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the magic of reordering a sentence
Thread poster: xxxLia Fail
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 14, 2005

Original ES:
Previamente a la aplicación se debe limpiar con cuidado la zona afectada con agua templada y jabón

Translation: Prior to application clean carefully the area affected with lukewarm water and soap.

Edited translation:
Carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap prior to application/applying the ointment.


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Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 14:59
English to Romanian
Wonderful Oct 14, 2005

This applies to Romanian, too.

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Cristóbal del Río Faura  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Oct 14, 2005

Reordering and rebuilding sentences into the target language until they sound natural, unforced, and no body would tell it is a translation – this is in fact one of the hallmarks of any good translation. And it is one of the most enjoyable parts of translation work… besides receiving bank transfers, of course. Yes, magic, and common sense too!

Regards,
Cristóbal


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 13:59
French to English
+ ...
I'd remove "prior to" Oct 14, 2005

Lia Fail wrote:

Original ES:
Previamente a la aplicación se debe limpiar con cuidado la zona afectada con agua templada y jabón

Translation: Prior to application clean carefully the area affected with lukewarm water and soap.

Edited translation:
Carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap prior to application/applying the ointment.


I'd say you could even get rid of the "prior to" (or use "before") with the reordered sentence:

Carefully clean the affected area with soap and lukewarm water and apply the ointment.

[Edited at 2005-10-14 17:38]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
you might....! Oct 14, 2005

Timothy Barton wrote:

Lia Fail wrote:

Original ES:
Previamente a la aplicación se debe limpiar con cuidado la zona afectada con agua templada y jabón

Translation: Prior to application clean carefully the area affected with lukewarm water and soap.

Edited translation:
Carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap prior to application/applying the ointment.


I'd say you could even get rid of the "prior to" (or use "before") with the reordered sentence:

Carefully clean the affected area with soap and lukewarm water and apply the ointment.

[Edited at 2005-10-14 17:38]



BUT I wasn't looking for a correction, I was just making a point, becuase rearranging sentences invariably improves even complex gibberish, even a little bit:-)

And I'm amazed at the amount of corrections I do in which the gloriously simple and basic SVO word order rule is entirely ignored. SVO in English is crucial to readibility.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
enjoyable...you said it! Oct 14, 2005

Cristóbal del Río Faura wrote:

Reordering and rebuilding sentences into the target language until they sound natural, unforced, and no body would tell it is a translation – this is in fact one of the hallmarks of any good translation. And it is one of the most enjoyable parts of translation work… besides receiving bank transfers, of course. Yes, magic, and common sense too!

Regards,
Cristóbal


'Cos the results sometimes are AMAZING!


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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 05:59
English
Use an introductory claues, and "before" Oct 14, 2005

Lia Fail wrote:

Original ES:
Previamente a la aplicaci�n se debe limpiar con cuidado la zona afectada con agua templada y jab�n

Translation: Prior to application clean carefully the area affected with lukewarm water and soap.

Edited translation:
Carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap prior to application/applying the ointment.


I would write it like this (I'm a profesisonal technical writer, and a native English speaker):

"Before applying the opintment, carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap."

Placing the word "before" at the start of the sentence puts a clear time cue where the user will see it, and sets up the conditions that must be met before you use the ointment. An opening subordinate clause is a very strong structure in English ... it really gets the readers attention because it has the power position at the start of the sentence.


I have never liked "prior to" ... "before" is a much better English word, and more widely understood by unskilled readers. When we speak, we seldom say "prior to", we say "before". Why is it used in writing? I don't know, I just delete it on sight.


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Susana Bahamonde
Local time: 06:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Better than source Oct 14, 2005

I have had the misfortune and hard task of translating badly written texts in Spanish (not uncommon)and have been left with the impression that my translation was far better in clarity of ideas than the source text, just because I have been really careful with the SVO.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Everyday Magic Oct 14, 2005

Yes, reordering sentences is part of the magic we must undertake every day, and with practically every sentence we translate. The better you get at it, the easier it becomes. Though I can relate to examples between English and Spanish, I would suspect that the situation is very similar between English and other Latin-based languages as well, and in many other combinations, if not all at least to some extent.

Kudoz can help with terminology, but it is very limited in this area of everyday magic that is the key to good translation. Perhaps some thought could be given to starting another branch of Kudoz to deal with reordering sentences. Of course it would have to allow for long questions, much longer than 10 words, but maybe there could be a possibility for more points to be awarded as well.

So often I find myself taking an entire phrase or sentence and translating it in order to get an exact handle on how the term asked should be translated in context, and recommending that it be "turned around". To do less would seem to be of little help to the asker.

It seems like it could be worth trying something on this order and seeing if it works. What sayeth the rest?


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 14:59
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Yes, but Oct 14, 2005

just today we received for translation into Latvian the following:


You are kindly requested to inform your subcontractor xxx that following last discovered heavy non conformity and clear discrepancies in system projected and installed by your company
(last in time the fact that ] of 2 installed satellite antennas is not working because you have not installed necessary equipment to connect - not even required by you to your subcontractor).
We are led in obligation to proceed to additional expertise for which we will backchange to your company costs.
We recall that we will proceed, missing reaction, from your side to upgrade every system at your cost and risk, in case of further discovery of non conformity.
Concerning the issue regarding non functioning of heating cooling and ventilation system in the Bar we are still waiting, as built documentation, justified calculation report that can discharge xxx
Company from responsibility of wrong projecting an execution and projecting and avoid to lead us in upgrade system deducting costs from your contract.


OK, we translated it way better than the original, OTOH, I wonder- what the client's reaction would have been, had we translated it verbatim?

And is it translator's duty to to make sense out of nonsense?

Uldis

[Edited at 2005-10-14 23:29]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another point but a good one Oct 14, 2005

What you should have done in that case, Uldis, is to have told them you would be glad to translate it into Latvian once it had been translated into English.

No, we cannot be responsible for the accuracy of such trash, for it is nothing more than "garbage in, garbage out".


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:59
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
The magic of cleaning up a graph Oct 15, 2005

It's not economically viable to spend a lot of time improving graphics scanned & inserted in a translation, but tonight I just thought I'd like to see what I could do with a simple but poor quality graph in something I am working on, working on the original in Paint and Camedia, with the following result:

Before



After



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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
this is not a translation problem:-) Oct 15, 2005

Tsu Dho Nimh wrote:

Lia Fail wrote:

Original ES:
Previamente a la aplicaci�n se debe limpiar con cuidado la zona afectada con agua templada y jab�n

Translation: Prior to application clean carefully the area affected with lukewarm water and soap.

Edited translation:
Carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap prior to application/applying the ointment.


I would write it like this (I'm a profesisonal technical writer, and a native English speaker):

"Before applying the opintment, carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap."

Placing the word "before" at the start of the sentence puts a clear time cue where the user will see it, and sets up the conditions that must be met before you use the ointment. An opening subordinate clause is a very strong structure in English ... it really gets the readers attention because it has the power position at the start of the sentence.


I have never liked "prior to" ... "before" is a much better English word, and more widely understood by unskilled readers. When we speak, we seldom say "prior to", we say "before". Why is it used in writing? I don't know, I just delete it on sight.


Listen I am just trying to make a simple point...would people stop 'correcting' the sentence!!!!!!! All these points are highly subjective and questions of personal style, the point I am trying to make is that taking care of word order can work wonders...I'm not dicussing actual choice of words.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
symbolic Oct 15, 2005

Jack Doughty wrote:

It's not economically viable to spend a lot of time improving graphics scanned & inserted in a translation, but tonight I just thought I'd like to see what I could do with a simple but poor quality graph in something I am working on, working on the original in Paint and Camedia, with the following result:

Before



After




The first graph is symbolic of 'lack of clarity', the second of a well-worded target text.....:-)


The reason I raised this subject was becuase I correct so many texts where the original word order and structure is slavishly adhered to.........as someone pointed out, it's going that extra distance to try and inject clarity that is the mark of a decent translation/translator.


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Pamela Peralta  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 06:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree! Oct 15, 2005

Lia Fail wrote:
Translation: Prior to application clean carefully the area affected with lukewarm water and soap.
Edited translation: Carefully clean the affected area with lukewarm water and soap prior to application/applying the ointment.


I know what you mean, Lia. That was an excellent example.

And Cristobal's words couldn't be more true

Cristóbal del Río Faura wrote:
And it is one of the most enjoyable parts of translation work… besides receiving bank transfers, of course.


Pamela


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the magic of reordering a sentence

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