Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Oxford English Dictionary: Online Vs. Hardcopy

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
11 of 15

@Kat C wrote:

I just want to add...

 

I have great admiration for all of the successful translators.

 

Mastering the English language is a challenge on its own merit, and then having mastery in translating from a source to a target language, with all of the twists and turns each language holds, is marvelous. 

 


And mastering the target language. This is really important, way more than mastering the source. Of course, a translator has to be able to read their source language fluently and understand its subtleties, but there is nothing really admirable about this.

 

You read English and understand it, I read English and understand it roughly the same way. It doesn't make any of us geniuses. What is really hard is to be able to convey the message into the target language. To decide where to put the cursor between strongly adapting the style but losing the feel of the source language and sticking to the target style but losing on creativity.

 

A good translator is a good writer in their native language. If I should get $1 every time I say or write this, I would be rich in no time.

 

Funny enough, there are many translators who struggle to speak or to write their source language. I have read a discussion on Proz about this and it stroked me how frequent it is. I speak English pretty much fluently but obviously this doesn't have to be the case. I worked with a brilliant French to English translator, not Nichola, who is a brilliant translator but not the one I am referring to, who was struggling to speak proper French. But the work was immaculate.

 

Speaking is one thing, however. And struggling with grammar while writing in one's source language is not really a problem. But when somebody can hardly string two written words together, then I wonder. I have spotted one or two French on those forums, translating from English, whose written English is so bad that I have some serious doubts about their translation skills.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
12 of 15

 


And mastering the target language. This is really important, way more than mastering the source. Of course, a translator has to be able to read their source language fluently and understand its subtleties, but there is nothing really admirable about this.

 

You read English and understand it, I read English and understand it roughly the same way. It doesn't make any of us geniuses. What is really hard is to be able to convey the message into the target language. To decide where to put the cursor between strongly adapting the style but losing the feel of the source language and sticking to the target style but losing on creativity.

 

A good translator is a good writer in their native language. If I should get $1 every time I say or write this, I would be rich in no time.

 

Funny enough, there are many translators who struggle to speak or to write their source language. I have read a discussion on Proz about this and it stroked me how frequent it is. I speak English pretty much fluently but obviously this doesn't have to be the case. I worked with a brilliant French to English translator, not Nichola, who is a brilliant translator but not the one I am referring to, who was struggling to speak proper French. But the work was immaculate.

 

Speaking is one thing, however. And struggling with grammar while writing in one's source language is not really a problem. But when somebody can hardly string two written words together, then I wonder. I have spotted one or two French on those forums, translating from English, whose written English is so bad that I have some serious doubts about their translation skills.

 

Rene, 

 

Yes!

 

There are many who can speak a language, but that is only one measure of fluency (and the strength of that measure depends on the context, such as, if I'm in Spain, I would bet my Spanish speaking fluency game would be strong, but reading not so much; actually, it's vice versa, I'm good at reading Spanish but try and get me to create something more than a simple sentence, and my brain dies).

 

I recently took a Spanish to English translation test and your statement below is EXACTLY what came to mind while I was earning an average to slightly above average score:

 

To decide where to put the cursor between strongly adapting the style but losing the feel of the source language and sticking to the target style but losing on creativity.

 

It's similar to what I do during an editing job, but yet, not similar because I'm editing text in my native language (along with firsthand knowledge of all of the cultural implications that flow through that language).

 

A good translator is a good writer in their native language. 

 

I hope this would be the case! But, I know it's not the 100% reality in the world of translation?

 

And I know it's not 100% in the world of writing (in English as a native speaker). 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
13 of 15

René, I had a lecturer at Uni, who simply could not communicate verbally in French (TG!) but on paper, he was pretty good. At the time I could not get my head round this.  My spoken French was way better than his. I think he held this against me. We had to do a compulsory linguistics course, which he ran, and which I failed - I think he disliked my fluency but he got me on theory!

Active Member
Günther V Member Since: May 12, 2015
14 of 15

In the 21st century it seems to be more important to make translations "fit to screen" then beautiful. At least that is what most companies require from me.

It is all APPs and SMS, Email and other formats.

One client of mine described it : "modern readers stop reading a comma in the sentence and jump to the next article" or "We are now living a headline generation".

So my OED and Langenscheidts collect dust in the bookshelves. :-(

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
15 of 15

@Günther V wrote:

In the 21st century it seems to be more important to make translations "fit to screen" then beautiful. At least that is what most companies require from me.

It is all APPs and SMS, Email and other formats.

One client of mine described it : "modern readers stop reading a comma in the sentence and jump to the next article" or "We are now living a headline generation".

So my OED and Langenscheidts collect dust in the bookshelves. :-(


 Blimey! Well, each to their own I guess . . .

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS