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Thread poster: Yongmei Liu
Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:19
English to Chinese
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Jul 25, 2003

This article from China News, a wire service based in China, is a rough translation of an article in the Washington Post. Highlighted are suspect translation errors:

http://www.chinanews.com.cn/n/2003-07-24/26/327909.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37547-2003Jul23.html (Registration required)

本周二,扎伊丹偷偷地告诉他的左邻右舍说,Standing there, he told his neighbors Tuesday,

这时,萨达姆的一个远亲来了members of Hussein's extended family arrived

随后他们讨论说,萨达姆准备给他2亿第纳尔(相当于14万美元),He said there was talk about them giving 200 million dinars, about $140,000,

不过,朱伯里觉得很奇怪,因为萨达姆政权眼看战争近了,怎么还可能有心思盖清真寺呢?Thahir said that appeared strange because the Hussein government had already been vanquished and was hardly in a position to build new mosques.

当然了,扎伊丹也曾为自己是萨达姆的亲戚付出过代价。朱伯里回忆说,萨达姆家族一度因为受不了所伊丹在外头没完没了地吹嘘自己是萨达姆的亲戚,However, the cleric said that this spring Zaidan's efforts to associate himself with Hussein had backfired. He recalled that Hussein's family became fed up with Salah Zaidan's bragging, falsely, that he was a cousin of Hussein.

所以当左邻右舍们听说扎伊丹家里躲藏着萨达姆的儿孙时,他们一点也不觉得意外 his neighbors said they were surprised, but not shocked

以前,扎伊丹一家要一到太阳落山后,就会搬着塑料椅坐在自家别墅前过道上,喝着甜茶和百事可乐,跟左邻右舍们谈时事到深夜。Normally, they said, Zaidan would wait until the brutal desert sun had set, then set out plastic chairs on the sidewalk in front of his house every night. Zaidan, Thahir and other men from the neighborhood would drink sweet tea and Pepsi and discuss current events.

塔西尔推测说,这辆宝马车准是萨达姆儿子的。Thahir speculated that the car belonged to the other two men who died in the house, who are believed to be one of Hussein's bodyguards and Qusay's son.

[Edited at 2003-07-25 19:39]


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chinoiseau  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:19
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Chinese to French
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垃圾桶在哪儿? Jul 25, 2003

报新闻时信息的准确性至关重要的。这种歪曲报纸上见的许多。这种翻译是垃圾
由此可以看到大陆翻译市场的状况。公司内部任何能操英文的人可以当翻译。或者叫一个学生来做,50元/1000字就行。


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jinshi
Local time: 09:19
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感同身受 Jul 25, 2003

Jean-Marc Aquitaine wrote:

报新闻时信息的准确性至关重要的。这种歪曲报纸上见的许多。这种翻译是垃圾
由此可以看到大陆翻译市场的状况。公司内部任何能操英文的人可以当翻译。或者叫一个学生来做,50元/1000字就行。


中国目前确实是处于这么一种“农民进城”的时代(本人从山东农村考学出来的,不存在贬低农民的意思),可能是所谓的‘社会主义初级阶段’吧,很多行业都是无序竞争,翻译市场为甚 - 会26个字母的人均自诩为翻译。

同时国内企业主的低级需求(越便宜越好,质量其次,反正他们很少看懂外文)也促使部分翻译机构拼命降低翻译人员的稿酬,最后不得已聘用刚出校门的学生上阵。

欢迎大家继续讨论。


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Yubing YANG
English to Chinese
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有点惨不忍睹 Jul 25, 2003

国内网站,象中新网这样网站新闻翻译他们用的人可能是新手,刚毕业的学生之类的。不过他们每天任务可能是4,000-10,000字/8小时。负责审核的翻译对这些很弱的错误应该付主要责任。另外,他们主要任务是编译,不是翻译。

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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 09:19
Member (2002)
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这个现象不仅限于国内! Jul 26, 2003

其实这个现象在翻译界很普遍。我曾经做过少量的校稿工作,发现即便是个别生活在美加的译者,也有文藻华丽,但满篇皆错的劣文。归根咎底,原因有三:1、译者的责任感;2、各类翻译公司的无序竞争;3、最终用户的语言障碍。
不知道诸位注意到没有,现在有些译者以很低的价位竞标,等活到手后,竟用机译混事。更有甚者客户方还能照常付款。ridiculous。
其实,我一直有个想法,期望组织一个Freelancer Union, 通过集体的力量设法规范竞争,保护大家的利益。


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
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"雄关漫道真如铁,而今迈步从头越”。 Jul 26, 2003

Donglai Lou wrote:

其实这个现象在翻译界很普遍。我曾经做过少量的校稿工作,发现即便是个别生活在美加的译者,也有文藻华丽,但满篇皆错的劣文。归根咎底,原因有三:1、译者的责任感;2、各类翻译公司的无序竞争;3、最终用户的语言障碍。
不知道诸位注意到没有,现在有些译者以很低的价位竞标,等活到手后,竟用机译混事。更有甚者客户方还能照常付款。ridiculous。
其实,我一直有个想法,期望组织一个Freelancer Union, 通过集体的力量设法规范竞争,保护大家的利益。


Hi Donglai,

初读你的建议,觉得不现实。仔细思索,不妨一试。俗话说:任重道远,而我们现在恐怕是“任重道无”。不过,路都是人走出来的,如果大家齐心协力,有希望开辟出一条阳光大道。

在这里我提几个初步考虑到的问题:
1. Freelancer Union的范围,先从PROZ成员做起,逐渐扩大?
2. 价格标准好定,质量标准怎么定?有了质量标准后,怎样才能落实?怎样才能避免机译,乱译现象?
3. 应该想办法同时向客户作宣传,价格和质量是相辅相成的,它们的保证也是客户利益的保证。

你是否已有初步设想?
希望你的建议能得到大家的支持。

[Edited at 2003-07-26 09:21]


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:19
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
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缺乏操作性 Jul 26, 2003

chance wrote:

Donglai Lou wrote:

其实这个现象在翻译界很普遍。我曾经做过少量的校稿工作,发现即便是个别生活在美加的译者,也有文藻华丽,但满篇皆错的劣文。归根咎底,原因有三:1、译者的责任感;2、各类翻译公司的无序竞争;3、最终用户的语言障碍。
不知道诸位注意到没有,现在有些译者以很低的价位竞标,等活到手后,竟用机译混事。更有甚者客户方还能照常付款。ridiculous。
其实,我一直有个想法,期望组织一个Freelancer Union, 通过集体的力量设法规范竞争,保护大家的利益。


Hi Donglai,

初读你的建议,觉得不现实。仔细思索,不妨一试。俗话说:任重道远,而我们现在恐怕是“任重无道”。不过,路都是人走出来的,如果大家齐心协力,有希望开辟出一条阳光大道。

在这里我提几个初步考虑到的问题:
1. Freelancer Union的范围,先从PROZ成员做起,逐渐扩大?
2. 价格标准好定,质量标准怎么定?有了质量标准后,怎样才能落实?怎样才能避免机译,乱译现象?
3. 应该想办法同时向客户作宣传,价格和质量是相辅相成的,它们的保证也是客户利益的保证。

你是否已有初步设计?
希望你的建议能得到大家的支持。


Donglai 和 Chance 的意愿是好的,我也很愿意加入这个 Union。可我觉得缺乏操作性。任何事情没有操作性,就只能纸上谈兵。不过我觉得第3条现在就可以做起来。我以前做 inhouse 的时候,老是给客户讲道理,跟他们谈质量、价格等等一系列的问题。现在做了 freelancer,有时候也懒得多嘴,觉得价格太低就介绍他们去别人那里,如果客户肯接受那样的质量,那我就无话可说了,那样的客户不要也罢。
我们这里开公司的门槛很低,翻译公司更是遍地开花。由于翻译价格低,他们只能请学生做,像 Yongmei 指出的那篇还算好的,至少文句是通顺的!现在连正式出版的翻译也是狗屁不通,还美其命曰“异化”,让读者领受异国文化的魅力!
质量的标准难定是一个问题,定了能否落到实处又是一个问题。没有一点操作性。
我曾经跟国内搞翻译的朋友谈起抵制低价的问题。他说,别人肯低价做就让他们去做,因为这样的人(公司)总是有的,但我们自己要抵制。我觉得目前也只能如此。

[Edited at 2003-07-27 03:04]


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:19
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
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Let the clients make their WELL-INFORMED decisions. Jul 26, 2003

Hello, Everyone!

Good discussion!

Yongmei did a good job to display the omissions, mistranslations and misunderstandings in that news article. I am curious about how Yongmei found the actual English source text. I see a Chinese Sherlock Hormes in action! Indeed, I was amazed, too, by reading a news story in such quality from such a popular Chinese news agency. I can see, by comparing with the English source text, that the Chinese readers missed lots of details in that article. If there are no improvement measures taken, there might be more news stories in such quality coming out of this news agency.

While discussing this issue and finding solutions, let's reserve our energy from finger-pointing or generalization. As we all know, bad or poor translation can come from anywhere. Quality control system, such as proofreading, editing, etc. perhaps is a good place to start such improvement. I personally edit and proofread every Chinese translation I out-sourced until I am happy with it, and then submit to my clients. I know there are many translation agencies here do not have a Chinese proofreader available to check on the Chinese translations they received.

As for universal price agreement among translators, I think it is a good wishful thinking, and there are lots of technicalities to deal with. One thing came to my mind is how you will be able to justify such action and differentiate it from that fine-line of "profit-maximizing" "price monopolying", which happens in other industries from time to time. As you might know, it is considered illegal in America and often got intervened by the judicial system. One of the main reasons for that is such practice can effect the free market system and interfere the competition in short or long run.

Another thing I would like to point out here is that, as far as I know, a large number of translators are only be able to work with translation agencies, which made profit from the translators. The final translation purchasers (I meant the clients of those translation agencies) do not have the knowledge, time, and manpower to deal with translators, therefore they only contract their work with the translation agencies. So, both the translation agencies AND translators have played their parts, resulted the ridiculous low price we can see in the free bidding sessions nowadays.

I am sure by having such discussion here, you have already sent the message to the readers and participants in this discussion that the low translation word rate directly harms the translation quality, because experienced and well-trained translators do not work under such price range. It is certainly a choice that a customer has to make. What we can do is to try our best to let the words out, and hope that the clients can make a WELL-INFORMED decision when they have to chose translators for their translation projects.

Kevin



[Edited at 2003-07-27 16:44]


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:19
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
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Exactly! Jul 26, 2003

Kevin Yang wrote:

As for universal price agreement among translators, I think it is a good wishful thinking, and there are lots of technicalities to deal with. One thing came to my mind is how you will be able to justify such action and differentiate it from that fine-line of "profit-maximizing" "price monopolying", which happens in other industries from time to time. As you might know, it is considered illegal in America and often got intervened by the judicial system. One of the main reasons for that is such practice can effect the free market system and interfere the competition in short or long run.


Kevin



[Edited at 2003-07-26 20:54]


最近做了很多企业员工行为规范之类的翻译,其中提到 Antitrust 之类,今天本来想就价格联合的合法性写上几句,现在 Kevin 提出来了,我就不用多嘴了。


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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 09:19
Member (2002)
English to Chinese
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感谢诸位的建议和支持 Jul 27, 2003

其实,我有这个想法已经很久了。鉴于这个想法不是非常成熟,而且我的工作特别忙,因此没有具体实施。我可能于今后年底或明年初完全转变成一个全职翻译,然后仔细考虑一个方案,届时需要诸位的积极参与和宝贵建议。
这个组织并非要绝对限制价格,而是通过运作规范价格,帮助客户认识质量和价格之间的关系(我也在译有关Code of Conduct的文章,对antitrust还有些初浅认识)。除此之外,我们可以在这个组织之内协调一些相它事宜,比如为成员提供资格认证,以团体名义做一些marketing,共享一些工具软件和使用经验,利用成员的分布提供环球跟踪服务,建立共享词汇库和TM Database(以不违反保密原则为前提)等等。
当然,我们会遇到许多困难。但路是人走出来的。我们似乎可从Proz.com的成功中学习一些东西。

[Edited at 2003-07-27 05:27]

[Edited at 2003-07-27 05:30]


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:19
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TOPIC STARTER
That was easy Jul 28, 2003

Kevin Yang wrote:

I am curious about how Yongmei found the actual English source text. I see a Chinese Sherlock Hormes in action!
[Edited at 2003-07-27 16:44]


Since the Chinese article mentioned the source as the Washington Post, I went straight to their website. Click, click, click, found it!


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Kvasir
Canada
Local time: 18:19
English to Chinese
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one more bad translation Sep 7, 2003

http://www.livejournal.com/community/hanzi/18111.html

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xxxchance
French to Chinese
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Project Title : Manual Poor English Sep 19, 2003


Date Posted : 17 September 2003

Project Title : Manual Poor English
Project Description : We are looking for an Italian freelancer to translate from American (?) English a technical manual for a printer that can also work as a scanner and fax.
The English translation is a very poor one; if you can understand Chinese (or can get any help from a Chinese colleague) we can also send you the original manual in Chinese as a .pdf file, which is supposedly better.

http://www.trally.com/cgi-bin/tly/rd/pj.pl?id=FG5Z7A64C8



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xxxLinguaText
English to Chinese
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My question again, where is the quality? Sep 22, 2003



[Edited at 2003-09-25 12:30]


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xxxLinguaText
English to Chinese
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Sorry, I stop for rest Sep 24, 2003

Joyride!

[Edited at 2003-09-25 11:20]


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