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Translation strategies when the translation serves a different purpose than the original
Thread poster: JoanaRaluca
JoanaRaluca
English
Nov 30, 2005

I am looking for examples and ideas on translations which serve a diferent purpose than the original (e.g - translating a marketing text/ advertisment) for a company only for information. If any translator has had a case like this, I would appreciate some information about what kind of changes he/she needed to make to the original (editing, omitting certain parts, changing elements) so that the translation was adequate for the new purpose
Thank you


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 15:30
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Legal text for information only Nov 30, 2005

I have once had to extract and translate bits of a legal text which concerned or could concern homosexual couples' rights in certain situations.
The purpose of the source text was to stipulate rights for couples living together without being married. The client needed info on these clauses, because some of them also include rights for homosexual couples, and such matters were being discussed at higher level in the client's home country.

For this purpose the client wanted the meaning of the text - not the interpretation, as I am not a judge or anything;o) - and hence did not need a legal translation per se.

What I did was getting into the text, grasp the meaning of each clause and convey the meaning of any relevant clauses to the client.

However, I still kept rather close to the original text, because straying to much from a legal text may mean that you accidentally come to interpret the clauses, which a translator is in no position to do. I merely tried to make it more legible to the man on the street than legalese usually is.

Is this what you were asking for?


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 15:30
French to Dutch
+ ...
Journalism Dec 1, 2005

and extracts of newspaper articles, etc. I did this for one client: he gave me newspaper articles (tourism) and for each article I made an extract in the other language in 300 words. The abstracts were in my second language and the articles in my native language, the client didn't mind. The client only wanted to know what was in the articles in a language he couldn't read (as a feedback, or in order to adapt his marketing strategy?). I could choose my own words, but I had the original text of the touristic guide I translated beforehand in the other direction, and this was of a great help, of course (no terminology problems).
Technique used: I translated the title and some phrases of the newspaper, some others in the original brochure, revised the whole abstract, made sure it looked like the content of the article. Then I gave the abstract a serious or humoristic style, reduced it to 300 words and had it proofread by my husband.


[Edited at 2005-12-01 15:12]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:30
German to English
+ ...
Translation strategies when the translation serves a different purpose than the original Dec 1, 2005

A translation almost always serves a different purpose to that of the original. A German translation of an English advertising brochure has the function of selling the product in Germany, Austria, etc. instead of in the US, the UK, etc. An instruction manual explaining how a product is used must take into account the fact that the circumstances may be different in different countries.

The difference in purpose may be minor, as in these cases, or it may be more major, but it is one of degree.

I strongly recommend contacting the ITI office (www.iti.org.uk) and ordering a copy of the latest issue of the ITI Bulletin: it contains an excellent article by Michael Benis on this subject of translations being adequate for their purpose.

Marc


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 15:30
French to Dutch
+ ...
Don't agree Dec 1, 2005

MarcPrior wrote:

A translation almost always serves a different purpose to that of the original. A German translation of an English advertising brochure has the function of selling the product in Germany, Austria, etc. instead of in the US, the UK, etc. An instruction manual explaining how a product is used must take into account the fact that the circumstances may be different in different countries.

The difference in purpose may be minor, as in these cases, or it may be more major, but it is one of degree.

The purpose of the original text is selling, the purpose of the translated text is selling too, in another country or for another public. In my example, purpose of the original text (newspaper) = informing the public, purpose of the translated text = information/feedback for the client. A translation too, but the client didn't want the whole thing, just an abstract. I can imagine that in legal situations the whole text will be translated. It's a very interesting question. You may consider that test translations and back-translations are another example (purpose of the original text: whatever, purpose of the translated text: check if the translator does well for the job).


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