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Am I plagiarizing?
Thread poster: Wilman

Wilman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Chinese to English
+ ...
Dec 8, 2004

I am new to the field so please excuse my ignorance. I am working on a translation project that involves news segments. Some segments contain quotes from both English and non-English sources such as statements made by world leaders at a press conference, contents of an organization's annual report, English version of foreign newspapers etc. I would like to know if it's considered plagiarism if I quote them word by word in my translation?

I appreciate your input.


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giogi
Local time: 11:09
well... Dec 8, 2004

plagiarism is taking or copying someone's words or ideas and presenting them as if they were your own.
A quotation is never considered as plagiarism.
There are different ways to make clear that you're deling with a quotation...brackets, Italics, footnotes...anyway I suppose that you are translating quotations already recognised as such!
Cheers
Giovanna


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Wilman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What about quotes that might have been translated from a foregin language into English already? Dec 8, 2004

Giovanna Rampone, PhD wrote:

plagiarism is taking or copying someone's words or ideas and presenting them as if they were your own.
A quotation is never considered as plagiarism.
There are different ways to make clear that you're deling with a quotation...brackets, Italics, footnotes...anyway I suppose that you are translating quotations already recognised as such!
Cheers
Giovanna


Hi Giovanna,

Thank you for your advice. I guess my main concern is that I am not sure if some of the statements made by foreign leaders/company directors/newspapers are in English or in their own languages then translated into English by the reporters. In the latter case, if I'm quoting them word by word and put them in quotations, am I plagiarizing?


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Deborah Shannon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:09
Member (2002)
German to English
If it's not acknowledged as a quote Dec 8, 2004

Wilman Cheung wrote:
Some segments contain quotes from both English and non-English sources such as statements made by world leaders at a press conference, contents of an organization's annual report, English version of foreign newspapers etc. I would like to know if it's considered plagiarism if I quote them word by word in my translation?
I appreciate your input.


I think I know what you mean - when journalists paraphrase into their own language, you could argue that they are basically relaying information to a new audience rather than 'plagiarising' as such. But when you translate it back into English, the similarity of wording and phrasing raise this question in your mind.

If the journalist hasn't acknowledged the original source, and then you go and make it obvious by quoting it verbatim, you risk making the writing look like lazy journalism.

To avoid that, do the diplomatic thing and translate in your own words rather than directly following the wording and phrasing in the presumed source. That way it's unlikely to turn out *exactly* the same.

It might still look pretty similar, but your conscience will be completely clear


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Deborah Shannon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:09
Member (2002)
German to English
Their words may get distorted in translation Dec 8, 2004

Wilman Cheung wrote:
I guess my main concern is that I am not sure if some of the statements made by foreign leaders/company directors/newspapers are in English or in their own languages then translated into English by the reporters. In the latter case, if I'm quoting them word by word and put them in quotations, am I plagiarizing?


No.

Obviously a person's words get distorted slightly each time they are translated into a new language. When you translate someone's words, you may contribute to this effect, inadvertently. There's little or nothing you can do about it, but it's definitely not plagiarising.


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giogi
Local time: 11:09
Definitely! Dec 8, 2004

Deborah Shannon wrote:

No.





It might be your client's responsibility...I mean, if your client is actually plagiarizing...but it seems that your are translating "quotations": hence already acknowledged.
Giovanna


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Wilman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
All the sources have been acknowledged Dec 8, 2004

Giovanna Rampone, PhD wrote:

Deborah Shannon wrote:

No.





It might be your client's responsibility...I mean, if your client is actually plagiarizing...but it seems that your are translating "quotations": hence already acknowledged.
Giovanna


Thanks for all your input. Yes, all the sources have been acknowledged in my client's material.


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Dr. Salil Gupta, Ph.D.
Local time: 15:39
Russian to English
+ ...
No, but you may be changing the meaning of the source text! Dec 14, 2004

You may not be plagiarizing, but you might end up changing the essence of the whole source text. Why? Because the reporters in the two pairs of languages are reporting with their own view points and therefore the two reports not necessarily are exact translation of each other.

Dr. Salil Gupta
salilsunita@yahoo.co.in


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Wilman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How about meetings with interpreters? Dec 14, 2004

Thank you, Dr. Gupta. I agree that even with the best translation, the essence of the original text will still be missing to a certain extent during the translation process. Now, my questions are: What about international meetings, especially those between leaders of the nations and CEOs of big companies? Since official interpreters are usually present at those conferences, should I assume that the quotations published in the newspapers are true to the original? And for those meetings that interpreters are not available, how should I decide if the renditions of the reporters are close to the original if I don't speak the languages? I appreciate your input.


sg1302 wrote:

You may not be plagiarizing, but you might end up changing the essence of the whole source text. Why? Because the reporters in the two pairs of languages are reporting with their own view points and therefore the two reports not necessarily are exact translation of each other.

Dr. Salil Gupta
salilsunita@yahoo.co.in[/quote]

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