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Translating direct quotes
Thread poster: zabrowa
zabrowa
Local time: 14:53
May 14, 2007

I'm translating a Portuguese text which uses extensive quotes from a Portuguese source. Should I include the original language too? Or if not, how should I take credit/blame as the translator of the text? If I keep both, should they follow one another? I wonder what the best format is. Thanks!

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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 09:53
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends... May 14, 2007

Like so many elements of our world, it depends on a number of issues.

First thing you should do is to try to discover whether the Portuguese source being cited has ever been translated and published in the target language, which I'm assuming for this discussion is English. If so, you have to get that version and use it for your quotations. If your text includes footnotes, endnotes, textual citations, or a bibliography, you will cite the English version of the text, perhaps including in brackets something like: [Original Portuguese title: XXX XXX.]

If the cited source has never been published in English, then you translate the quotations yourself, of course. How and whether you identify the quotations, and whether the original text should be included, depends on the client's preference. Unless the client strongly insists, I would never put both versions in the text. Sometimes the original is placed in a footnote or endnote, for the sake of the reader who is familiar with (in this case) Portuguese.

On a few occasions I have retained a short phrase in the original language, immediately followed by a translation in square brackets. I limit this to cases when I believe it is pertinent--for instance, a fixed phrase or a pun that will lose its flavor in translation, or a bit of jargon that might not be recognized in translation.

An option is to include a translator's footnote/endnote with the first quotation that you translate, stating that unless otherwise noted, all translations from third sources are the work of Matt Coler. If the author does not formally cite that Portuguese source, it is your responsibility to do so.

I hope I haven't just confused the issue for you. Your strategy depends so much on what sort of text you're translating, for what client, for what target readership, etc. My answer comes from my own experience, which tends to be in scholarly academic texts.

HTH. Jane


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Joseph Ferran
Argentina
Local time: 10:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jane Translates is correct May 14, 2007

As other topics, it depends on a number of issues.

If it has ever been cited ever been translated and published in the target language. An existing version is very important. Indicating The orginal title in the source language.

Of course, we can always encounter the following problem:
How do I know and where do I find the already translated version?

I believe that in most cases the translator will perform his or her own version.

The idea of retaining a short phrase in the original language, immediately followed by a translation in square brackets, limiting the same to cases in which one believes that it is pertinent.

This issue is confusing. However, it may be each translator´s choice. Keeping in mind, that a phone call to your client and explaning the challenge might be a good idea. Probably, a safety measure for compliance.

Joseph Ferran


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zabrowa
Local time: 14:53
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jane May 22, 2007

I'll stick to your advice... thanks a lot!

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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 09:53
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
You're very welcome. May 25, 2007

Good luck!

Jane


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