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the use of idiom in a translation
Thread poster: YuckSay
YuckSay
Local time: 08:01
English to Spanish
Oct 22, 2007

is a simple question, can you give me the steps to follow to translate idioms? ok...this is what i have so far

To translate an idiom is necessary to know its equivalent on the target language. Because if you translate it word by word and this idiom its form by for more than one word the result will be a literal translation, and the meaning that will give us will be totally different. If the idiom has an equivalent on the target language, you must use that, and if for any chance there is no equivalent, you must translate its meaning and no word by word. So, in order to do a translation of an idiom, one should be aware of the culture not only of the source language, but of course of the target language.

can you add something up? or maybe correct me?

please help :$


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:01
French to Spanish
+ ...
Right. Oct 22, 2007

If there is no equivalent, you must invent something that works in target language.
I do it sometimes with motion pictures.
Mexican Spanish, for example, has "sexual jokes/play on words" that French hasn't no way. What to do? Well, invent something equally funny or vulgar.
Luck.


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Robin Salmon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:01
German to English
+ ...
Importance of knowing idioms properly Oct 22, 2007

It is important that your knowledge of idioms in a foreign language be accurate. This requires a respect for the other culture and language and an awareness that prepositions, for example, other than the equivalent of those in your own language may be used.

To correct your use of English idiom in your post, "word by word" should be "word for word" and "for any chance" should be "by any chance". "Word by word" can be said but it means "one word at a time" or "word after word".

Hope that helps.


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YuckSay
Local time: 08:01
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
grateful :D Oct 22, 2007

yeah it helps a lot, thanks mate

now, I don't wanna sound too pushy but how similar and different are the idioms in the English and Spanish language?

and what about the steps you follow to make a translation

I would be very grateful


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Juliana Starkman  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 06:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's also a good idea to brush up on areas of grammar Oct 23, 2007

with idiomatic repercussions in language, such as phrasal verbs in English...
YuckSay wrote:



can you add something up? or maybe correct me?


In this case, I think you meant "Can you add something", as to add up would be "sumar" instead of "agregar".
Suerte!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
A Book Oct 23, 2007

now, I don't wanna sound too pushy but how similar and different are the idioms in the English and Spanish language?

Well, yes, that would be a bit pushy... we could write a book on that; probably several, and also comparing usage between countries, regions and social groups in either language.

And still we would barely touch the surface.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Recipe for translating idioms Oct 23, 2007

YuckSay wrote:
Is a simple question, can you give me the steps to follow to translate idioms?


Let's write a recipe. I'll start.

1. Determine whether the idiom needs to be an idiom (in *most cases* it is not crucial that an idiom be translated as an idiom, don't you agree?)

1.1 Decide the type of source text and target text:
* literary work
* scientific work
* user manual
* legal document
* advertising
* sales letter
* etc.

1.2 Decide what is the purpose of the idiom in the source text, and decide if it is necessary that the same purpose be served in the target text using an idiom also.

1.3 Decide how likely a non-native reader of the source text will understand the idiom. Some idioms are fairly universal ("from head to toe"), whereas others require some cultural or intellectual background information ("tip of the iceberg").

1.4 Decide how likely a reader of the idiom might visualise it. The more the chance of visualisation, the more you should consider using an idiom in the target text. Eg, in Afrikaans we refer to character traits using animal names, like jackal or buffalo, but if I say of someone that he is a jackal or a buffalo, very few of the hearers will visualise the jackal and buffalo -- if asked a day later what I had said, they are likely to report that I had said "He is sly" or "He is unmannered", without remembering the exact idiomatic phrase used.

So... do you really need an idiom in the target text?

2. (next person)


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Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 14:01
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
A simple answer to a simple question Oct 23, 2007

The steps to follow to translate idioms:

1. Learn your native language, literature, folklore

2. Master the source language, literature, folklore

3. Put some translation theory and practice behind your belt

It's hard only the first 10-15 years...

[Редактировалось 2007-10-24 07:17]


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