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Happy Customer? Yes, there is such a thing, if you communicate
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Data publicare: 28 aprilie 2016
Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor
Clients Say that the Ideal Interpreter...
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Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor
Can You Handle Client Changes?
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Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor
Is Style Important?
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Data publicare: 03 noiembrie 2015
Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor
Could a Poor Original Be Turned into a Good Translation?
Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 23 octombrie 2015
Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor
Are Freelance Translators Allowed to Have Holidays?
Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 19 octombrie 2015
Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor
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Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 22 ianuarie 2015
Categorie: Promovare profil
Translation Project Manager
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Data publicare: 10 decembrie 2014
Categorie: Recrutare traducători
Cheapest prices not safe
Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 08 octombrie 2014
Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor
Mai mult de 70 de milioane de cuvinte traduse
Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 15 iulie 2014
Categorie: Comunicat de presă
Full-time Legal Translator
Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 27 aprilie 2014
Categorie: Recrutare traducători
Recrutare traducător senior
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Data publicare: 30 ianuarie 2014
Categorie: Recrutare traducători
Recrutare traducător medicină
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Data publicare: 05 noiembrie 2013
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Could a Poor Original Be Turned into a Good Translation?
Autor: Serious Business
Data publicare: 23 octombrie 2015
Limba: Engleză
Categorie: Articole piața traducerilor

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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