Beginner Translator - how to handle missing phrases in STs?
Thread poster: BarbaraRogstad
BarbaraRogstad
Local time: 00:53
French to English
+ ...
Aug 7, 2008

Ignore obvious (and LARGE) sections of missing text in a Source Text?

I'm currently an undergrad and while I was abroad in Switzerland I took an (supposedly introductory, though I'm not so sure) English-German Translation class.

While working on my final project for this class I noticed that there were missing phrases from one of the 'source texts' he gave us. (I searched the original source text and found that it was an article from Welt-Online) Not only are there a few missing phrases but there are missing paragraphs as well AND he seems to have inserted a photo caption into the introductory paragraph...

I noticed this earlier in the project when I discovered that one article in particular was actually two completely different pieces of writing, from two different authors, at different times of the year, and for different purposes, cut and pasted into one big article.

I'm not sure if I should ignore this and just try to translate the given "article" as-is or if I should bring my findings to the attention of the professor. I have never worked as a translator before, this is my first experience at trying to do anything more complex than minor phrases in my beginning level German classes and so I am not sue how an experienced translator would handle such a situation.



What would you suggest?



[Edited at 2008-08-07 23:01]


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
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Moving this thread... Aug 7, 2008

to "Translation Theory and Practice"

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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:53
Member (2008)
Russian to English
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In the commercial world Aug 7, 2008

One generally works from the source text one has. It's not uncommon for clients to simply send a few unrelated paragraphs to a translator because the client already has the intermediate paragraphs. You can tell your client that you seem to be missing some pieces, but your answer is likely to be "I don't have anything better." or something along those lines.

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:53
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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It is a class project, right? It is probably intentional Aug 8, 2008

From what you wrote I understand that this is a class project. You got the text from your professor/instructor to translate.
I think it is very likely that he prepared the text like that intentionally, to test your translation skills from various aspects. One article probably wouldn't have all the challenges he wanted to give you.
Another possible reason for doing this is to avoid copyright issues. Using/distributing a piece of writing without permission of the author/publisher may create copyright problems.

I think it is this simple. You can mention it in an attached note, when you hand in your project, that you noticed inconsistencies (if you did) or obviously missing parts (if you did), I don't think that hurts.

[Módosítva: 2008-08-08 00:20]


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BarbaraRogstad
Local time: 00:53
French to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Should I translate it as though it is a flawless piece of writing? Aug 8, 2008

to Katalin Horvath McClure:

Would you suggest that I just translate the given article as one, flawless, piece of writing and then notate that there seemed to be some inconsistencies and due to editing information might have been lost? Having something to do with copyright infringement makes a lot of sense but wouldn't he insert (...) in between missing parts or leave the paragraphs separate instead of formatting them to appear as one, solid, article? I suppose this is also where I'm torn - to translate each supposed paragraph as if it were standing alone or not... :/


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:53
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I would ask the professor Aug 8, 2008

I am wondering what keeps you from asking these questions from your professor. You have a very good reason for these questions, it is not something that you SHOULD know, and if it was a job, it would be pretty much your obligation to clear up this with your client. Is the professor not available, or does he not welcome such inquiries?
Based on my grad school experience, some professors are actually the opposite - they encourage and reward students that use the office hours to visit them and ask questions.
But, it could be different based on the personality of the professor, the school customs, etc.


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