translating [sic]
Thread poster: gingerbread

gingerbread
English
Mar 14, 2007

Hi all.
I am doing a translation of a page from a novel by Jorge Amado called "Cacau" for university. In the original a word has been spelt wrong- premero instead of primeiro- and it thus has [sic] next to it which I believe is a means of showing to the reader that the editor is aware of the mistake but has chosen to maintain the original spelling used by the author. I was wondering if it is common practice to translate such notes into the translated piece. For example should i put [sic] next to the word "first" in the translated piece even though it is spelt correctly. It just a dilema that i came across doing my translation and was wondering what the professionals would do.
thanks


 

Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Another thread Mar 14, 2007

Hi,
Someone has already spoken about this matter... here's the link.
http://www.proz.com/post/530192#530192
HTH
Ritu


 

Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Actually this is something different Mar 14, 2007

Ritu Bhanot wrote:

Hi,
Someone has already spoken about this matter... here's the link.
http://www.proz.com/post/530192#530192
HTH
Ritu


Ritu,

It seems the question is a little different than the one discussed at the link you provide. I understand gingerbread to be asking how to translate a text that already has an erroneous text marked with [sic].

What I would say is if the error is a number or some other info that carries across languages, then continue to use the [sic]. E.g. "December 34 (sic)" would be "34 (sic) de diciembre" in Spanish.

But if the (sic) concerns a word, then in most cases you can just make the proper translation in your target language, and do away the (sic). Exceptionally it may be used to highlight a play on words or something of the sort, but that is a different matter.

This happens to me all the time when people send texts in Latin to be translated. Often time there are spelling mistakes or other errors, but if it is clear enough to translate, then I proceed, and there is no need to use (sic) since I am translating the idea, and not the specific combination of letters itself.

Translation is not so much a word-for-word reproduction in another language, but primarily an expression of the thought of the source text in the target language, keeping the same word choice when possible.


 

Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 10:06
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A suggestion... Mar 14, 2007

If a literary text was published with a misspelling followed by (sic), be it the writer's or the editor's intention, I would probably do the same in the translation because you can obviously see that the (sic) was put there for a reason. If it were just a matter of poor text editing, there wouldn't be any indication at all. So premero (sic) would be something like frist (sic) as long as the reader can obviously see that it's a mistake and then identify the right word ("first," in this case).

I haven't read this novel, so I'm not sure whether "primeiro" is supposed to be the ordinal number "first," the adverb "firstly," or part of the expression "first of all," but I believe spelling it as "frist" / "fristly" (by switching the R and the I) would be a good idea to keep the intention of either the author or the editor.

Even though I'm not familiar with the story and I don't know if "premero" is attributed to a particular character, knowing that Jorge Amado was a famous Brazilian writer from the State of Bahia, I believe the misspelling could be a reference to their northern accent.

Hope it helps!


 

Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 01:06
English to Chinese
+ ...
Absolutely! Mar 14, 2007

Nicholas Ferreira wrote:

Translation is not so much a word-for-word reproduction in another language, but primarily an expression of the thought of the source text in the target language, keeping the same word choice when possible.


"Translators are first and foremost communicators who stand at a very interesting juncture between cultures. It is essential to remember that, in most cases, it is the message and not the text that needs to be communicated."

http://accurapid.com/journal/36prof.htm

So, what matters a spelling error? Sic?


 

Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quick comment Mar 14, 2007

Although our 'sic' friendicon_smile.gif usually appears as

[SIC]
(sic)
(SIC)

the correct form is [sic]

icon_smile.gif Au


 

gingerbread
English
TOPIC STARTER
premero and [sic] in the original text Mar 15, 2007

Thanks for all your very helpful replies. This is the text for anyone who is interested:

Deus deu de herança a Caim e Abel uma roça de cacau pra eles dividirem. Caim que era home mau, dividiu a fazenda em três pedaços. E disse a Abel: esse premero [sic] pedaço é meu. Esse do meio meu é seu. O último, meu também. Abel respondeu: não faça isso meu irmãozinho, que é uma dor do coração.

In the passage the premero, I feel, is a reflection of the way in which the person speaks. (from the North of Brazil). I now recognise it as being intentional on the part of the author and think I will mispell the word first in translated piece. Something like "furst" taking the way we in scotland pronounce the word first.
Thanks again.


 

Clara Duarte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:06
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You're right, gingerbread Mar 18, 2007

Also notice that "homem" is written "home", and it's close to the way the character would pronounce the word. It's a style, not a mistake.

 

lingomania
Local time: 03:06
Italian to English
I agree May 6, 2007

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

Nicholas Ferreira wrote:

Translation is not so much a word-for-word reproduction in another language, but primarily an expression of the thought of the source text in the target language, keeping the same word choice when possible.


"Translators are first and foremost communicators who stand at a very interesting juncture between cultures. It is essential to remember that, in most cases, it is the message and not the text that needs to be communicated."

http://accurapid.com/journal/36prof.htm

So, what matters a spelling error? Sic?


I totally agree...so says the latest report by the British Council.

Rob


 


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