Translating free-form Internet messages.
Thread poster: Irene Johnson

Irene Johnson  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:24
Member (2014)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 21

I'm translating a book (French to English) that contains some messages written by young people in the free-form style frequently found in Internet messaging (lack of capitalization and punctuation, misspellings, etc.). The book is a non-fiction work on a methodology for treating pedophile tendencies. The style of the Internet messages is unrelated to the methodology; the author simply inserted the messages into the text with no changes, or even a [sic] notation.

My question is, should I attempt to reproduce the writing style in the translation, or should I translate the message in proper English? In either case, would it be advisable to include a translator's note regarding the style?


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 16:24
English to Croatian
+ ...
Ask the author. Apr 21

Contact the editor, author or project manager and ask them for guidance.

If the original author decided to quote the exact message/style, not sure why you shouldn't but again your safest bet is to ask. Ask yourself: What did the original author want to achieve by maintaining the original internet-message style, and when you know the answer, achieve the same thing in your translation using any method needed.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:24
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Ditto! Apr 21

Lingua 5B wrote:

Contact the editor, author or project manager and ask them for guidance.

If the original author decided to quote the exact message/style, not sure why you shouldn't but again your safest bet is to ask. Ask yourself: What did the original author want to achieve by maintaining the original internet-message style, and when you know the answer, achieve the same thing in your translation using any method needed.


Ask the author and if he/she needs advice search what other authors have done under similar circumstances.


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Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 17:24
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Carry across the intended message Apr 21

I personally wouldn't bother asking the author or publisher. The broken language is there for a reason, you should reproduce the style in the target language. Improving the style would look forced and out of place.

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Translating free-form Internet messages.

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