דפים בנושא:   < [1 2 3] >
What is the biggest challenge you’re facing in regards to getting to be known as a translator?
מפרסם התגובה: Adriana Adarve
Adriana Adarve  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 12:37
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hmmm, what about quality or even higher risks? Apr 19

Maria S. Loose, LL.M. wrote:


Google Translate is not a solution for Eastern European languages. I often have to read Eastern European legislation and Google Translate is useless. I'm glad there are translators like Inga who translate from their native language into English (Lithuanian into English, Croatian into English etc.)


Sorry, Maria, I cannot agree with you either.

It is actually a shame that translators dare to translate into non-native languages. As I mentioned before, the true and deep nuances of the non-native language are lost, which means that the true concept or message cannot be conveyed as accurately as intended to begin with.

I have seen many, many translations written by non-natives and the results are terrible, sometimes even disastrous! And, this holds specially true in the medical and legal fields.

Just as an example, not long ago the hearing minutes involving a Hispanic guy were translated by a non-English native. The part where it said "traffic violation" was translated in such a way that the defendant rose to his feet totally astonished and yelled, "NO! I did not rape anybody!" --> Why? because the non-native translator took "violation" as "rape" simply because there is the word "violación" in Spanish.
A false cognate that almost turned a traffic violation into something quite serious for the guy who burned the red light and had to present himself in front of a judge!

Just for kicks, let me clarify these cognates here (for this specific case. Let's not forget that translation depends on context):
"Violation" (in English) = "infracción" (in Spanish)
"Violación" (in Spanish) = "rape" (in English)

After clarification of the whole issue was presented, oh boy, was that guy glad he jumped up and defended himself as fiercely as he did against something he definitely did NOT do!

So, no! Google Translate is a disaster, but so is a non-native translator translating into any language that is not his/her mother tongue.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
בלגיה
Local time: 18:37
מגרמנית לאנגלית
+ ...
Depends on the context Apr 19

Hi Adriana, in many European countries, translators are trained as part of their university education (M.A. in translation studies or equivalent) to translate into English and to avoid stupid translation mistakes, such as false friends. Also, there are many languages in Europe, which are spoken by a relatively small group of people, the so-called languages of limited diffusion. How many native speakers of English do you think there are who are able to translate from Lithuanian or Croatian into English? Not many, I can tell you. I know some of them, but their command of their source language is not very good.

Moreover, all of the important legislation (Directives, Treaties, etc.) already exists in its original English version, negotiated in English and checked by native English lawyer-linguists. The national legislation I was referring to is always based on this European legislation. Besides, English is the lingua franca in Europe and within the European institutions.

So, to my mind, it's totally absurd not to use non-native translators for translating national legislation based on European legislation back into English.

[Edited at 2017-04-19 19:34 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:37
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
There can be more than ONE native tongue Apr 19

Adriana,

Although the cognate violation = violación is there, Spanish documents contain 'violación de la ley' or 'violación de la ordenanza A2017.b' and most educated Spanish speakers will tell the difference.

Full disclosure: I prefer 'infracción de tránsito' to 'violación de tránsito.'

However, I'm still surprised at the obsolete argument that there can only be one native tongue in an individual (translator or not). Some people grow up speaking and writing 2 or 3 native tongues. Before we get into a tiff about meaning and nuance, let's remember that translation is about texts. So, second-guessing intent and nuance on a text is not a good practice.

I agree that any translator who deems himself or herself competent in a language, native or not, should be fully competent writing in it, on the registers that she is called on to perform. For example, I am competent in writing about finance and medical topics, but I draw a blank if asked to write about math or chemistry.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
פורטוגל
Local time: 17:37
מליטאית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Look wider Apr 19

Adriana, I beg your pardon I didn't follow the discussion so some points might be missed along the way.
My post was not about me, in the first place, let's be clear about that.
Thus, no need for me to start telling how awful are some translations done by native speakers.
My question to you, though, is this:
How many, do you think, are there native English or Portuguese or any other 'big' language speakers that would professionally know or at least sufficiently understand complex and complicated languages of small nations?
Believe me, there are tons of contracts, reports, court materials inter alia to be translated from those languages - who has to translate them if native speakers don't understand the source language?

Therefore, my double respect goes to Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, you name it, translators that do dare to do the job well needed, subjecting themselves to constant despise instead of receiving recognition.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
בלגיה
Local time: 18:37
מגרמנית לאנגלית
+ ...
Agree with Inga Apr 19

Inga Petkelyte wrote:


Therefore, my double respect goes to Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, you name it, translators that do dare to do the job well needed, subjecting themselves to constant despise instead of receiving recognition.

Totally agree, and I'm glad they're doing it.

[Edited at 2017-04-19 19:12 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Adriana Adarve  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 12:37
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So, a geographical factor... Apr 19

Maria S. Loose, LL.M. wrote:

Hi Adriana, in many European countries, translators are trained as part of their university education (M.A. in translation studies or equivalent) to translate into English and to avoid stupid translation mistakes, such as false friends. Also, there are many languages in Europe, which are spoken by a relatively small group of people, the so-called languages of limited diffusion. How many native speakers of English do you think there are who are able to translate from Lithuanian or Croatian into English? Not many, I can tell you. I know some of them, but their command of their source language is not very good.

Moreover, all of the important legislation (Directives, Treaties, etc.) already exists in its original English version, negotiated in English and checked by native English lawyer-linguists. The national legislation I was referring to is always based on this European legislation. Besides, English is the lingua franca in Europe and within the European institutions.

So, to my mind, it's totally absurd not to use non-native translators for translating national legislation based on European legislation back into English.

[Edited at 2017-04-19 19:34 GMT]


Hello Maria,

Thank you for your input. So, I see this has to do with a geographical factor. I guess my initial post/question was not broad enough. I probably based it, involuntarily, on my own geographical part of the world.

Would it be wise, then, to say that the unfairness (as understood by many) of the limitation imposed on non-native translators represents a challenge based on geographical location, especially for languages of limited diffusion?

I really appreciate this exchange because it allows me to broaden my perspective on what is challenging for people outside my circle. It is humbling to be brought to that realization, and I thank you for it


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Adriana Adarve  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 12:37
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
More than one mother tongue... Apr 19

Mario Chavez wrote:

Adriana,

However, I'm still surprised at the obsolete argument that there can only be one native tongue in an individual (translator or not). Some people grow up speaking and writing 2 or 3 native tongues. Before we get into a tiff about meaning and nuance, let's remember that translation is about texts. So, second-guessing intent and nuance on a text is not a good practice.

I agree that any translator who deems himself or herself competent in a language, native or not, should be fully competent writing in it, on the registers that she is called on to perform. For example, I am competent in writing about finance and medical topics, but I draw a blank if asked to write about math or chemistry.


Mario, I do not believe I ever said that there could not be more than one mother tongue. I mean, I have even gone through my original post and all the other replies, but I cannot see that I wrote anything like that. If I did, and still missed it, please point it out to me.

And if did write anything like that, it would be highly unfair of me, not to mention hypocritical, and unforgivable, since I am one of those people who has more than one mother tongue!!

As far as "deeming oneself competent in a language or not," after reading the several comments here I can see, and I am sure you can see too, that that is exactly one of the challenges other translators in other parts of the world are having. The fact of finding themselves competent in more than their mother tongue, BUT feeling frustrated (if I can word it that way) from the lack of recognition they receive in this aspect.

I am aware that my comments and ideas might have seem one-sided or probably too strict (not saying that anybody said so, though), but the beauty of this discussion is the way my horizons, and I hope those of the rest of us here, are being expanded through all the comments and information shared so far


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Adriana Adarve  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 12:37
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Apr 19

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

Adriana, I beg your pardon I didn't follow the discussion so some points might be missed along the way.
My post was not about me, in the first place, let's be clear about that.
Thus, no need for me to start telling how awful are some translations done by native speakers.
My question to you, though, is this:
How many, do you think, are there native English or Portuguese or any other 'big' language speakers that would professionally know or at least sufficiently understand complex and complicated languages of small nations?
Believe me, there are tons of contracts, reports, court materials inter alia to be translated from those languages - who has to translate them if native speakers don't understand the source language?


Thank you, Inga, for taking the time to clarify this point, and broaden my horizons at the same time.

As I just mentioned on a separate reply to another one of the contributors to this discussion, I probably, and inadvertently, narrowed my original post to a particular region of the world.

For that, I humbly apologize to you and the rest of the participants. It was shortsighted of me.

So, besides the challenge of having translation limited to the native mother tongue in certain parts of the world, would you allow me to add to the list of challenges the fact of not having or finding enough "main languages translators" that can understand "complex and complicated languages of small nations" in order to translate them?

Once again, thank you for your valuable contribution so far. It has been quite enlightening


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
דנמרק
Local time: 18:37
חבר (2003)
מדנית לאנגלית
+ ...
This is what I don't understand.... Apr 20

Adriana Adarve wrote:

Translating into a language that is not our mother tongue carries inherent risks. It is true that we might understand the foreign language well enough, or even almost to native level, to translate from it, but there are the underlying nuances and characteristics of the language that ONLY native can grasp.

... This doesn't mean that you cannot translate from English into your mother tongue, not at all! What it means to me is that the quality of the translation going in the other direction, your mother tongue into English, will definitely not be as high as your translation from English into your mother tongue.


(My emphasis)

Having proofread countless translations by native speakers who simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE SOURCE, and plenty of excellent translations by source-language natives whose English is absolutely on a level with many English natives, I sometimes wonder why, purely logically, the arguments are not reversed? Target language natives may produce an elegant piece of writing, but if they translate the metaphors literally and misunderstand the idioms, or confuse meanings of a homonym, or fall into any of the other traps, the meaning is not the same as the source.

It is just as logical to ask how you can translate when you don't understand the source as a native. The traps are where you THINK you understand. I have a practically native command of the source language, so I find these errors - and I found one in my own work yesterday when proofreading... Natives are NOT infallible.

Quite apart from the fact that in many languages there simply are not enough English natives available, and often those languages are precisely the ones where machine translation is not an option. Either English natives are going to have to learn a lot of languages between them, or they will have to accept non-native translators because they are simply the only reliable option.

Quite apart from that, the problem is often in the mind of the reader. Because I use my married name, people have sometimes thought I was Danish and started telling me my English is 'not native'. When asked for details, there was no problem - I can usually show that my English is quite standard.

Other things being equal, it is an advantage to translate into one's native language, but BLIND insistence on a target language native, instead of looking at all the factors, is IMHO a problem.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
חבר (2011)
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
Logic Apr 20

Maria S. Loose, LL.M. wrote:
Also, there are many languages in Europe, which are spoken by a relatively small group of people, the so-called languages of limited diffusion. How many native speakers of English do you think there are who are able to translate from Lithuanian or Croatian into English? Not many, I can tell you. I know some of them, but their command of their source language is not very good.

If there were a shortage of native English speakers translating from these languages, surely agencies would not be able to pursue the blanket ban Inga is complaining about, and there would be so much work around for non-natives that Inga wouldn't feel the need to complain?

I suspect the truth is more that there is a shortage of native English speakers who are willing to jump through hoops to work for the low rates offered by the EU and national government institutions.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
חבר (2011)
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
More logic Apr 20

Christine Andersen wrote:
Having proofread countless translations by native speakers who simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE SOURCE, and plenty of excellent translations by source-language natives whose English is absolutely on a level with many English natives, I sometimes wonder why, purely logically, the arguments are not reversed?


Because it's easier to acquire a passive knowledge of a language than an active knowledge. Other things being equal, target-native will be better on average.

I know some of the Great Danes you are referring to. They are amazing linguists. But they are in a small minority and their English is still flawed.

Our English is better than theirs. And in most non-literary contexts our understanding of the Danish is just as good, if not better. We are therefore a better bet.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:37
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
Several native tongues Apr 21

Adriana,

Please read my posting again. I did not quote you anywhere. Any reasonable reader of that one posting of mine would conclude that I was not talking about you but about the concept of native tongue, which is a more flexible construct than, say, mother tongue.

So, it was not about you but about one of the topics you opened up with.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:37
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
native vs. non-native Apr 21


It is actually a shame that translators dare to translate into non-native languages. As I mentioned before, the true and deep nuances of the non-native language are lost, which means that the true concept or message cannot be conveyed as accurately as intended to begin with.

I have seen many, many translations written by non-natives and the results are terrible, sometimes even disastrous! And, this holds specially true in the medical and legal fields.


Please clarify what you mean by non-native languages and by non-natives [translators?}. In the first case, the statement makes no sense, since all languages are native to at least a small number of speakers. The second statement also fails for lack of clarity, not to mention elegance.

I also find the statement the true and deep nuances... pregnant with a bit of hyperbole. Please give an example from the medical or legal field to illustrate and clarify.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
בלגיה
Local time: 18:37
מגרמנית לאנגלית
+ ...
translations for information purposes: rates are always fixed by the tenderer Apr 21

Chris S wrote:


I suspect the truth is more that there is a shortage of native English speakers who are willing to jump through hoops to work for the low rates offered by the EU and national government institutions.


The EU institutions don't offer rates but put out language services to tender. It's up to the tenderer to make a financial offer. When evaluating offers the EU institutions award 70 per cent of the points for the quality of the offer and only 30 per cent for the price. So it's up to the tenderer to ask for a rate that guarantees quality.

By the way, the new ISO standard on translation services does not mention the word "native language" and the EU institutions do not use it. All that matters, is a correct translation from the source language to the target language. These translations are for information purposes only. They don't have to be polished. The important thing is to use the correct terminology and to understand the source language correctly.

The native English translators I mentioned in my other post are permanent officials who have learned a Slavic or Baltic language as a fourth or fifth language and their passive command of these languages is not very good.

By the way, the translations I use for my work are mostly produced by Member States and not by the EU.

[Edited at 2017-04-21 11:52 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
חבר (2011)
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
Semantics Apr 21

Maria S. Loose, LL.M. wrote:

The EU institutions don't offer rates but put out language services for tender. It's up to the tenderer to make a financial offer. When evaluating offers the EU institutions award 70 per cent of the points for the quality of the offer and only 30 per cent for the price. So it's up to the tenderer to ask for a rate that guarantees quality.


Yes, but anyone can promise quality, so it still boils down to price.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
דפים בנושא:   < [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What is the biggest challenge you’re facing in regards to getting to be known as a translator?

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • חיפוש מונח
  • עבודות