When I first started as a freelance translator in 2004, I used to keep a record of sentences which, at the time, I considered as ’translation challenges’, mainly because they couldn’t be translated straightforwardly into French and/or required an extra level of creativity in order to read as if they had originally been written in French.
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Here is a selection of such sentences. Depending on your level, you will find these more or less challenging, but I feel that they provide an interesting exercise for ’newcomers’ to the translation industry. Watch out though, these sentences are not as easy as they look at a glance…
Tips: Don’t be afraid of changing the order of ideas in a sentence, changing nouns to verbs/verbs to nouns, or even splitting long sentences.
Have fun and be creative!
1. Is good business merely about making money – or should it be about something more?
2. Have a good summer, and I look forward to continued progress when we all return.
3. So despite a quiet sales month we have a lot to look forward to.
4. We are determined to make this a reality.
5. When people speak out, change happens.
6. Agriculture can drive growth and development.
7. There is a general consensus that there is enough food to feed everyone on the planet.
8. Biofuel crops are competing for land with food crops.
9. People who have land deeds were given houses and those who don’t were not.
10. We achieved great results in drawing attention to how climate change contributes to keeping poor people locked in poverty.
11. Rich countries should also restate their commitment to a pro-development outcome of current trade negotiations, such as the Doha Round.
12. It is a nonsense that the drive for biofuels prevails, despite growing evidence that they are not the panacea to reduce emissions or oil dependency as previously thought and worst, could contribute to the problem.
13. Rich countries have benefited most from carbon-heavy industrialisation, so they have a responsibility to use their greater capacity to assist and cut their emissions first and fastest.
14. [Company Name] is pressing governments and international institutions to invest in agriculture in ways that promote food security.
15. Ensuring secure access to land and its fair distribution – especially to women – is essential for sustainable agriculture.
16. Our experience is instrumental in assisting communities to build their resilience to more frequent and extreme droughts, floods and weather events.
17. Our campaign has put international drug companies under pressure to stop blocking poor countries’ access to cheap medicines – another example of [Company Name]’s commitment to challenging business, big and small, to work for everyone.
18. Supporting women and men to challenge the causes of poverty is fundamental to achieving real change.
19. Youth – both in the developed and the developing world – are the future leaders who will take forward the work of eradicating global poverty.
20. And most important of all they have the determination to change the present state of affairs.
21. They have dedication and passion.
22. We believe that by enhancing their knowledge and capacity we are ensuring that the programs we support are led by the people we plan to impact.
23. [Company Name] develops capable leaders, who are informed voices for positive social change, and who inspire greater global awareness in others.
24. International system must do more of some things, less of others.
25. Low-lying Bangladesh – one of the world’s most densely populated and poorest countries - suffers from many climate-related problems every year, including floods, cyclones and tornadoes.
26. These are the hopes of millions of people – young and old alike
27. These numbers are conservative, however, as they don't include people who are sick and dying at home, without access to a clinic or hospital.
28. Helping victims adapt will be essential whatever happens on reducing GHG emissions (mitigation).
29. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now and there is such a thing as being too late….
30. Over the bleached bones of numerous civilisations are written the pathetic words: Too late.