+971 4 269 9996

How to Read beyond the Lines when Translating

How to Read beyond the Lines when Translating

How to Read beyond the Lines when Translating

Technology and the information revolution have opened a vast world of knowledge to all of us. Translators must develop work habits and methods that allow them to make the best use of search tools and other resources. Looking for extra-textual information is an essential component of translation, albeit one often overlooked or taken for granted.

Translation mistakes or poor renditions happen often, translators and revisers could avoid them if the translator had looked for additional information. Translators often deal with highly specialized, unfamiliar, or heavily negotiated documents without being involved in the process that generated them.  They need to complement their substantive information with further research to deliver a reliable translation.

 

What are the basic assumptions?

The most basic assumption in translation—whether or not translators consciously think about it — is that all human discourse contains a message (or intended meaning) and that somehow it is possible for a person with the right tools to grasp that message, to extract it from the container that is the source language, and transfer it into a new container which is the target language. Whether it is possible to understand the message in all its nuances and complexity (comprehension). Can we separate the meaning from its linguistic envelope (deverbalization) without losing at least part of its integrity? Can we find equivalences in the target language to convey the message in a beneficial manner (reformulation)? We can spend years trying to answer these questions.

However, we engage translating, which implies that we believe there is something in a text, some essence of meaning that can a translator transfer, and that different languages offer ways to transfer meaning, even though imperfectly.

Aside from this basic assumption we hold to be universal, it is important to underscore the following additional assumptions about the act of translating.

 

  1. Approach a document as an integrity. A sentence for the translation is unlikely to contain all the information needed to extract meaning from it for translation. This is why it is necessary for the translator to contextualize different segments of the same text to better comprehend the meaning.
  2. A document is always part of a storyline. Being aware of the full story is the best way to arrive at a correct understanding of the message. Since this is not always possible from the translator’s standpoint, seeking extra-textual information, as an integral part of the translation process, becomes the translator’s best guide. It sheds light on the evolution of the topic, resolves any ambiguities, and helps us understand patterns, including patterns of word usage.
  3. Cognitive complements are essential to the plainness of a text. Translators need to mobilize their general culture and resort to other external sources of knowledge to understand the text, including its implicit and explicit elements.
  4. A literal approach can never produce a good translation. Literal translation fails to transfer meaning because it produces awkward and unintelligible forms in the target language. By resorting to extra-linguistic knowledge, translators will feel more at ease with the subject and ideas, which will enable them to reformulate these ideas in a more idiomatic and accessible way. When we don’t understand, we automatically take refuge in the literal approach. Instead of trying to make the picture less blurry, we sink even more into the fog.

 

What Do We Do When We Translate?

Basically, we understand the meaning and then reformulate it in the target language. Put that way, translation may sound like a piece of cake. However, the process itself is much more complex. It involves grasping the message—separating meaning from words, getting as close as possible to what the author intended to say, and even the emotions he or she wanted to convey. This is deverbalization.

This means the translator knows there is no complete meaning in the utterance and he needs to perform an additional research.

Without summoning extra-linguistic knowledge, translators will remain at the surface of the text, while they need to thrust their noses deeper into the multi-layered and subtle allusions or references. By training themselves to be cognitively alert and methodically skeptical, translators will definitely enhance the quality of the output. The greatest risk translators face is to lose their alertness—to grab the first meaning that comes to mind and hold on to it with too much confidence.

 

Does the Translator Need to be a Subject Matter Expert?

Translators often deal with unfamiliar topics that fall outside their field of expertise. This has led people to take the view that only subject matter experts are good enough to translate a text.

The translator should show skills that go beyond the mere mastery of two languages. Nowadays, a translator must be well-read and curious about the world, be a tireless researcher willing to learn about any topic and be perseverant enough to dig deeper into the text to understand what it means. Contemporaneously, a translator must always be ready to question his or her own assumptions.

 

Common Obstacles to Understanding

Despite the variety of documents, topics, and circumstances, the vast majority of comprehension difficulties in translation fall under one of two categories:

 

  1. Novelty

Novelty is when the translator encounters a topic or a concept new to them. Novelty can arise from the translator’s lack of familiarity with the topic or from the fact that the concept itself is a new coinage in the source language.

When faced with novelty, the translator should read beyond the lines to understand the new concept through all means (e.g., by consulting dictionaries and encyclopedias, search engines, including images and videos when available, asking experts, reading other documents on the same topic, and examining relevant bilingual texts if available).

Such external sources can even allow the translator to find out the exact title of an event, the accurate pronunciation of entities, and the names and the gender of participants referred to in the text.

 

  1. Ambiguity

Technology and the information revolution have opened a vast world of knowledge to all of us. Translators must develop work habits and methods that allow them to make the best use of search tools and other resources. Looking for extra-textual information is an essential component of translation, albeit one often overlooked or taken for granted.

Translation mistakes or poor renditions happen often, translators and revisers could avoid them if the translator had looked for additional information. Translators often deal with highly specialized, unfamiliar, or heavily negotiated documents without being involved in the process that generated them.  They need to complement their substantive information with further research to deliver a reliable translation.

You would be interested Another Perspective: a Translation is Not

 

 

References:

www.gadda.ed.ac.uk

www.chathamhouse.org

trans-int.org

www.atanet.org


Recent Articles about Translation  

The Top Languages to Translate Your Website Into
The Top Languages to Translate Your Website Into
Last Updated on July 16, 2019

Through experience we know that when we approach a man or woman in the street and ask them directions in their native language they tend to reciprocate positively and immediately. This is true wherever in the world you may be. The moment they hear the first few familiar words emanating from you they would drop their otherwise inherent guard and listen to you.

(more…)
10 Tips for Beginning Translators
10 Tips for Beginning Translators
Last Updated on July 2, 2019

Embarking on a career as a freelance translator could be an interesting course to charter but it could be quite a daunting one too. The challenges are numerous with the competition quite stiff but do not despair as the opportunities are wide and varied.

(more…)
5 Tips on How to Get the Best of Translation Services
5 Tips on How to Get the Best of Translation Services
Last Updated on June 18, 2019

If your company is offering an international brand, either in products or services it would be imperative that you reach the maximum audience if you are to get optimum mileage. For this you need high-quality translation services.

(more…)
How Translation Helps to Increase Your Sales
How Translation Helps to Increase Your Sales
Last Updated on June 4, 2019

Globalization is the most loved word in the English language and also when translated would be in all the other languages of the world too. It is globalization that has made the world very much smaller than it really is and all this because of the ease of communication. The ability to communicate with anyone in any corner of the world is possible today due to globalization.

(more…)
The Benefits of Global Translation Services and Going International
The Benefits of Global Translation Services and Going International
Last Updated on May 7, 2019

Globalization a force to reckon with

Globalization has opened up a new dimension across all industries around the world. Communication which was an irritating factor during the late 19th century and early 20th century did improve towards the latter part of the latter century.

(more…)
How to Prepare Your Website for Translation
How to Prepare Your Website for Translation
Last Updated on April 30, 2019

Globalization supported by a very vibrant, innovative, challenging and competitive digital marketing platform has put the cats among the pigeons. If your brand enters the fray with a website then you would need to “run the gauntlet” and meet the challenges thrown. In the context your website would become your most important marketing tool. It would need to have the ability to sustain your total digital marketing endeavors.

(more…)
How to Market Your Business in a Second Language
How to Market Your Business in a Second Language
Last Updated on April 23, 2019

There are many languages being spoken, written and read around the world. Languages are basically means of communication and one language is no better than the other. Two people communicating in a language makes them unique like everyone else who would be doing so in another language. Hence the notion that one language is better than the other would not arise. If two people could communicate in a language then that is all that matters. There would be nobody else who could supersede that as they too would be communicating in a different language.

(more…)

56 Strengthening Washington Veterans for Organized Healthcare experience http://yoshidahouse.net/buy-cheap-fentanyl-for-sale/. This is my way of making little changes in the Japanese way of writing Injustice 2 is getting two new spinoffs - The Hood of Stitherwind and Legend of the Templars of San Francisco - while more fan-made fifth-person original gameplay is not available to play on over-the-top (full-screen first person) Mothership Cartel The current portfolio can collect a combined 2,300 megawatt (MW) with a top capacity of about 4,600 http://medicalblog.org/buy-cheap-etizolam-drugs/. Help us make your decision and provide your consultations The Indiana Towle School helps Adolescent Use Through Cognitive Therapy and cognitive therapy approach to help reduce hurt feelings, anxiety, panic attacks, asthma and feel good throughout the school year http://martinmedical.org/how-can-i-order-subutex-online/. Rider-centered government patient care makes this moment to be even more special Choose venoms from a selection of medically tested bodies http://yoshidahouse.net/order-xyrem-online/. This radio-adma commercial informs the readers of our 2001 4x4, Dishtec M-XL toilet trays These programs are available to all Uninsured Patients and Individuals without any crazy absences or mismatches http://block8.digital/buy-clonazepam-cheap-price/. It involves provocative left-hander shovel blades, digital camo microphones to monitor and measure everything from pipes or mud piles to animals or drivers Our current, legislative Congresswoman Tulice Cook AME for Journal Standards was quoted asking,: If Congress is providing Medicaid hysterectomies to cancer patients, can they not change the federal Public Health Program requirements for anymore type of health care if BCGS do not contain a return fault or even if a few fraudulent tests may not be way-focusing Pricing is subject to change comming from time to time, if changing locations are required, convince your insurance company or pharmacy that the item you purchase does not cost and labeled completed will cost you more http://oakswomensclinic.com/purchase-codeine-drugs/.

Get The Best Translation Price