Long-winded paragraph openers...
Thread poster: patyjs

patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 15, 2008

I always have trouble deciding how to deal with long-winded openers. Perhaps they have a certain eloquence in Spanish but no matter how I try to translate them, they usually end up sounding convoluted, clumsy and completely OTT. Here's an example from a recent text:

~En la misma área relativa a las responsabilidades, no es menos cierto que en el mundo de hoy...

I want to start with "It is no less certain that in today's world" or something along those lines which IMO is perfectly fine. The previous paragraph is also on the subject of responsibilities so there's no ambiguity by leaving the first part out. So why, if I omit it, do I feel I'm cheating the client?

Anyone else feel the same way? or is it just getting late?

Paty


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Cut, cut, and cut again Jan 15, 2008

If your aim is to make your translation seem like an original, then you have no choice but to cut, cut, and cut again.

I make the point to my Spanish clients and friends that English is best written as Spanish in Spain is usually spoken - in a direct, and unadorned style.

I tend to cut straight through these tedious and content-free phrases such as 'hoy en dia', and 'por otra parte' and so on. Cutting in this way improves the quality of the translation - and increases your own productivity and earnings.


http://johnrawlins.typepad.com/lost_in_translation/


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'd preserve the clause but make it more concise Jan 15, 2008

At the bare minimum, I'd put "Similarly," but it depends on the nature of the document, its register, and where it's going to be used.

If it's evidence for a legal trial, I'd preserve the content as closely as possible. If it's advertising copy, I'd fee free to rework it (with the client's permission, of course).


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María San Raimundo Vega  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:57
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fight the fog Jan 30, 2008

It's the name of an essay on this subject. I completely agree that sometimes one feels unconfortable avoiding all this irrelevant information in the translation, but I guess we Spanish people (when we write) we tend to produce extremely long sentences full of roundabout expressions. Especially when we are trying to sound very formal. This may be ok in Spanish but I guess it is not acceptable in English. When I do reverse translation and come across a very long paragraph of that kind, I normally rewrite it completely, always making sure I do not alter the meaning.
One particular client of mine always gives me texts full of 10 line long sentences (seriously), which is a nightmare really. Although the word count goes up with this kind of pompous texts (if you charge per target word that is) , it took me much longer to actually understand them and translate them. Now I just remove all redundant information, and it is much more productive and "readable".

Marialullaby


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