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translating text full of errors and spelling mistakes
Thread poster: Grommit
Grommit
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:31
Polish to English
+ ...
Nov 14, 2002

I am currently translating a text from Polish into English written by someone who is not familiar with with the Polish grammar and spelling. I have never translated anything so badly written. I am not sure whether to translate the text and comment on its quality or whether I should translate and retain mistakes in the places where they were made (risky as my translation can be regarded as very bad!)

Have you ever had a similar problem? What is the best solution?

thank you for every suggestion

Grommit


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:31
Finnish to English
similar situation Nov 14, 2002

Hi



I have been in a similar situation. I think the thing not to do is incorporate \'mistakes\' in your rendering. But I think it is quite OK to insert remarks like SL wrong? SL erroneous?? SL unclear??, which goes some way towards protecting you against possible later complaints.



Best



Spencer



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Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:31
Dutch to English
+ ...
Simple really Nov 14, 2002

A text can be quite obvious, even if it is incorrectly witten. So just use your normal English. If you really are at a loss what something actually means, ask the client.



At the end of the day you are being paid for being a translator, not a clairvoyant.


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:31
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Contact your customer Nov 14, 2002

Hi Grommit,



In my view it highly depends on who comissioned the translation: the author of the text or the recipient.



I once had to translate a text (a letter)which was indeed written in very bad language with many mistakes and nonsenses, but since it was the receiver of the letter who asked me to tranlate it, I felt I should render the style and the mistakes as close as possible because otherwise the reader would have totally wrong understanding of this letter. To be on the safe side, that is to avoid beeing blamed for poor translation, I have attached a translator\'s note explaining that mistakes and style come from the original. It was appreciated.



On the other hand, it happens sometimes that authors commission translation of texts which are not finished, not spell-checked, with errors, etc. In such cases I would normally contact the customer and let them know about it, ask to correct, if possible or perhaps agree that I will \"correct\" it in the translation. In one extreme case I\'ve landed up with additional job (additionally paid!) of editing the original. It was a good report but written by a dislectic person, so with many many mistakes. It was supposed to be published but apparently noone has checked it before! This things also happen and again it was very appreciated that I pointed out the attention into this before my customer found himself in troubles.



So my advice is: contact your customer and establish whether they are aware of this fact and what they plan to do with the original (and the translation).



HTH

Magda


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:31
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Is it, David? Nov 14, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-14 18:04, (Dave) wrote:

A text can be quite obvious, even if it is incorrectly witten. So just use your normal English. If you really are at a loss what something actually means, ask the client.



At the end of the day you are being paid for being a translator, not a clairvoyant.





Suppose it is a job application. It is written in extremely poor language and with mistakes, you translate it into \"normal\" language. Don\'t you think that a very important message is lost? As translators we are expected to render the style, not only the meaning.



Best,

Magda

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dkalinic
Local time: 01:31
Croatian to German
+ ...
The same situation here Nov 14, 2002

I had to deal with a similarly bad German text a couple of days ago. I simly asked my client to re-write it or to pay me extra for the corrections because I had to translate it as a court interpreter.



Take care,

Davor


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 08:31
English
+ ...
Phone the client and ask! Nov 14, 2002

Then agree.

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Grommit
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:31
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your comments Nov 15, 2002

Thank you for your suggestions. I opted for adding Translator\'s comments attached to the translation where I explained the nature of mistakes made in the text. It was too late to discuss the matter with an agency from which the text was sent to me.

However, next time I will try to negotiate better price for my work as translating a bad text makes the whole translation process far more difficult and far less pleasant .



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