Poll: Do you regularly have to translate slang & colloquialisms as part of your work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:26
SITE STAFF
Jul 7, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you regularly have to translate slang & colloquialisms as part of your work?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Member
German to English
+ ...
Not normally Jul 7, 2011

Most documents I translate are official documents. I do, however, sometimes translate market research responses and interviews, and these tend to be more colloquial.

One of the most memorable jobs I ever did was an interview with some prisoners about drug usage. It certainly tested my knowledge for colloqualisms and, shall we say, colourful language and I did have to send the translation back to the customer with an advisory note! It certainly felt odd using such strong language in
... See more
Most documents I translate are official documents. I do, however, sometimes translate market research responses and interviews, and these tend to be more colloquial.

One of the most memorable jobs I ever did was an interview with some prisoners about drug usage. It certainly tested my knowledge for colloqualisms and, shall we say, colourful language and I did have to send the translation back to the customer with an advisory note! It certainly felt odd using such strong language in a professional context!
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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Italian to English
Sometimes, but not on a regular basis Jul 7, 2011

Most of the documents I translate are written in "proper" Italian, but I do sometimes get jobs that include expressions in dialect. I have quite a good understanding of Neapolitan, having lived in the area for a long time, but I struggle with some of the others and often have to ask for clarification.
I once translated a transcription of an interview with an early 20th century convict from a small village in Southern Italy. All his responses were in dialect and it was very hard work, but i
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Most of the documents I translate are written in "proper" Italian, but I do sometimes get jobs that include expressions in dialect. I have quite a good understanding of Neapolitan, having lived in the area for a long time, but I struggle with some of the others and often have to ask for clarification.
I once translated a transcription of an interview with an early 20th century convict from a small village in Southern Italy. All his responses were in dialect and it was very hard work, but interesting too!
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Once Jul 7, 2011

in a contentious and complex divorce case I had to translate a few letters exchanged between husband and wife and they were, to put it mildly, colourful!

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very rarely Jul 7, 2011

But I have to be careful not to use them myself in my dealings with clients.

 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:26
Italian to English
In memoriam
Quite often Jul 7, 2011

Colloquialisms and regionalisms crop up quite often in the newspaper articles, wine-related articles, websites and guides, and even some of the books I translate. If I don't know the expression, my dictionaries are no help and I can't get a straight answer out of Mr Google (you can usually find such expressions on the web but their meaning and/or connotations may be unclear), I ring up one of my Italian "informers".

Thank goodness for flat-rate phone tariffs!


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:26
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Rarely Jul 7, 2011

Ocassionallly ... when I translate verbatims and other marketing / advertising texts, press releases, etc.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No Jul 7, 2011

Not as part of my work for clients.

However, there are quite a few colloquialisms in my own works which are being/ to be translated.


 

Eser Perkins  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 15:26
Member (2010)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Often enough Jul 7, 2011

My first encounter with this kind of challenge was a test translation I did for a video subtitling agency. It was a long time ago. Since then, I turned in another sample translation to another subtitling agency which was a collection of movie quotes, and I think my translation of the famous Casablanca quote "Here's lookin' at you, kid" got me the job. I signed with this agency to translate movies, sitcoms and the like, and that is an enormous supply of slang, colloquialisms, puns and not to ment... See more
My first encounter with this kind of challenge was a test translation I did for a video subtitling agency. It was a long time ago. Since then, I turned in another sample translation to another subtitling agency which was a collection of movie quotes, and I think my translation of the famous Casablanca quote "Here's lookin' at you, kid" got me the job. I signed with this agency to translate movies, sitcoms and the like, and that is an enormous supply of slang, colloquialisms, puns and not to mention the cultural stereotypes. I also translated a collection of Nasreddin Hodja stories where I encountered many culture-specific sayings and clichés mixed with archaisms and old-fashioned (old as in medieval) slang which posed an enormous challenge not to sound patronizing and too streetwise for the context. I do get other texts in marketing field, and also the newsletters where the language is almost as informal as the daily spoken language which, by the way, is full of field-specific jargon, short-cut terms related to that particular industry, since the target audience is the employees of the company that issues the newsletters.Collapse


 

Amy Duncan (X)  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Quite often Jul 7, 2011

I translate books, voiceovers from concerts, marketing promotions, etc., quite a bit, and occasionally surveys. The surveys have the most slang and usually quite a few "naughty" words. I enjoy all of this immensely, because I'm quite good at deciphering slang.

Next week I have to proofread a list of words having to do with smelly feet, bad breath, stinky armpits and other unmentionables!


 

Elena Novski  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:26
Russian to English
+ ...
Other Jul 7, 2011

Sometimes, for social interpreting, which is not my core business, though

 

Patricia Charnet
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
English to French
no never Jul 7, 2011

I must admit that it's something I've never encountered

either it's because of my specialisations: medicine and law - everybody is nice to each other - at least in writing

or simply because my main language combination is English to French - and I've only dealt so far with English gentlemen and ladies who maintained a good entente cordiale <
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I must admit that it's something I've never encountered

either it's because of my specialisations: medicine and law - everybody is nice to each other - at least in writing

or simply because my main language combination is English to French - and I've only dealt so far with English gentlemen and ladies who maintained a good entente cordiale

or a combination of the above (I've had a few divorce cases involving a few British and French subjects, but so far they were always polite ... and just chasing the money or disposal of the estate in a amicable fashion


I don't like slang anyway and it's fine for me
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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:26
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once Jul 7, 2011

I translated a screenplay. It was fun.

 

Nora Escoms  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 09:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do. Jul 7, 2011

In addition to business / legal texts, I translate books for teenagers and sometimes children as well, more or less regularly. They can be quite challenging to translate, and I thoroughly enjoy them!

 

isabel murillo  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, always Jul 8, 2011

I translate books. Contemporary fiction books always offer challenging slang. And when I translate non-fiction, marketing and business colloquialism is the rule!

 


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