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What Makes a Good Translation?

What Makes a Good Translation?

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There’s after all no absolute reply as to what makes a “good” or “dangerous” translation. In some sense, a very good translation is one that may be finished to the accessible price range while fulfilling its objective.

Nevertheless, there are events when textual content high quality is the prevailing issue: a properly written, readily comprehensible textual content will save your colleagues time and go away your purchasers and enterprise companions with a constructive impression. Listed here are some issues that I counsel searching for when evaluating the standard of a textual content that has been translated into English. They’re the varieties of standards {that a} good translator must be contemplating when translating your textual content, and spotlight a few of the issues regularly encountered in mediocre translations. A few of these factors will after all apply extra usually to translations between varied languages:

– Does the interpretation overuse formal or scientific-sounding vocabulary? The phrases that in English sound overly scientific could usually be direct translations of phrases in different languages which are plainer sounding. For instance, is the phrase “anomaly” used when “fault” would sound extra pure? Does the interpretation point out a “pulmonary illness” when “lung illness” would sound extra pure to a common viewers? These are traditional signs of a translation from a language equivalent to French or Spanish, the place the ‘Latinate’ phrase is a naturally derived, normal-sounding phrase in these languages, however in English turns into a scientific time period appropriate just for extremely specialist audiences.

– Does the interpretation use phrases which are comprehensible, however not fairly ‘le mot juste’? Does the textual content speak about “social insertion” when “social integration” would sound extra pure? Does it speak about “eventual issues” as a substitute of “potential points”? Or an individual’s “administrative state of affairs” when “administrative standing” would extra normal?

– Are adjectives or descriptive phrases used the place English would extra naturally use a compound? For instance, English permits a phrase equivalent to “remotely-accessible system”, whereas different languages could have to make use of a phrase that actually means “system that’s accessible remotely” or “system that permits distant entry”.

– Equally, are phrases with “of” or “for” over-used the place English would use a compound. Over-use of phrases equivalent to “technique of/for gross sales” fairly than “gross sales technique” are traditional indicators of a translation from varied languages.

– Are determiners (“the”, “a”, “your”…) used as they’d be in idiomatic English? Phrases equivalent to “noticed an elevated productiveness” fairly than merely “noticed elevated productiveness” counsel a very literal translation. Extra subtly, a phrase equivalent to “the phrases and the circumstances”, “the cities and the cities” fairly than “the phrases and circumstances”, “the cities and cities” suggests a translation from a which does not often enable two nouns to share the identical phrase for “the” (equivalent to French), whereas repeating the phrase “the” is unnatural in English.

– Does the interpretation use a story type and rhetoric that sounds pure in English? We have all seen French museum indicators telling us, for instance, that “the king will die in 1483”. Extra refined indicators of a translation embrace the over-use rhetorical questions (which, for instance, seem extra frequent in Spanish than English, the place they’ll make your textual content sound overly infantile). In a translation into English, selections should even be made about, say, the usage of contractions (“do not”, “cannot” vs “don’t”, “can not”) or preposition stranding (“Who… to?” vs “To who(m)…?”) which can not have been points within the supply language. Does the type adopted convey the impression that you simply need to give to your viewers?

In the end, the translated textual content ought to ideally sound as if it was the unique, written to convey your message with the type and readability you meant.

What Makes a Good Translation?

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What Makes a Good Translation?