Is this good Dutch?
Thread poster: philgoddard
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Dec 9, 2009

Apologies for posting in English: this is a question for Dutch native speakers by an English native speaker.

I do a lot of Dutch to English medical research protocols and informed consent forms for one client.

I find that they are usually extremely repetitious in a way which simply doesn't work in English. I know English is less tolerant of repetition than other languages, but these contain an exceptionally large amount. Here are two examples, with the repetitions in capitals:

1. Als de arts van UW KIND beslist dat UW KIND aan de studie kan deelnemen, zal UW KIND voor de studie worden ‘GERANDOMISEERD’. GERANDOMISEERD wil zeggen dat UW KIND volgens het toeval een groep toegewezen krijgt.

2. ARTSEN WILLEN TE WETEN KOMEN of xxx (het studiegeneesmiddel) mensen met type 1 diabetes zal helpen. ARTSEN WILLEN WETEN of xxx het suikergehalte in het bloed zal kunnen helpen onder controle houden. Ook WILLEN ZE TE WETEN KOMEN of xxx ervoor kan zorgen dat men minder insuline nodig heeft en of het veilig is.

The name of the drug is also repeated in example 2 where it wouldn't be in English.

Is this acceptable in Dutch? I'm just curious.

[Edited at 2009-12-09 17:28 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:27
English to Flemish
+ ...
I wouldn´t Dec 9, 2009

use this kind of repetitions, but....it sometimes is difficult to use other words like (zij, het,...) because there might be the theoretical possibility that one points to a part of the sentence that is not intended.....as these texts are written by lawyers in order to be covered for any kind of mishap, they try to be as precise as possible....and the results are these horror sentences....

Nevertheless, with the following sentences I think that there is no possibility for ambiguity (people will correct me if I´m wrong):

1)Als de arts van UW KIND beslist dat HET aan de studie kan deelnemen, zal HET HIERVOOR ‘GERANDOMISEERD’ worden. GERANDOMISEERD wil zeggen dat UW ZOON OF DOCHTER volgens het toeval een groep toegewezen krijgt.

2) ARTSEN WILLEN TE WETEN KOMEN of xxx (het studiegeneesmiddel) mensen met type 1 diabetes zal helpen. ZIJ WILLEN PROBEREN TE BEPALEN of xxx het suikergehalte in het bloed zal kunnen helpen onder controle houden. Ook ZOUDEN ZE GRAAG VASTSTELLEN of xxx er AL OF NIET voor kan zorgen dat men minder insuline nodig heeft en of het veilig is.

I don´t think that these modified sentences are ambiguous, but at least these ugly repetitions (UGLY, even in Dutch) can be avoided.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Titia Meesters  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:27
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
I would repeat but not in all cases Dec 9, 2009

I agree with Blomguib that wherever there can be any doubt, repetition is better than ambiguity, certainly in an ICF. Further, referring with 'zijn', 'haar' or 'het' can only be done if the functions in the sentences are the same, i.e. if "zijn" is subject, it refers to the subject in the previous sentence. If this is not the case, repetition or a synonyme should be used. In addition, I would not easily refer to 'uw kind' with the gramatically correct "het", as this sounds very impersonal. "hij/zij" may be possible, but in the first example sentence this would strictly refer to 'de arts' rather than to 'uw kind'. I would use the following, with many ugly repetitions:

1)Als de arts van UW KIND beslist dat UW KIND aan de studie kan deelnemen, zal UW KIND HIERVOOR ‘GERANDOMISEERD’ worden. GERANDOMISEERD wil zeggen dat UW ZOON OF DOCHTER volgens het toeval een groep toegewezen krijgt.

2) ARTSEN WILLEN TE WETEN KOMEN of xxx (het studiegeneesmiddel) mensen met type 1 diabetes zal helpen. ZIJ WILLEN WETEN of xxx het suikergehalte in het bloed zal kunnen helpen onder controle houden. Ook WILLEN ZE (TE) WETEN (KOMEN) of xxx ervoor kan zorgen dat men minder insuline nodig heeft en of het veilig is.

You see that I limited the changes to replacing e.g. "artsen" with "zij". I do not agree with other changes that Blomguib made: "zij willen weten" is just not the same as "zij willen proberen te bepalen" or "zij zouden graag vaststellen". These wordings certainly sound much nicer than the ugly repetitions, but I still prefer the reps rather than deviating from source wordings that are often chosen with great care..


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:27
English to Flemish
+ ...
agree, but... Dec 9, 2009

Titia Meesters wrote:

You see that I limited the changes to replacing e.g. "artsen" with "zij". I do not agree with other changes that Blomguib made: "zij willen weten" is just not the same as "zij willen proberen te bepalen" or "zij zouden graag vaststellen". These wordings certainly sound much nicer than the ugly repetitions, but I still prefer the reps rather than deviating from source wordings that are often chosen with great care..


you have to make a judgement....stick to the original (although I beg to differ when you say that these wordings have been chosen with great care.....) and get a text that is as ugly....but you at least have carried out the translation as instructed, or try to come up with alternatives that don´t change the idea behind the message, and avoid ending up with a crappy text....by the way "zij zouden graag vaststellen" or "zij willen proberen te bepalen" are (in the context of a study in the life sciences) in my opinion FAR more correct than "zij willen weten" which implies that at the end of the study they will have DEFINITE results....have you ever seen a study where we have 100% results? I haven´t....at least not in my areas...which are FAR more exact than life sciences!....

I only stick to the original, cost what may, when I translate patents (which I do 90% of the time)....I know from personal experience that, in that field, we can argue for 6 months over the presence of a comma instead of a semi colon....let alone over words that are "slightly different"...the result is that patents are for 99,9% absolute crap....and often technically or scientifically worthless (if one cares to admit that language in these texts is being abused!)....Anyway; Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Chaim Bultsma  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:27
Dutch to English
+ ...
Is this an original Dutch text? Dec 10, 2009

Being a native speaker of Dutch, I would say the samples you give have been - quite literally - translated from another language... which always is a bit tricky as often the meaning will change.

However, I agree that in Dutch repetitions of names, etc. often are needed to avoid any doubt, while in English such a repetition most often is replaced by, e.g., 'it' or 'their'.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well spotted, Chaim Dec 11, 2009

Sorry, I forgot to mention that they're back translations - I'm translating them back into English after they've already been translated from English to Dutch. But not all the jobs I do for this client are back translations, and yet they all seem to be very repetitious.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:27
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
reason for repetitions: maybe indeed topic instead of language Dec 11, 2009

philgoddard wrote:

Sorry, I forgot to mention that they're back translations - I'm translating them back into English after they've already been translated from English to Dutch. But not all the jobs I do for this client are back translations, and yet they all seem to be very repetitious.


This is funny. I have been following this thread with interest. I have always thought that it was English that used repetitions in a tedious way, compared to other languages. This seems to fit the fact that your text is a (maybe too literal) translation from english.

Apart from that, I agree that legal texts tend to prefer clearness over a natural flow, so after all, this might be related to the topic instead of the language.

[Bearbeitet am 2009-12-11 07:42 GMT]

[Bearbeitet am 2009-12-11 07:49 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxNMR
France
Local time: 03:27
French to Dutch
+ ...
Target audience Dec 11, 2009

efreitag wrote:

Apart from that, I agree that legal texts tend to prefer clearness over a natural flow, so after all, this might be related to the topic instead of the language.



Of course. Besides, the target audience of this kind of informed consents is a patient group, so clear language prevails, not style. In this case the parents of ill children in a hospital setting, so this text had to be VERY clear. From the translator point of view I always think that informed consents are too basic, but maybe this is necessary. Some repetitions, especially in the second sentence, could be avoided though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »


Is this good Dutch?

Advanced search






SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search