Working for a translation agency I am inside contact with a range of translated documents about a daily basis. Legal, financial, health, company, marketing; any the field there is anything ‘titillating’ for me to read by! As a native English speaker plus, having a much better than average grasp of the better attributes of my native code (I recognize I’m blowing my own trumpet here, nevertheless when I don’t recognize 1 else can!), I have the responsibility of proofreading plus modifying countless translations into English which pass from the workplace. For this short article I am going to look at (quickly?!) a few of the most commonly known translation ‘errors’ I come across.
One of the items which reveals itself virtually instantly is whether the document has been created with a native speaker or not. Unless you’re fortunate enough to be really bilingual it’s virtually impossible to create like a native speaker inside a code which is not a mom language. A lack of fluency, a lower grasp of the subtle nuances of code plus familiarity with idiom could, often, cause funny plus indeed severe errors. Many translators can have come over idiomatic words that are either instantaneously recognisable or leave we feeling somewhat baffled. ‘When pigs may fly’ plus ‘it’s raining pets plus dogs’, for illustration, will be nonsensical when translated straight word-for-word. This leads me to the topic of literal translation…
Although not purely an mistake plus, truth be told, might become the desired result for several translation projects, a word-for-word or literal translation commonly reads inside a truly stilted plus unnatural fashion. A translator uncomfortable writing inside the code plus, possibly, more importantly with all the terminology concerned might resort to a literal translation because they don’t have the knowledge or linguistic features to do otherwise. It’s true which even the number one translators, whenever taking on over they could chew plus using a topic they are completely unknown with, could make several terrifyingly awful results.
A translator that is experienced inside their field could, inside a sense, become the writer of the text because they take the source code plus rewrite it inside the design plus fluency befitting the intended target text plus native code. At occasions it’s best to not stick too rigidly to the source text. We’ve all read, I’m certain, the tourist leaflets found inside countless getaway hotels that are a prime illustration of how to not follow the source code structure, however are, however, superior for a giggle. Similarly the complicated ‘false friends’ may throw a spanner into the functions, however, that’s matter for an post inside its own right- I digress.
Punctuation. Then here’s a wet topic. It appears which, while grammar plus punctuation were staples of the educational diet 50 or thus years ago, the present liberal approach to knowledge has lead to a severe deficiency of learning of even the many standard punctuation plus grammatical rules among a few of the young decades. Ask a 20 year-old to explain the usages of the semi-colon plus it’s probably you’ll be met with a glazed look of bemusement. However, punctuation needn’t be a thing to be feared or ignored. In my opinion it ought to be revered! Even harnessing easy punctuation abilities could greatly better the readability of many translations. This really is especially true inside complex legal documents where sentences may run to half a page! A some perfectly located commas may give these interminable clauses more manageable. Guides to punctuation, including Larry Trask’s ‘Penguin Guidebook to Punctuation’, are indispensable plus no translator-as they are literary genii inside their own right- ought to be without 1.
My penultimate point is regarded as transliteration. For several translations it is actually not only a case of deciphering words plus meaning, nevertheless, additionally, a completely different script plus alphabet come into play. Russian plus Arabic, for illustration, may result headaches for the translator because names could usually be transliterated inside a range of methods. In the ability of the translation organization providing translations for individual customers, you usually ask spellings of names plus addresses etc. to be checked plus verified inside every case.
So, though not purely an ‘error’, various customers see the variations inside transliteration as a result. Especially when they are presented with a document that has been translated, for illustration, from Japanese plus their name (deciphered within the Kanji characters) has been wrongly translated. These ‘errors’ are conveniently remedied, nonetheless, plus are not too severe inside the grand scheme of factors.
Lastly, then, is laziness. As a proof-reader it’s usually simple to spot the freelance translator whom has only started functioning for we (keen, eager to impress plus thorough) as well as the 1 whom has been functioning for we for a number of years (more laidback plus lax inside their approach to checking their work). It is true which we do receive employed to reading certain translators’ function, plus recognize what genre of mistakes to look out for, nonetheless, there are folks that are merely plain lazy- whether this might be to do with analysis surrounding the content or inside terms of checking by their handiwork.
Those with a more complacent attitude or those that just rush the job, inevitably, provide function littered with typos, lost sections, wrong numbers/dates etc. all that is conveniently prevented. Ultimately, the beady eye for detail of the superior proof-reader plus editor is imperative for any translation, irrespective of the calibre of translator