Off topic: Eurovision 2018
Thread poster: missdutch

missdutch  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:12
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
May 1

Yep, it's that time of the year again, with fewer tinsel but more camp.

The official video for Italy's Eurovision 2018 entry contains subtitles in a number of languages. What do you think of these translations? Douze points ou nul points?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zguJGdoPPnw


 

Daniel Frisano
Switzerland
Local time: 11:12
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Not good May 3

They missed the childish take in the Italian title, at least in the English translation. When we were kids and some kid tried to hurt another, the latter usually retorted with "Non mi hai fatto nienteee, faccia di serpenteee". I don't think an English kid would yell "You haven't done anything to me" in such an occasion.

French translation not good either: here "non sanno che ora è" is generic and not referred to specific subjects, thus the pronoun should be "on" rather than "ils".


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:12
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
How should we know? May 3

If we don't understand the Italian?

 

Daniel Frisano
Switzerland
Local time: 11:12
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Translation May 3

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If we don't understand the Italian?


Then you hire a translator. They are people who are able to convey meaning from one language to another. They are awesome!


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Actually May 3

Daniel Frisano wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If we don't understand the Italian?


Then you hire a translator. They are people who are able to convey meaning from one language to another. They are awesome!


Google Translate is cheaper. And quicker.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:12
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
How do I know one translation is better if I don't know the source language? May 4

Daniel Frisano wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If we don't understand the Italian?


Then you hire a translator. They are people who are able to convey meaning from one language to another. They are awesome!


I can see there is nothing wrong with the German part of the text, but how can I be sure it is a good translation? You tell me.


 

missdutch  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:12
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Heinrich has a valid point May 4

Gentleman, thank you all for your valuable and witty contributions.

When I posted the link to the song, I didn't want to involve just our colleagues who translate from/to Italian.

Nonetheless, when I happen to read subtitles from a language I don't know, and I see that something just seems off, I can say with a high degree of certainty that the translation isn't very good, because good translators don't do sloppy work. Well, at least they shouldn't.

Daniel says the English and French versions are not good, while Heinrich thinks the German part sounds right, but he can't be 100% sure about it.

The jury is still out, though it wouldn't surprise me if Google Translate played a big part here. It surely is cheaper, quicker and I strongly suspect that people outside of our line of work think it's a perfectly viable alternative to human translation.
But I don't want to open a can of worms, small as it may be.


 

Daniel Frisano
Switzerland
Local time: 11:12
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
German May 4

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

I can see there is nothing wrong with the German part of the text, but how can I be sure it is a good translation?


You tickled my curiosity about the German. Two remarks:

They used "verschiedenen Eingänge" for "ingressi separati", and I am not sure that it is the best option. If you have a house that is divided in two apartments, each with its own independent entrance, would you use "verschiedenen"?

They used "sich vergnügen" for "divertirsi". I would use "Spaß haben", but this is probably a matter of taste.

I'd be curious about the other languages.


 

Francesca Ventura
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:12
Member (Jan 2018)
English to Italian
+ ...
Not accurate May 5

The Russian makes sense, but overall it's inaccurate and always slightly different from the Italian:
"In Francia c'è un concerto" becomes "в Париже на концертe" (in Paris at a concert), "non avete avuto niente" is "вы не смогли ничего получить", which I personally like even though it means something more similar to "you couldn't achieve anything" as opposed to "you DIDN'T achieve anything" - but that might just be me being pernickety. It's also interesting that they translated "non mi avete fatto niente" as "вы не смогли мне испугать", i.e. "you couldn't scare me". Not sure whether that's the Russian equivalent to the "childish" element of the Italian, or a purely stylistic choice.

I agree with Daniel on the English: it's not great - it makes sense of course, but it just sounds like they didn't try very hard.


 


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