Re: translation questions

Subject: Re: translation questions
From: Simon North <snorth -at- TEDOPRES -dot- NL>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 12:58:52 GMT

I've been professionally translating software and software manuals for
more than 20 years and I have to say that I agree with Susan.

Depending of course on your relationship with the customer (GIGO ...
some like you improving on the original, some want all the warts kept
intact) a _good_ translator would have no problem at all with
contractions. It's something that machine translators cannot yet
manage, and I doubt that they ever will, and that's translating the
style and tone as well as the content. Given a piece for translation
I, for one, will look for analogous idioms and diction. There are
vocabularies that belong to specific author/reader/activity contexts
and a good translator _must_ be aware of these ... and contractions
can even be an integral part of this.

However (climbing on my soap box), translation - like (technical)
writing - appears to be another of things that anyone with a little
competence (say basic mastery of a target language as compared with
knowing how to use a word processor package) feels able to do.
Unfortunately, bad translations are not as easy to detect as bad

Simon North.

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