Marking sentence already in target language
Thread poster: Anne Lee

Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:42
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
May 4, 2005

How should I indicate that a quote from a letter in my legal text was already in the target language? The quote is in italics, but readers may assume the italics are there because it is a quote, rather than that the sentence was already in the target language. It is not obvious from the text that the quote was originally in the target language, and I am not sure how best to indicate this. My text is a legal document and it is important that readers realise the quote is in fact a word-by-word rendition rather than a translation. Simply adding (sic) behind the sentence feels doesn't make it clear that I, the translator, added the 'sic' rather than the solicitor who wrote the text.

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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
I use footnotes or brackets May 4, 2005

For example:

The bread was stale, the tea was bitter, and the cheese was more appropriate for rats, but the attidude was always "no problem!"*

__________________
* Stated in English, copied here verbatim


If footnotes are not possible, I use brackets:

The bread was stale, the tea was bitter, and the cheese was more appropriate for rats, but the attidude was always "[in English] no problem!"


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:42
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good suggestion May 4, 2005

I particularly like the first suggestion. I noticed that those sentences contain grammatical errors so I'd like to make it very clear! Thank you.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Use notes in the text May 5, 2005

Anne Lee wrote:
How should I indicate that a quote from a letter in my legal text was already in the target language? ... Simply adding (sic) behind the sentence feels doesn't make it clear that I, the translator, added the 'sic' rather than the solicitor who wrote the text.


If this was a certified translation, i'd put [Next paragraph originally in English] before the paragraph and [Previous paragraph originally in English] after the paragraph. I wouldn't use footnotes unless you are absolutely sure that they would be preserved in the various processing stages of the document. In a general legal translation, bracketing the text as indicated may not be necessary, as long as it's clear which piece of text is untranslated.


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Marking sentence already in target language

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