Source text is partially translated
Thread poster: Diana Kokoszka

Diana Kokoszka
United States
Local time: 07:47
Polish to English
+ ...
Sep 19, 2015

Dear colleagues,


I am translating an official letter in which some of the source text is written in the target language. I do now know why the person wrote part of the letter in the source and the other part in the target language. It starts in Polish (source language), then there is a part in English, suddenly back to Polish, and finally English. I would like to know if you follow any procedurę in such case to indicate that the target text is 'not your work' but it was included in the original?

There are also some minor missellings in the text. Should the translator correct them?

Thank you for your help.

[Edited at 2015-09-19 18:03 GMT]


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 12:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Suggestion Sep 19, 2015

Extended quotations in literary works are often handled by block indents, but that seems too formal and would interfere with the look of the text.

Individual TL terms in a source text are usually italicized, and maybe this is the best way to handle extended sections as well. You'd need to add a translator's note saying something like "All text in italics is copied verbatim from the original source text. The italics are my addition." Of course, if there are italics in the ST, that is at best messy and you might resort to using square brackets instead.

The whole extended quotation could be followed by [sic] (or [sic]) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic but again that seems like overkill. Minor misspellings might individually take [sic] but I'd be inclined to leave them and use a blanket phrase such as e.g. "Copied verbatim from the original source text including all minor misspellings, errors and idiosyncrasies".


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:47
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Suggestion 2 Sep 20, 2015

Hello,

As a Sworn Translator I usually have to cope with many "accidents" like this one. When there are parts in the target language in the source text, I add this:


[text in (target language) in the original]

Good translating!


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:47
Member
Italian to English
Contact the client Sep 20, 2015

To avoid any misunderstanding, I would contact the client and ask how they want the text to be handled. It may even be there by mistake and they haven't realised - stranger things have happened!

It also shows diligence on your part, and prevents any risk of adopting a strategy that the client is not happy with.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:47
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The safety net Sep 20, 2015

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

To avoid any misunderstanding, I would contact the client and ask how they want the text to be handled. It may even be there by mistake and they haven't realised - stranger things have happened!

It also shows diligence on your part, and prevents any risk of adopting a strategy that the client is not happy with.


It happened yesterday. I was working EN > PT for an American client (via an American agency). I happen to know that someone else is working on that same material EN > ES.

Though I never studied Spanish formally, I learned to speak it quite fluently, by osmosis, during several events in my life.

So I translated these sections. My reviewer (a long-standing friend of mine, however directly hired by the agency in this case) marked them with the note "This was not requested to be translated."

As a translator, I'll always recall one detail from one French-made Citroën car I had in Brazil. Its owner's manual had been translated into European Portuguese. As it's legally one and the same language, that would suffice for compliance to Brazilian laws on imports, though our PT-BR "freios" (= brakes) were called "travões" in PT-PT, plus countless other variant quirks all over it. Nevertheless, two half-pages there had been left in French!

Then, for instance, I can't reliably and quickly tell apart any Nordic language from another. Likewise, it would be acceptable that an EN-only speaker could fail to readily identify ES within a PT text. Though the presence of Ç-cedillas and ~tildes is a reliable indicator of PT-and-not-ES, their absence is not a fail-proof sign that it's ES.

So, for safety, I did it, and added a note to my reviewer's comment, saying that these unwanted translations were done (for a good, constant client like this), but not reviewed. In case of a slip, they will be in PT anyway.

[Edited at 2015-09-20 13:24 GMT]


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