Poll: Do you have to translate informal language and slang as part of your work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:44
SITE STAFF
Sep 25, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you have to translate informal language and slang as part of your work?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 07:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Sep 25, 2014

Informal language: quite often, when translating marketing and advertising material and newspaper articles, for example;
Slang: very occasionally as I am not up-to-date with youth slang and actually this is not my cup of tea, but if we are talking about professional slang or jargon it will be quite a different story...

[Edited at 2014-09-25 09:19 GMT]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 09:44
Turkish to English
+ ...
Very rarely Sep 25, 2014

I am primarily a legal translator, so most of my work involves highly formal language. However, I once translated an indictment that included lengthy quotes from the transcripts of intercepted phone calls between some gangsters, and some of the language was very colourful indeed!

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:44
English to Polish
Often Sep 25, 2014

I often work with mobile/Internet texts of all sorts, and sometimes slag is required.

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Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:44
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
Subtitling, fairly often Sep 25, 2014

...whether films, series or documentaries, ranging from the fairly informal to the downright offensive! It's always an interesting exercise, and one that can fuel much reflection on different languages/different world-views.

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Jacek Sierakowski
Belgium
Local time: 08:44
English to French
+ ...
Do gibberish source texts count? Sep 25, 2014



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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
All the time Sep 25, 2014

You should see those dry, sober central bank reports before we get out claws on them.

"Oh ****, the ******* economy's gone to ****, what the **** are we gonna ******* do about it, Stefan?"

"****** if I know, Lars, let's wait and see what those ******* at the ******* ECB do first!"


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 16:44
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Ha ha ha Sep 25, 2014

Chris S wrote:

You should see those dry, sober central bank reports before we get out claws on them.

"Oh ****, the ******* economy's gone to ****, what the **** are we gonna ******* do about it, Stefan?"

"****** if I know, Lars, let's wait and see what those ******* at the ******* ECB do first!"



Niiiice

Unfortunately, no 'effing and blinding' in the technical stuff I translate. ;-(
However, a lot of what I write is quite similar to the following:

"Once the cock is installed on the main body, apply a generous amount of lubricant to prevent air leakage and bring the mating surfaces into contact with each other. Next, firmly insert and tighten the screws in the indicated order being careful not to apply excessive force. Doing so might break the male screws or cause excessive stress to both mating parts."

This is the closest I can get to XXX English in what I translate. Isn't technical translation fun!


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
I guess... Sep 25, 2014

Julian Holmes wrote:

Chris S wrote:

You should see those dry, sober central bank reports before we get out claws on them.

"Oh ****, the ******* economy's gone to ****, what the **** are we gonna ******* do about it, Stefan?"

"****** if I know, Lars, let's wait and see what those ******* at the ******* ECB do first!"



Niiiice

Unfortunately, no 'effing and blinding' in the technical stuff I translate. ;-(
However, a lot of what I write is quite similar to the following:

"Once the cock is installed on the main body, apply a generous amount of lubricant to prevent air leakage and bring the mating surfaces into contact with each other. Next, firmly insert and tighten the screws in the indicated order being careful not to apply excessive force. Doing so might break the male screws or cause excessive stress to both mating parts."

This is the closest I can get to XXX English in what I translate. Isn't technical translation fun!


I guess it's really just a question of attitude. Thanks for the laugh!


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:44
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Quite often Sep 25, 2014

Victoria Britten wrote:

...whether films, series or documentaries, ranging from the fairly informal to the downright offensive! It's always an interesting exercise, and one that can fuel much reflection on different languages/different world-views.


Subtitling work usually contains every day life's "street" language, so yes, this does happen quite often. However, translating corporate scripts for dubbing is a different story altogether. In any case, this is quite interesting work that reveals the natural talk of every type of people.


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Elena Novski  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:44
Member
Russian to English
+ ...
No, never Sep 25, 2014

I used to have such an experience in interpreting assignments, but at some point I chose not to. Never in translations.

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Emin Arı  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 10:44
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
just once in the past Sep 26, 2014

well it was quite interesting job. a web site admin decided to add filtering capability in their forums, so they requested me to add all swears and even blasphemy. ı am sure i will never get a second chance to get paid by swearing in my native language

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:44
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Statements by witnesses Sep 26, 2014

Occasionally I'm asked to translate police reports containing statements by witnesses of an incident, crime, street fight, etc. which can involve colloquialisms, "bad" language, etc. Makes a refreshing (and challenging) change from annual reports and accounts!

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:44
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Easier if author of original helps Sep 26, 2014

I translated a novel including a scene in which the hero hears two villains plotting against him, mostly in Russian underworld slang. Fortunately the author, foreseeing the problem, supplied a glossary of what the slang terms meant along with the translation. I translated it into American-influenced British criminal slang.

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