Quotes - translating them exactly
Thread poster: CAROLINE GUTIERREZ

CAROLINE GUTIERREZ  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 19, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I would be so greatful if you could answer my question:

If there is a quote in your source text, which you can't translate simply/ literally, how should you address this?

I have an article to translate which has been written based on a translated report that was written originally in my target language. The concluding paragraph contains the words: 'the report stated...(and then the text)'. I can't find the exact wording in the report in my target language as it is hundreds of pages long. Obviously I want to keep close to the original, however the wording is quite tricky and nonsensical in my target language, therefore needs moving around a bit. It will be wrong for me to say 'the report stated' or similarly imply a quote.

In this case, is it appropriate to leave a translator's note re this? If so what's the best way of addressing it without it sounding like you can't translate?


Thanks in advance for your help, much appreciated!

Caroline


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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:08
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Find the original Jul 19, 2012

Even if the original report is hundreds of pages long, you should be able to search it to find the quote concerned by using carefully chosen key words.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:08
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, I agree Jul 19, 2012

You should absolutely find the quote. You could use computer search functions, so you would not have to read the whole report. Any translator's notes would not be appropriate here, really.









[Edited at 2012-07-19 12:40 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:08
Hebrew to English
Painstaking but necessary Jul 19, 2012

You have it quite easy since you have the body of text which contains the quote, you just have to find it.

As suggested already, use a keyword (more unusual the better i.e. don't search for "the") to pinpoint the correct quotation.

If you don't do this it will just look like you can't be bothered, and how professional does that look...


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:08
Hebrew to English
Also.... Jul 19, 2012

Are you sure it's a direct quote and not paraphrasing?

..."the report stated...." doesn't necessarily have to be followed by direct quotation; they could follow that with paraphrasing.

Obviously if there's quotation marks it pretty much removes that possibility, but it's worth checking.


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CAROLINE GUTIERREZ  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jul 19, 2012

Thanks everyone! Yes it is a quote (with speach marks)...I shall search away!

Apreciate all the advice, thanks again!


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:08
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Note it Jul 19, 2012

I often use [back translation from (name of language)] in such situations. My experience has been that often one of these is going on:

a. Someone is quoting the original because it sounds impressive but the report doesn't actually have the verbiage in question.
b. Someone misunderstood the original so the original is being misquoted.
c. It was in an old version but not in the current version.

You should make reasonable efforts to find the original, but if it isn't there, you can't find it.


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Quotes - translating them exactly

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