as a "professional service".

Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it your best shot!

All the best,

Giles


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Melina Kajander
English to Finnish
Why not..? Oct 15, 2003

Uhh, I have to say you make it sound like a crime to translate into a language other than your mother tongue...! I'm not a member of any professional translator organization (yet), so is this really the case that their rules of conduct forbid translating into other than...etc.??
(I know it is not recommended, due to translation possibly not sounding natural etc., but so far I hadn't heard of it being actually forbidden...)

Well, I can only say I have done some professional translations into English from my native tongue, and the clients have been happy with them (no complaints, at least... Some of these were done while I was still a student, so I didn't know of this being a crime (And obviously not my clients either!)
(Well, I do have a university degree in English, so I might actually know more about grammar etc. than many native speakers, but of course, that's not the thing...)

There seem to have been several discussions in here lately about the whole concept of 'mother tongue' or 'native tongue' - many people don't even know what it is for them! In a way, I agree that, for example, living in your 'non-native-language' culture would make you capable of rendering a 'natural sounding' translation into this language - but what do others think? I've also noticed that many of you in these forums actually DO translate into language other than your native!

This is a really interesting topic, IMO...
(Sorry, again I'm joining in a thread late, but being new to this forum, I can't help it...)


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Ilaria Meliconi
Local time: 21:57
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
it's not forbidden! Oct 15, 2003

Hi Heli,
I never said it is forbidden, but I believe it is unprofessional - I speak English probably better than many people round here but still I would not do paid (if we equate paid = of a professional standard) translations into anything but Italian. It's a bit like getting your accounts done by a lawyer, not an accountant. You're free to do that (or at least I think), but would you?!


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Melina Kajander
English to Finnish
I still wonder why... Oct 15, 2003

Hi Ilaria,

you wrote:
"It's a bit like getting your accounts done by a lawyer, not an accountant."

But you didn't specify why do you feel this to be so, which is what I was 'after' in my message - I mean, I just wanted to raise the point of exactly why is it considered unprofessional...? Like I said, I understand that it is usually not considered natural-sounding, etc., but I don't think this is necessarily true in all cases... (And I don't mean myself here, just in general...)


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