US gold medalist’s ‘stoked,’ ‘sick,’ technical lingo lost in translation?

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:45
Russian to English
+ ...
I personally think his speach might be untranslatable--in the long run. Feb 12, 2014

He is a very nice athlete, but he speaks in an idiolect--not even slang--most of the time at least. He has just his own way of phrasing things. The American English "sick" has not that much to do with the Russian "bolnoy" in this context, nor do the other Russian words mentioned-- thay don't have that much to do with the English words used by the athlete at all.

Team translators don't usually help each other, but rather work in a rotational manner-- 45 minutes each--usually.

[Edited at 2014-02-12 17:45 GMT]


Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Local time: 22:45
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Simple slang Feb 17, 2014

I'm not sure I agree with the previous comment - to me, the word "sick" is pretty established slang (that trick flip was wicked sick!), although I admit to having heard it far more among people younger than me. It is also clear that the interpreters know that sick (and the other words) are used in a slang context here - they are simply illustrating the point of how difficult it is to find the matching terms.

I think translators working for these events should have an excellent grasp of slang in both languages and keep up to date with it - after all, Olympic snowboarders are unlikely to need impeccable language skills and slang is a big part of their subculture. As the article states - the language is considered technical - jargon specific to the field.


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US gold medalist’s ‘stoked,’ ‘sick,’ technical lingo lost in translation?

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