How do I translate a longish quotation within an academic text (ESP>EN)
Thread poster: anya doherty

anya doherty  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 9, 2011

I am translating an academic paper - Economic History - and within the text there is a longish quotation from another source book, also in Spanish which is the original language of both the book quoted and the academic paper. The quote appears within quoation marks and indented from the rest of the text. What should I do?
I can't remember what the good practice is - to translate the quotation without putting it in quotation marks - rather leaving it as a paraphrase of what that autor stated? Or another option?
There are no translated editions of the source material quoted, so it's not a case of looking for the existing English translation.
thanks for any suggestions.


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:48
German to English
need to consult author/publisher Mar 9, 2011

Hello Anya,
I don't think that there could be any reason to paraphrase the quotation. If you are worried about copyright-issues, then you should contact the author of your article - it is generally his or her responsibility to get permissions.

You should look at the Notes for Contributors in the publishing journal or ask the Spanish author or the English publisher whether the quote needs to be translated at all, whether both versions (translation and original) should appear, and which should be in the running text and which in a note.

There are not any hard and fast rules regarding these questions.

Sincerely,
Michael


 

Alexandra Lindqvist
Local time: 22:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
A combination Mar 9, 2011

I agree with asking the client. However if this for some reason is not possible I would suggest to translate with no quation marks and puttning the real text in quatation marks in a paretheses afterwards. This way noone can relly complain.

 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:48
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why change it? Mar 9, 2011

If it's a quotation in the original, it should be a quotation in the translation. I can see no justification for turning a quotation into a paraphrase. If there's no official published translation of the quoted text, you'll have to translate it yourself.

You should follow the typographical conventions of the target language (and any style guide the client may have instructed you to use).

Usually in English, lengthy quotations are set as block quotes: indented at both sides with no quotation marks.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:48
French to English
+ ...
Translate Mar 9, 2011

Agree with Steven -- assuming the Spanish quotation is actually the original, then translate into English.

It's just worth double checking that the text you see is actually the original and not itself a translation (a Spanish academic might actually publish in English), because if it was a translation and the original was in English, you'd want to track down the original.


 

Jean-Pierre Artigau
Canada
Local time: 15:48
English to French
+ ...
Some rules appear in the "Canadian Style" Mar 10, 2011

There are no universal rules concerning quotations and things alike. However the Translation Bureau of the Canadian government has published the "Canadian Style", a manual where they define the (arbitrary) rules to be followed by their translators in English texts:
http://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tcdnstyl-chap?lang=eng&lettr=chap_catlog&info0=8&i=1&srchtxt=


 

Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:48
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
Translate! Mar 10, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:

Agree with Steven -- assuming the Spanish quotation is actually the original, then translate into English.

It's just worth double checking that the text you see is actually the original and not itself a translation (a Spanish academic might actually publish in English), because if it was a translation and the original was in English, you'd want to track down the original.


This is exactly what I think.
Translating without quotation marks (a variation of the "zu Gutenberg" method icon_wink.gif ) is not only unjustified but also unacceptable.
Check with the author concerning intellectual property issues and translate as it is. Citations are the steps in the ladder of the academic career. The author of the original text will be probably thankful. There might be an issue with the publisher, though.


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:48
German to English
may not be necessary to translate Mar 10, 2011

Hello Anya,
If the paper is being published in a specialist journal and the audience can be expected to have a basic knowledge of Spanish, then the quote MAY not need to be translated at all (for example, MLA Guide to Scholarly Publishing [2008] 3.9.8 or New Hart's Rules [2005] 9.7).
There are a lot of scholars who can deal with a paragraph in a foreign language, particularly when it is subsequently discussed in the preferred language, but still benefit from the translation of a complete article.

The simplest solution really is to ask the publisher or the client: You need to know what house style or styleguide to use for a whole host of other questions. If you are working for an agency, tell them to ask the client to name a styleguide or provide other guidance.

Sincerely,
Michael

[Bearbeitet am 2011-03-10 10:50 GMT]


 

Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 21:48
French to English
IF you translate, do so in a footnote Mar 10, 2011

Agree with Michael that depending on subject matter and audience (is this a specialized journal on the Spanish economy? then readers can be assumed to understand Spanish). Just like in an art history journal in English original quotes in French could be left in French because most art historians know French (it is often an academic requirement in that field of study).

So...I would leave the quote in the original Spanish and -- if necessary, ask the author -- footnote a tranlsation specifying that it is the "author's own translation".

Do not simply translate the quote in the running body of the text (either with or without quotes).

I often have an even stickier problem with academic papers in France (marketing and finance). The source literature is almost always in English and the French authors do their own free translations of the quotes and do not provide the original English...pain in the *%=+#!


 

anya doherty  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Translate within quotation marks Mar 10, 2011

Thanks everyone for the contributions. I have decided that the best option is to translate the source quotation into English, leaving it in quotation marks - and not to paraphrase. There is no existing EN translation of the source material.
I agree that audience is an imporant consideration - this quotation is quite lengthy and the article forms part of a book to be published in UK by an academic editorial. I don't want to rely on potential readers having enough understanding of ESP.


 

Bilbo Baggins
Catalan to English
+ ...
Two issues: what exactly the quoted author wrote and what the article author read Mar 10, 2011

Steven Capsuto wrote:

If it's a quotation in the original, it should be a quotation in the translation. I can see no justification for turning a quotation into a paraphrase. If there's no official published translation of the quoted text, you'll have to translate it yourself.



The point of quotation marks is that they indicate the exact words of the author. If the author wrote in Spanish AND the author of the academic read that Spanish, it is wrong to imply that the author wrote in English and also that the article's author did his/her research in English.

If the article author read the Spanish version of the publication, I would not mislead anyone into thinking he read an official translation to EN, and would leave the bibliographical item as it stands. I would therefore reproduce the quotation in Spanish and add a footnote with an unofficial translation and indicate that it is an unofficial translation.

If the quotation is very long I would discuss possible solutions with the author. EG, it could be shortened or cut up into parts and interleaved with paraphrasing of the other parts. Provided it was made clear (with in-text citations) that all those ideas came from that author, it would be a perfectly acceptable solution.


 

Jean-Pierre Artigau
Canada
Local time: 15:48
English to French
+ ...
Mention it is a translation Mar 10, 2011

If you do so, I suggest you add an asterisk and a footnote saying this is a translation.

 

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 16:48
French to English
+ ...
in the case of a thesis Mar 10, 2011

I know this can vary by country or even university, and this is an additional note, but when it is a thesis, the original quote remains in the original language in the body of text, and the footnote contains the translation.

I don't think this would be practical or logical for an article however. But just so you know that this format also exists.


 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:48
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sure, there are exceptions Mar 12, 2011

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:
So...I would leave the quote in the original Spanish and -- if necessary, ask the author -- footnote a tranlsation specifying that it is the "author's own translation".


That would make sense if this were a translation for an erudite Spanish philology journal or a treatise on philosophy. But for an economic text, 99% of the time it's best to translate between quotation marks.

In any case, the translation isn't the author's. It's the translator's.

[Edited at 2011-03-12 18:42 GMT]


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How do I translate a longish quotation within an academic text (ESP>EN)

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search