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If a tranlsation sounds like a translation it is not a good translation
Thread poster: Cristina Giannetti

Cristina Giannetti  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:18
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 19, 2002

If a tranlsation sounds like a translation it is not a good translation. The translated text has to sound natural as if the text had been written in the targert language rather than translated. Italian as a language for example is much much more complicated than English in terms of vocabulary, syntax, etc. Therefore while translating from English into Italian you cannot just mantain the simple, straightforward sentence structure and vocabulary of the source text because it will not sound like Italian. It will sound like an English into Italian translation.



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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:18
German to English
+ ...
I agree! Oct 20, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-10-19 09:46, crifivi wrote:

... Therefore while translating from English into Italian you cannot just mantain the simple, straightforward sentence structure and vocabulary of the source text because it will not sound like Italian. It will sound like an English into Italian translation.



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I agree! The same is true for translations from English to German or vice versa. Whenever I use a CAT tool I notice the difference. \"Translation by segment\" does not seem to work for me. It requires a lot of editing. Strangely, even editing CAT-generated text will not yield the \"right\" kind of flow...

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xxxmmachado
English to Portuguese
Quite agree Oct 20, 2002

Hello,



Yes, I quite agree with you. In Portuguese we have the same situation. For instance, in my language (European Portuguese) we very rarely use passive voice but English uses this a lot. Therefore, it is very easy to translate from English into Portuguese (European) following this style. We can even translate a lot per day... but at the end, it does sound as a translation from English, which is not a very good thing.



Therefore, very often I have to change sentences to use active voice instead. At the end of the day I translate less words but after all the best compliment we can receive is someone saying it doesn\'t look like a translation at all, don\'t you think?



Best regards,

Mónica


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:18
Finnish to English
Complicated? Oct 21, 2002

Italian is more complicated than English in terms of vocabulary?



News to me.



Cheers





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Paul Becke
Local time: 00:18
French to English
+ ...
A tightrope Nov 6, 2002

Fortunately, a literal following of the syntax in legal and possibly technical texts is actually advisable, and in patent texts virtually mandatory.



However, generally speaking, not only is it true that a translation must not sound like a translation, but it only takes one or two clumsy renderings of expressions in a text for the reader to conclude that it was translated by a foreigner, or an amateur.



It should be remembered that while a pedantic literalism is sometimes tempting for a young translator, the end customer will only wish and expect to read fluent English. Even translator\'s notes should generally be avoided where at all possible. People are idle and don\'t want you shifting problems onto them. They\'ll have their own competencies to worry about.



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Mike Osman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:18
Member (2013)
English to Somali
+ ...
Definitely Feb 2, 2003

I think that is very true.

Very good point.



Thanx


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:18
English to French
Hum...yes, but with cautions Feb 4, 2003

Quote:


On 2002-10-19 09:46, crifivi wrote:

If a tranlsation sounds like a translation it is not a good translation. (...) Therefore while translating from English into Italian you cannot just mantain the simple, straightforward sentence structure and vocabulary of the source text because it will not sound like Italian. It will sound like an English into Italian translation.





You are right, but it is often abused of. Most complains I have heard about translations \"sounding like translations\" were from translators and other people involved in the trade. Hardly ever from the general public.



I even once heard a translator complaining about a translation \"that sounded too much like a translation\"...except it was not a translation but an original work.



I think the emphasis should not be into \"changing structure\" from the original, but simply writing it as it would have been writen if the author was born in the target country. And if the English structure works (and it is often so in French) well, why bann it?



Contrarily to a widespread belief, English can be an extremely circonvoluted language. If the author decided to use a straightforward approach, then there is not point using a complex French form on the basis that \"it shouldn\'t sound like a translation\".



There is a caution here. A translation should be as the author would have writen it if he spoke your language. No more, no less.

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Valentina Pecchiar  Identity Verified
Italy
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Well said, Sylver May 1, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-04 03:58, sylver wrote:

I think the emphasis should not be [...] [on] simply writing it as it would have been writen if the author was born in the target country. And if the English structure works (and it is often so in French) well, why bann it?



Contrarily to a widespread belief, English can be an extremely circonvoluted language. If the author decided to use a straightforward approach, then there is not point using a complex French form on the basis that \"it shouldn\'t sound like a translation\".



There is a caution here. ***A translation should be as the author would have writen it if he spoke your language.*** No more, no less.





I totally agree with the lines I\'m quoting, I could very well put them in my mission statement .

With your permission, Sylvain, I\'d have the *** marked sentence ready there to copy it like a 100 times whenever I get doubts about my job and how it\'s supposed to be carried on

All the best

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
German to English
+ ...
Only if the source is impeccable May 1, 2003

Quote:


Even translator\'s notes should generally be avoided where at all possible. People are idle and don\'t want you shifting problems onto them. They\'ll have their own competencies to worry about.








I agree with this statement only if the source text is clearly understandable and impeccable in style - which, unfortunately, is rarely the case.



I use translators\' notes liberally if the source text is confusing or even sometimes incorrect logically. My customers would rather have me query these issues than guess.



In some cases of a source text written poorly, the translation probably ends up sounding even better than the original!

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Richard Benham  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:18
German to English
+ ...
What if the original... Sep 10, 2003

...reads like a translation?

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