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Translation articles and press releases

This page hosts the articles, press releases or job announcements published by members of MEMOrgTM community.

In case you want to publish your own free-of-charge article, please consider joining our directory.

Happy Customer? Yes, there is such a thing, if you communicate
Author: alinan
Publish date: April 28, 2016
Category: Translation market news
Clients Say that the Ideal Interpreter...
Author: alinan
Publish date: April 11, 2016
Category: Translation market news
Can You Handle Client Changes?
Author: Blog @ MEMOrg
Publish date: March 22, 2016
Category: Translation market news
My Translation is Perfect. Or Is It?
Author: Blog @ MEMOrg
Publish date: March 09, 2016
Category: Translation market news
Booth Etiquette
Author: Blog @ MEMOrg
Publish date: December 08, 2015
Category: Translation market news
De ce renunț la PFA traducător
Author: Blog @ MEMOrg
Publish date: December 04, 2015
Category: Translation market news
Is Style Important?
Author: Blog @ MEMOrg
Publish date: November 03, 2015
Category: Translation market news
Could a Poor Original Be Turned into a Good Translation?
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: October 23, 2015
Category: Translation market news
Are Freelance Translators Allowed to Have Holidays?
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: October 19, 2015
Category: Translation market news
Certificaţi în fericire
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: January 22, 2015
Category: Profile awareness
Translation Project Manager
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: December 10, 2014
Category: Recruiting translators
Cheapest prices not safe
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: October 08, 2014
Category: Translation market news
Mai mult de 70 de milioane de cuvinte traduse
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: July 15, 2014
Category: Press release
Full-time Legal Translator
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: April 27, 2014
Category: Recruiting translators
Recrutare traducător senior
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: January 30, 2014
Category: Recruiting translators
Recrutare traducător medicină
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: November 05, 2013
Category: Recruiting translators
Could a Poor Original Be Turned into a Good Translation?
Author: Serious Business
Publish date: October 23, 2015
Language: English
Category: Translation market news

Bad Tree Not Yielding Good Apples

All translators know that their translation should reflect the original as much as possible, both in format and content. But what happens when the translator gets a poorly written original, a document with lots of ambiguities or even factual errors? Is he/she supposed to correct the mistakes while translating? Should he/she leave the ambiguities in the target text assuming they were intentional? Furthermore, how far should he/she go with his/her own research to make sure the original text is factually accurate?

And, to continue with this line of questioning, is the translator in the position to contact the author of the original? Of course, this isn’t always an option. The client itself may be clueless about the text.

There are three kinds of poorly written source text:

  1. texts with bad grammar and spelling, but texts that allow you to understand what the author meant,

  2. texts in which you cannot tell what the author means, because the author is a bad writer,

  3. texts written in the author’s second (or third) language.

Personally, I think that the target text should not reflect the poor quality of the original. As a translator, you cannot possibly know if the obscurity was intentional or not, but you should draft the translation so that it conveys what the text appears to say. As for factual mistakes, some are easy to correct, like the dates for instance. Others are not for the translator to amen (especially due to the limited research he/she is able to perform within the limited period of time he/she can allocate for such an activity). These should be pointed out to the person who had submitted the document for translation.

Moreover, the translator’s attempt to interpret a text that seem ambiguous may lead to further loss or addition of meaning.

Anyway, the following approach could be used in all cases:

  • outright mistakes are corrected and reported to the client,

  • incomplete sentences, impossible idiom, and one-page sentences are edited but reported to the client and this may demand a literal translation,

  • everything related to spelling, grammar, syntax and any other mistakes in the source text which do not affect its content, is corrected and not reported.

Keep in mind that translation is not a good way for clients to find out how well the source text is. All they are seeing is your ability to write (well or not) in the target language.

Other translators, right even before dealing with a new client, ask for 2-3 excerpts in order to estimate de style of the text. If this is lousy, they ask for a longer deadline or for a higher rate.

What do you think the rule should be: fidelity to the source text or readability in the target language?

 
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