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when you have to add info/clarification to a translation- format?
Thread poster: nyteck

nyteck  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:49
Italian to English
+ ...
Sep 6, 2008

Hello... I am wondering how everyone deals with this situation...
The best thing is for me to give an example.
In the Original text (in italian in this case) the author says something to the effect of "the name Cala del Luccio leaves little doubt about the fish normally caught there"- clearly, because "luccio" is the name of a fish (pike). Now, in the translation, if I have to keep the original intact, i.e. "Cala del Luccio", I am forced to add clarification in order for the sentence to make sense: i.e "the name Cala del Luccio (Pike's Cove) leaves little doubt....etc"
Now my question.. do you put any indication in the text that you added something as a translator? This is even more complicated when the original takes something for granted that would be totally obscure in the target language, and an added explanation is necessary. How do you deal with this in terms of format?
I'm curious to hear about your experiences/methods.

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Sushan Harshe
Local time: 00:19
English to Hindi
+ ...
to add info/clarification to a translation- format Sep 8, 2008

Suggesting you the way I understood your problem.

Normally we work in .doc files. To give your comments you can choose either of the following ways.
1] You can select word/words and click on; Insert>comments. Put your comments.
2] While sending the file; write your comments in the mail.

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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:49
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Some comment Sep 8, 2008

You forgot to mention, is it an article, a book, a study, or what? It really depends on the purpose of the translation and the style of the publication.

In the text you cannot explain the name, because the author did not do it.*
In a general article, I would deal with it exactly as you did, put the translation in brackets.

The alternative is a footnote, and in a book that's the best solution. The footnote should start with the straightforward translation: *Pike's Cove... and continue with some explanation if desired.

You can ask the agency or client how they would like it, but if that were not feasible, I would do the footnote, because it is easily removable or alterable if necessary.

*Here we go: having re-read your question, the author is explaining the name, and if you don't want to use the brackets, you could insert the name of the fish into the sentence, but make it as short as possible. Something like: ...about the fish normally caught there; luccio means pike.

[Edited at 2008-09-08 18:38]

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Wendy Cummings
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
depends on type of document Sep 10, 2008

For me, it all depends on the type of document you are translating, as juvera says.

The 3 solutions I use are:

1) An in-line comment: I add something to the translation, such as your example of the brackets, so that it reads smoothly with the text and integrates well. This is suitable for short comments.

2) A footnote. This is suitable for longer comments that would not fit in-line because they would cause a complicated sentence structure.
a) If i know the document is for public use, then i will put an anonymous foonote
b) If the document is for personal use, i will often preced the footntoe with: TRANSLATOR NOTE:, to make it clear that it is something I have added

3) If neither of the above is suitable, perhaps because the comment is quite long or complicated, then i will include it in the cover email when i submit the document.

My, perhaps liberal, view is that i have no worries at all about adding extra items to the target document, if i feel they are required for the readers' comprehension.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
German to English
I never add comments in the document itself Sep 10, 2008

Quite a number of my customers specifically ask that no comments or translators notes be entered in the documents themselves for a number of reasons not worth discussing here. In these cases, I have three options I might use for commentary:

(1) I keep a text window open in which I make running notes on problems encountered, issues to discuss, stopping points (for complex projects where the software doesn't offer a simple bookmark feature to find my place), etc. This is later edited and submitted with the job. Disadvantage: the lack of structure is often confusing - this method is really best suited to personal notes

(2) Some customers have created "feedback sheets" - usually Excel tables - for structured recording of issues to be aware of or resolve. This is generally OK, though I find it a nuisance to break my flow of work and switch to Excel to record something.

(3) The tool I usually use for my work, Déjà Vu X, has a wonderful comment feature, and comments can be exported at any time to an MS Word table which includes the source and target texts, comments, file names and an index number. These exports make great query sheets in an ongoing project and can be produced with little effort. The Word comment files can be edited and re-imported into my DVX project, automatically updating the relevant translations. This is a great collaboration feature I think.

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