Re: TechWR and Translation

Subject: Re: TechWR and Translation
From: David_Dubin -at- NOTES -dot- PW -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 09:01:15 EDT

In a reply, David Jones asks the question, "Do you translate the words or
translate the meaning?" I think that this is an excellent question and should
produce some interesting answers. My training and experience have led me to the
conclusion that one should translate what the requester wants, and that can be
either the words, or the meaning, or both. It is really a matter of
understanding the purpose and function of the translation and the target
audience's requirements.

When I translate technical documentation, most often the purpose is to inform
the reader and to train the reader. To successfully do this a translation
becomes a transliteration. If I translate processes and procedures from another
language into English, I format it for an American audience and write
accordingly. If I translate from English into German, I structure it for a
German audience, but I do not translate word-for-word.

However, if you are translating a poem, a novel, or a letter, I think that you
should translate the words exactly to the extent that the meaning, tone, and
technique reaches the reader in the same manner as the author intended.

David Dubin -at- notes -dot- pw -dot- com
This has been one man's opinion, yours may vary with mileage, but I have a lot
of miles...

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