Off topic: Educate and lose, or laugh or cry...
Thread poster: xxxIreneN
xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 10:36
English to Russian
+ ...
Feb 28, 2004

I'm translating the document under Intercultural traning program. The client sent me an article on American culture history written by an American Ph.D.

"One nation under God is written on a dollar bill". I stumbled over it, took a magnifying glass and examined 5 bills:). I found was I expected to find - In God We Trust.

"recent poll results show... as compared to West Germany". How recent could the poll be considering the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989?

"In the 1600s immigrants going to the U.S.". The United States of America in the XVII century?

And so on, and so forth.

The materials are intended for a modern learned adult audience.

Should I go blind and share the fun with future students? I doubt that Ph.D. person will be happy to hear such remarks from one of those immigrants he is trying to educate. The client is pretty tough but pays well:), and this article has already been published anyway.

Any thoughts?

[Edited at 2004-02-28 20:02]

[Edited at 2004-02-28 20:03]


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Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Make lemonade out of lemons! Feb 28, 2004

Translate the thing. Then send it to the client with a polite note saying, "Here's the translation you requested. I will be invoicing you for it [whenever]. By the way, in case you are interested, I found the following statements in the text which sounded strange to my ear. Perhaps you'd like to ask the author of the article to clear them up? Best wishes!"

And then offer to translate the corrections, too....


(If you're feeling particularly gutsy, that is...)


[Edited at 2004-02-28 20:05]


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:36
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
sound more like "his story" Feb 28, 2004

instead of "history"

Send the 3 remarks to the client and ask if you need to continue working on this paper, or if he would like corrections before you continue ...

Ed


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Advise him.. Feb 28, 2004

..."One nation under God is written on a dollar bill"...
He has either got a dud or a precious misprint!


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not too tough Feb 29, 2004

This doesn't seem to be too difficult of a problem. You just translate what you see like any good translator would. If you feel like it you might want to tactfully point out that the author might want to look over certain parts of the text again.

In any case, I would not feel good about translating these innacuracies knowing that they will be transmitted to people expecting precise truth. Not good.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
English to Tamil
+ ...
I am reminded of Bennet Cerf Feb 29, 2004

In one of his compilations of humour, Bennet Cerf was mentioning a person, who was an antique collector and was boasting to his friend that he succeeded in buying a metal cup belonging to the period before Christ. When challenged to prove his claim, he produced the said cup and pointed to the inscription at the bottom: "Made in 23 B.C.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 18:36
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I'd correct the false statements Mar 1, 2004

Unless the text is meant to make people laugh, I would put things right. Especially if the translation is into Russian, since Russians are better read than US-americans (and know, what a dollar-bill looks like).

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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:36
English
+ ...
St Augustine, Florida was founded in 1565 Mar 1, 2004

[quote]IreneN wrote:
"In the 1600s immigrants going to the U.S.". The United States of America in the XVII century?

Agree with the remark about the money but not exactly sure what the above means. America has numerous cities that were founded during the 1600s and immigrants from more than one place were arriving. Here's an incomplete list of well-known cities with their settlement and/or founding dates-St Augustine, FL 1565. Jamestown, VA 1607/1608. Plymouth,MA 1620. Kent Island, MD 1631 and New Castle, DE 1638 followed in relatively quick succession by such well-known places as Boston, Philadelphia, New York and others. Yes, there were people here then, so this part of the article is correct.


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:36
English
+ ...
rubles Mar 1, 2004

Some Americans know what rubles look like, too

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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
North America versus United States of America Mar 1, 2004

willmatter wrote:
Yes, there were people here then, so this part of the article is correct.


Hello Willmater,

IMO, this statement ("In the 1600s immigrants going to the U.S.") is not correct. Even though there were people living in North America at that time (the English colonies,) the United States of America was not formed until July 4, 1776.

I think this is what Irene meant by questioning that statement.
Monika


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Leave it as it is and notifiy them Mar 1, 2004

It is interesting, on my today's translation I found this one: "The North American Treaty Organization - NATO" (it should have been the "North Atlantic Treaty Organization"), written by a lawyer!!!

I translated it according to the source and I will notify the company when I send the translation. If the lawyer decides to change it, I will gladly apply the changes, if not, oh well, I did my part.
Have a nice one everyone,

Monika



[Edited at 2004-03-01 09:36]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 10:36
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, colleagues Mar 1, 2004

Monika Coulson wrote:

the United States of America was not formed until July 4, 1776.

I think this is what Irene meant by questioning that statement.
Monika


Exactly, and your advice about North America had crossed my mind. This would be a rightful substitution with no remark required. Thank you, Monika.

I guess I will translate it "as is" and attach a separate Translator Remarks page for the editor.

I've learned a lot:), for example "Cowboys never traveled in groups... A cowboy is a calvinist on a horse back". To an extent this statement could be true with some extrapolation like "a cowboy today, a train robber tomorrow" but the way it is put makes me laugh again (the whole idea is about a cowboy hat as one of the American symbols).

Fellow Americans, having a number of different opinions regarding certain things going on in the U.S. at the moment, I still do have a bit more knowledge and respect for the country which is now mine too:)

[Edited at 2004-03-01 11:13]


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Kurt Hammond  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:36
Japanese to English
Actually... Mar 4, 2004

Monika Coulson wrote:

willmatter wrote:
Yes, there were people here then, so this part of the article is correct.


Hello Willmater,

Acctually, to split hairs even this is somewhat questionable. The United States declared independence in 1776, but I don't think the country was officially formed and recognized until the last state ratified the constitution. I believe this did not happen until 1789. It becomes a question of what defines a country - it's independence or when all of the territories ratify the agreement under which they will be governed?
In either case, it is well after the 1600s and the source text should say that immigrants were heading to America or what would someday become the United States, etc.

IMO, this statement ("In the 1600s immigrants going to the U.S.") is not correct. Even though there were people living in North America at that time (the English colonies,) the United States of America was not formed until July 4, 1776.

I think this is what Irene meant by questioning that statement.
Monika


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