Poll: Do you find yourself mentally translating when you read something in your source language?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:22
SITE STAFF
Jun 11, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you find yourself mentally translating when you read something in your source language?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Jun 11, 2017

In fact, I found myself doing so this morning when looking at a kudoz query, which contained what I found an unusual usage of the verb "arrojar", corresponding to its 8th definition in the DRAE: 8. tr. Dicho de una cuenta, de un documento, etc.: Presentar, dar de sí como consecuencia o resultado.

I keep finding myself checking out movie subtitles as well to spot the mistakes, but I suppose most translators do think things like that.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Hardly ever Jun 11, 2017

neilmac wrote:

I keep finding myself checking out movie subtitles as well to spot the mistakes, but I suppose most translators do think things like that.


Indeed, I do the same.icon_wink.gif Sometimes they literally jump at me, especially when they're not "minor" mistakes that might be due to having to shorten the subtitle (and the sometimes endless sentences), but mistakes that change the content.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Sometimes Jun 11, 2017

neilmac wrote:

I keep finding myself checking out movie subtitles as well to spot the mistakes, but I suppose most translators do think things like that.


Me too, I do exactly the same!


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
However Jun 11, 2017

Occasionally I find it difficult to remember whether I read, heard, or watched something--and in what original language)

 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 01:22
Member (2005)
English to German
Very rarely Jun 11, 2017

... but I can't read numbers in my target language aloud any more, because they're the other way round than in practically all other languages.

Many Germans have the bad habit of reading phone numbers in chunks, so not one-two-three-four, but twelve-thirtyfour, and that on top of numbers being the wrong way round (four-and-thirty instead of thirtyfour).

That's not mentally translating, that is more of a complete breakdown of mental translation, but I avoid acoustic communication as much as I can anywayicon_biggrin.gif


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only rarely Jun 11, 2017

When I'm reading (or listening) I tend to be 100% focused on the content.

 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 01:22
Member (2005)
English to German
What if the content is boring? Jun 11, 2017

My Latin teacher always said he translated the sermon into Latin in his head when it was so boring that he needed to distract himself from the boredom. (Just not going to church in the first place was apparently not an option.)

 

Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 20:22
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
It's worst Jun 11, 2017

Sometimes I "see" source language when I read something translated into my target language and I start to rephrase it.

 

europa-services  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:22
German to English
Sometimes Jun 11, 2017

neilmac wrote:

I keep finding myself checking out movie subtitles as well to spot the mistakes, but I suppose most translators do think things like that.


I do this too! But I try not to otherwise it disturbs the 'flow' and I risk over-analysing, which makes me lose track of the context and overall meaning.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...


Posted via
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Isn't that what low-level speakers do? Jun 11, 2017

If something is in French, I don't translate it into English; I think in French. It's mentally translating speech that holds low-level speakers back - you just don't have the time. Mind you, interpreters seem to find the time. Maybe that's why I found that that wasn't the job for me.

Of course, if it's already been translated, it's difficult to ignore any errors or really nice phrasing.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:22
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never, but I Naturally do Jun 11, 2017

I don't think this is a voluntary thing at all. The person does that automatically.
I think I don't, since the source language flows naturally in and out. But if you study how your brain works, it goes naturally to the native language, and it does that translation, even if you're not aware of it.

[Edited at 2017-06-11 19:20 GMT]


 


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