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TARGET LANGUAGE: ENGLISH!
Thread poster: DR. RICHARD BAVRY
DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 3, 2001

It never ceases to amaze me how so many of my \"earnest\" colleagues, in, perhaps, a feeding frenzy of garnering KudoZ points, present answers with much documentation but precious little good English...and, mirabile dictu, no regard for or understanding of the terminology acceptable by learned (or unlearned, for that matter) seekers of the best possible translation of the words or phrases submitted...whatever the field...in ENGLISH!



I think, off hand, of a very colorful, earthy Russian saying that would not be acceptable in this venue! So, I am reduced, simply to this: do NOT bite off more than you can chew...better to eschew than to gag us (most importantly, askers and potential clients) with hubristic exuberance! I would never think of translating anything into a language that is NOT MY NATIVE TONGUE!



A word to the wise is superfluous!



Regards,



Rich (prepared to accept any forthcoming abuse)


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xxxBarbaraW
German to English
+ ...
Aug 3, 2001

Rich is not having a good day! I am sorry that I can\'t fully agree with your statement, though.



I posted in the bi-lingual section/post before, remotely relating to your disgust about individuals translating into a foreign language not their native.



I am one of them.



Simple compliments I hear, like \"Wow, your English is so grammatically correct that it does not even compare to the normal American.\" keep encouraging me, especially when said by some executive vice presidents of major companies.



And, gee, I can even tell a difference between \"their\" and \"there\" unless I am typing too fast after having had three glasses of wine! Isn\'t that amazing?



I am not perfect and never will be. We all make mistakes and act to \"the best of our knowledge\". However, U.S. English is my language of choice and I want to leave it at that. I prefer it to my native German of 28 years because it still strikes my curiosity when German seized to do so.



So, because I prefer a language which I got relatively well at, I still MUST stick to translating INTO German because I am German, due to professional etiquette? (ger>eng is a \"no-no\" for Barbie because she\'s German?)



Who sets the rules? I believe it depends on the translator and his/her capabilites/abilities, credentials, proof of expertise.



As I had mentioned above, I am not perfect. I will translate to the best of my ability ALWAYS, but I refuse to let others rule my preference regarding what I feel I am good at.



Another week starts in a few days, Rich. I wish you a good one



babbling out...

barbara

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-08-03 23:53 ]


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:09
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Aug 4, 2001

Uh-oh, this old monster again rearing its finicky head. Hey doc, I completely agree with you but if you\'ve read old postings about this very topic, you\'ll see how heated the discussion can get.



I myself would refrain from translating into languages that I\'ve known for 20-25 years simply for fear of sounding asinine. Others, as evidenced by many vain attempts in Kudoz, do not share this fear.



We all remember a well-meaning former Proz member who posted long messages about this and many topics but was met with hostility. I actually agreed with many of the suggestions but if only they were delivered more graciously.



If you\'re ready for a tussle, Doc, then better take out the brass knuckles. Do you know jujitsu?



You\'ll obviously get vociferous chest-stomping rebuttals from the very people who insist on translating into a second language not their own. \"I\'ve lived in [insert country here] for 28 years and I speak it without an accent, people even mistake me for a native speaker...\"



Ok, Mr. United Nations, we believe ya!



(no sarcasm intended here, simply an observation)



I have met and read the work of a legion of such translators and, though excellent in many ways, the product still smells of a non-native speaker\'s pen.



I have no quarrel with these people. It will always happen so why jump up and down and lose your lunch? The product will most likely be assessed by true native speakers and rewritten, revised, retranslated. The contractor will learn. The native speaker gets the next job. Everyone\'s delighted.



Just two days ago I got an \'easy\' proofreading job from German to English. Needless to say, the translation was horrific and I had to redo everything. I simply charged my full translation rate. The agency agreed. Though annoyed, I was happy with the remuneration.



On the other hand, there is that golden breed of true bilinguals (either born or bred) whose product in either language is indistinguishable from what a native speaker would write. I\'ve met several Russians, Germans and Swedes who belong to this small clan. We\'ve even met them here in Proz.



Anyway, there is no baton-wielding Übermensch out there who could or should police the Kudoz page. Anyone could answer and no one can stop him/her. You wanna do it? Let me see you try.



The only feasible solution is to post an answer yourself and explain to the asker that you\'re an expert, you know the deal and please give me those darn points!



[this message should not be deemed as an endorsement of either side]


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xxxAA1
German to English
Aug 4, 2001

This may sound strange, but I agree with all of the above: Richard, Barbara and Marcus - to some degree.



Richard has a point when he says that some people just go \"overboard\" on their qualifications. As for Barbara, I agree with her that language may be a matter of personal choice and circumstances. And Marcus adds a couple of other valid points.



However, as much as I agree with Barbara, I must still say - for the record - that a non-native will never produce the sort of quality that a native speaker can achieve. Of course, when comparing natives and non-natives, we must limit our discussion to those that are trained and experienced translators. Barbara has a good point about some Americans being ignorant of \"their\" and \"there\", etc. But these people are not professional writers or translators, so, of course, even a German native speaker will be able to produce better quality than an American native speaker who finds his own mother tongue too much to handle.



Barbara\'s well-written message here is actually a good example: her English is quite good and eloquent, but you can tell immediately that she is not a native speaker of English (in terms of idiomatic use of the language and several other factors). Her style and command of English will be sufficient for certain types of translations, but not for all (for example, advertising or even literary translations). Note to Barbara: please take this as a compliment, not an insult.



To cut a long story short: if you do work into a foreign language, at least set yourself some restrictions and limits. Do not overestimate your skills and limit yourself only to those types of translations that don\'t rely too heavily on \"style issues\" (or \"native-speaker issues\").


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DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 5, 2001

What Barbara has said makes a great deal of sense! I think that the lady is a fine exception to what is perhaps an overstated hard and fast rule! Far be it from me to dictate to anyone what should or should not be. If any translator has enough competence to tackle any project while preserving some sense of personal integrity insofar as honest ethics are, so be it, and more power to him/her!



As an aside, however, in all due fairness to both her and me, I find it a bit strange that the obviously qualified lady found it necessary to resort to an \"ad hominem\" approach to my comment...to wit, \"Rich has had a bad day\"...that is what I deem an overzealous \"creative\" translation! As I see it, regardless of my mood at the time of writing of my comment, my words should be judged only for what they said, and any inference as to my competence or mood at the time of so expressing same should be irrelevant! In rejoinder, I could archly express a less-than-politic comment that \"Perhaps, Barbara is having a bad hair day!\"



How frivolous indeed!



Also, above all, I would like to compliment Marcus for what I consider a very sane approach to the issue at hand! We must live and let live! Far be it from me to take a heavy hand in any matter involving any earnest effort to be of assistance to anyone who honestly needs help! I recall with a grin how nicely Marcus stated to some one of our colleagues who complained that the responder had already supplied several answers [to the effect of] \"hey, we just want to find the answer, and we should reward the effort!\"



Amen, Brother!



Regards,



Rich


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xxxBarbaraW
German to English
+ ...
Aug 5, 2001

Hm, I was not aware that I could have had a bad hair day when posting above; however, I am still very open to enlightenment in that regard and will consider a detailed study on the issue with an image consultant



The reason I mentioned a \"bad day\" is rooted in the vibe that, very often, we tend to take things beyond what they are worth, and we take offense in something that will not have an effect on our well-being in the long run if we\'re honest. Very likely, this discussion will not lead anywhere, but I felt I wanted to contribute my five cents although they may have only been worth two cents or less.



As you said, the \"native speaker gets the job\", so maybe I am missing something here... i.e. the actual pet peeve about this issue.



I enjoyed reading your posts. The versatility of and differences in opinions in this forum keep me intrigued. On occasion, a touch of humor would not hurt, though.



Have a terrific week with exceptional hair-dos and good days!



Wishing you only the very best,



Barbara

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-08-05 09:47 ]


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DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 5, 2001




Consider this, if you will, an \"argumentum ad feminam\"! I obviously raised some hackles..that was not my intent! As for your hair, I have no concern for your coiffure..so long as you translate well and split no hairs!



More to follow!



P.S. I tried to make it clear that you represent a possible exception to my Procrustean [or so it would seem} lamentation!





Froh und frei...immmer



und langsam und so weiter...


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DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 5, 2001

Just wanted you to know that the extra \"m\" in

\"immer\" was for emphasis in all due respect to your \"hmm\"!





Some of us just \"hmm\" while others play the tune!


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DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 5, 2001

Barbara:



I cannot resist this!



I know full well that you wish me the very worst!



Duly noted...and I will strive to endure with or without your approval!



Oh woe is me!



Vai de mine!



Ïðîùàè ðàäîñòü, æèçíü ìîÿ!


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DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 5, 2001

Now just who has a sense of humo(u)r after all?

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xxxBarbaraW
German to English
+ ...
Aug 5, 2001

Last one



Funny thing is: I never called myself bi-lingual anywhere. Not on ProZ or in my entire life.



We\'re all such sweeties, aren\'t we? Even in the U.S. English sense.



And no, I have no reason to wish you anything bad, dear Richard. Posts are posts, meant to share, agree and disagree - all to satisfy the curious, human mind in an attempt to advance.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-08-05 16:33 ]


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:09
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Aug 6, 2001

hey doc, are you dominating this forum pliz?

I hate karaoke hogs...


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xxxAA1
German to English
Aug 6, 2001

Kids, kids, kids ... quiet down a bit, will you?



It may be interesting to watch that \"witty\" dialogue go back and forth, but let me remind you that this particular discussion thread does not even belong in this category of \"Bugs\". There is a separate forum topic dealing with \"bilinguals\". And all these comebacks just use up too much capacity on the proz.com server anyway.


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DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 6, 2001

Hey Marcus!



It takes one to know one! ;>)


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DR. RICHARD BAVRY
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 8, 2001

hey AAI



We were obviously bugged about the issue!



Liked your assessment by the way!



But it does seem a bit amusing to me that you are so dreadfully concerned about clogging the channels! But then, I am easily amused by self-appointed watch dogs!





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