Updating facts and dates of source text in translation
Thread poster: Cathleen Poehler
Cathleen Poehler
Canada
Local time: 23:19
French to English
+ ...
Aug 16, 2014

Hello,

If a source text written a while back talks about the “5” billion people on the planet, should or could the translator intervene and write 6 billion (or whatever it is on that day)?

This is an article to be published in a book. The readers may not even suspect that they're reading an older text.

If I change it to 6 billion, is that would then qualify the translated version as a "revised and translated" version?

Any ideas are welcome !


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SBlack
French to English
+ ...
Translate as is but point out to client Aug 16, 2014

Your job is to render the ideas of the source text, but most clients appreciate an attentive eye and view fact checking as added value. A small minority, however, gets huffy and may resent your input, so be prepared for either reaction. But don't unilaterally substitute a different figure in your translation, even if you know it is correct.

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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Only with client approval Aug 16, 2014

No, you should not change facts and figures if it is not part of the job you are asked to do. When there is a reason to comment on the texts to be translated, I send such comments to the client in a separate note, so they can decide what to do about it. Most reasonable clients will appreciate the attention, and by sending it in a separate note, you don't risk trouble because of altering facts or figures in the translation.

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Cathleen Poehler
Canada
Local time: 23:19
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
yes...but Aug 16, 2014

Thanks everyone.

I should note that the client hired me (the translator) and an editor to make such decisions. They cannot and don't want to decide how to handle this. That's why I'm trying to find an answer on my own.

I thought that if something is introduced from the start as being a "revised version" the content could be changed in such case....no? Or, if I leave the original content, how exactly should I inform the reader. A footnote maybe, i.e., a "translator's note" ?


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 05:19
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
"They cannot and don't want to decide how to handle this." (sic) Aug 17, 2014

Cathleen Poehler wrote:
I should note that the client hired me (the translator) and an editor to make such decisions. They cannot and don't want to decide how to handle this. That's why I'm trying to find an answer on my own.


I'm sorry Cathleen, but this is ridiculous.

Unless they're not the actual end client, they can and must decide.
If they don't want to, I wouldn't give them the time of day.

And yet they go to the trouble and expense of hiring not only a translator but also an editor without apparently knowingwhat the text is for or what they want?

Think "barge poles".





[Edited at 2014-08-17 02:25 GMT]


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:19
English to Polish
+ ...
Not part of translation Aug 19, 2014

Facts, fact checking etc. are not the translator's responsibility. Some agencies will try to make it your responsibility, but you should not accept such contracts. My terms explicitly state I'm not responsible for fact checking — or for the client's own decisions. Should probably add non-decisions to this, it seems.

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