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Translation Correction by Modifying Mistakes in Source Text
Thread poster: transhorsa

transhorsa
China
Local time: 18:13
Chinese to Japanese
+ ...
Apr 17, 2009

When a client assigns a translation job to a vender, has he/she realized the mistaken script or words underlying in original file to be translated? Should the assigned translator just translate loyally to the original script or words or converse the errors to correct ones according to 3 ways which the author suggests?



While we talk about the translation quality, recognition of errors in original presents great importance for a quality translation work. As we know, the translators are supposed to be the discerning readers who pursue refinement more than literacy. So when we take the recognition of original mistakes as an important factor for perfect performance. The assigned translator should emphasize on the interrelationship and coherence of the source language text and never draws an imprudent conclusion without any supporting proof. However, simple mistakes such as typing error, the slip of the pen and some factual mistakes could also be detected by an experienced translator. Actually, it is not rare to make such mistakes in the source materials unless the translator regards himself a first-hand information extractor instead of a literal translation operator. Also, the lack of the comprehension about the background, culture can make his translation no sense. In addition, sentence structure or arrangement is sometimes involved in careless original writing materials. The following examples might cast a light on common mistakes.



A sentence quoted from a report that related to ethnic investigation: “Among the informants, the percentage of race of Han is 97.5% while the ethnic races only share a percentage of 25%”. Evidently the data should be 2.5% instead of 25%. The publisher would lose fame for such a stupid mistake.

Let’s give another example about Chinese legal system history with such a statement in an original text: The modernization period in China lasted almost a century, from 1860 to 1949. The ages before the year 1910 is defined as Chinese feudalistic legal system time and the period after that till 1924 is called western modern legal system introduction and imitation period. After 1924, Chinese legal system stepped the stage of party regulating period….. However, the fact is Chinese feudalistic legal system doesn’t end in the year but in 1900. By checking and confirming, the translator changed the number after the communication with the writer of the text for translation.



In the process of translation quality control, recognition of original mistakes and handling with them should be paid great attention to by almost every translator. In despite of different translation constitutions, the methods to handle original mistakes can be roughly summed up to the following:

First, try to give correct translation directly followed by informing the writer to adjust the source edition.

Second, let the text provider know the factual mistake and continue the translation work after the writer has modified the text.

The third way is to translate the problem part into target language giving the correct information and to offer the relative notes or marks. However, the third way is only limited on the situation that the original writer is unavailable.


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chica nueva
Local time: 23:13
Chinese to English
mistakes in source texts; use of 'sic' Apr 17, 2009

John Jones wrote:

The third way is to translate the problem part into target language giving the correct information and to offer the relative notes or marks. However, the third way is only limited on the situation that the original writer is unavailable.



Hello John Jones

This is an interesting topic. IMO some translators into English might actually translate the mistake, but put [sic] as a translator note. Is this a fourth possibility in your view?

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-04-19 02:27 GMT]


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Sushan Harshe
India
Local time: 15:43
English to Hindi
+ ...
An issue, where many things are concerned. Apr 19, 2009

While we talk about the translation quality, recognition of errors in original presents great importance for a quality translation work.


While working with agencies, some times I get source with spelling, grammar constructional, or referential mistakes.

While dealing, my experience is:

1] most of the time PM is unaware about it,

2] S/he asks to stop translation, point out mistakes and send back the file,

3] S/he asks to correct them at your own, and start translation,

4] S/he asks to not to touch source and correct it in translation,

5] If, I feel, their “just do it!” approach
I just correct in my translation as much as I can, but don’t report it, and believe me I wasn’t asked about; either!


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