Subtitling and cultural references
Thread poster: Morgane ROY

Morgane ROY
France
Local time: 09:04
English to French
Dec 11, 2013

Hello,

I am studying legal translation and I am working on subtitling into French a speech from a British minister in the House of Commons, which deals with the theme of public health. There are many references to regulatory bodies or institutions in the medical area and I did not found any official translations for them. So I wonder if it is possible to keep the original names or not because I am not sure viewers will be able to understand.

Thank you,

Morgane


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:04
Russian to English
+ ...
If they don't understand something they wouldn't understand in French to begin with, Dec 12, 2013

as some complex legal terms, or names of certain institutions, it is their problem.They may want to look the terms, or the names, up in a legal, monolingual dictionary. I think you should translate the names in t he parenthesis, at least, even though with subtitling, the problem is that there is always this concern about space -- some words get even eliminated. On the other hand, when translating non-fiction, especially legal content, you are supposed to translate everything.

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Texte Style
Local time: 09:04
French to English
What's the point of the translation? Dec 12, 2013

Morgane, the answer probably depends on what the client wants to do with your translation. Or rather, since they'll be sticking it into the video, it depends on what they want to do with the video. If for example it's to be used in an academic setting you will probably need to be very specific. Can't think of any other specific usages right now but there could well be cases where you'd simply need to give a rough translation so the viewer is vaguely aware that certain situations are governed by law.

Any time I get a translation and can't tell what it will be used for, I ask the client before agreeing to the job. My approach may vary considerably according to their answer.


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:04
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
Agree with TextStyle Dec 13, 2013

This is a decision your client needs to make. Any approach can be the right one if it's the one the client expects. Depending on how fast the speaker is talking, you probably won't have room to include the English names of agencies plus a French explanation. Interesting dilemma, but definitely one for the client to decide.
Best,
Elizabeth


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Morgane ROY
France
Local time: 09:04
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
No client Dec 13, 2013

Thank you all for your answers.
It's a difficult point because I'm subtitling for an academic translation project and I don't have any client to refer to...I suppose I have to think about the potential viewers of the video. So is it better to consider viewers as lay people or as specialists of the field in question? I would be tempted to choose the first option but it's the most difficult as I have a space limit and I can't include too many explanations... I really need to answer this question as it is the most problematic part of my work and I agree with you Elizabeth, this is an interesting dilemma.


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 10:04
Member (2005)
Estonian to English
+ ...
NHS Dec 13, 2013

I think there are three ways to go about it.

Let's say the term in question is National Health Service.

If you cannot 1) use an official translation (although I'm sure that EU translations in Eurlex have dealt with all of the bodies existing in the UK and that a dual document search in English-French is bound to give some answers),
then you can translate it as 2) national health care service NHS (basically translating the name and adding the British acronym - this should fit subtitles and you can later use just the acronym)
or 3) just explain the function, e.g. "British public health care system"


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gabriela_k  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 10:04
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Narrative Subtitles Jan 10, 2014

Hello,
I am really sorry if this is not the appropriate place where to ask this question but I am new to subtitling and I have been given a project to translate the subtitles of a movie. However, they want me to mark certain things as narrative and I do not know what type of sentences I have to mark as narrative. Is it direct speech?
Thank you very much in advance! Your help is highly appreciated.


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Texte Style
Local time: 09:04
French to English
what is narrative? Jan 10, 2014

gabriela_k wrote:

Hello,
I am really sorry if this is not the appropriate place where to ask this question but I am new to subtitling and I have been given a project to translate the subtitles of a movie. However, they want me to mark certain things as narrative and I do not know what type of sentences I have to mark as narrative. Is it direct speech?
Thank you very much in advance! Your help is highly appreciated.


You ought really open your own post since it's a different question.

Other than that, narrative is not direct speech. It's when you have an actor telling a story, maybe filling in background information to the main theme of the film, like "I first learned to skate as a kid in north London" as you see the actor swooping along on his skateboard. He is not telling someone about when he learned to skate, you don't see his lips moving.


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 10:04
Member (2005)
Estonian to English
+ ...
forced narrative Jan 15, 2014

Forced narrative is text on the screen that is included in the translation (film title, headline in a newspaper, "two months later...", "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." etc)

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