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What Makes a Good Translation?

What Makes a Good Translation?

There’s after all no absolute reply as to what makes a “good” or “dangerous” translation. In some sense, translation is one that may be accomplished to the accessible finances while fulfilling its goal.

Nevertheless, there are events when textual content high quality is the prevailing issue: a nicely written, readily comprehensible textual content will save your colleagues time and go away your shoppers and enterprise companions with a optimistic impression. Listed below are some issues that I recommend searching for when evaluating the standard of a textual content that has been translated into English. They’re the kinds of standards {that a} good translator needs to be contemplating when translating your textual content, and spotlight a number of the issues steadily encountered in mediocre translations. A few of these factors will after all apply extra typically to translations between varied languages:

– Does the interpretation overuse formal or scientific-sounding vocabulary? The phrases that in English sound overly scientific could typically be direct translations of phrases in different languages which can be plainer sounding. For instance, is the phrase “anomaly” used when “fault” would sound extra pure? Does the interpretation point out a “pulmonary illness” when “lung illness” would sound extra pure to a normal viewers? These are basic signs of a translation from a language comparable to French or Spanish, the place the ‘Latinate’ phrase is a naturally derived, normal-sounding phrase in these languages, however in English turns into a scientific time period appropriate just for extremely specialist audiences.

– Does the interpretation use phrases which can be comprehensible, however not fairly ‘le mot juste’? Does the textual content discuss “social insertion” when “social integration” would sound extra pure? Does it discuss “eventual issues” as an alternative of “potential points”? Or an individual’s “administrative scenario” when “administrative standing” would extra standard?

– Are adjectives or descriptive phrases used the place English would extra naturally use a compound? For instance, English permits a phrase comparable to “remotely-accessible machine”, whereas different languages could have to make use of a phrase that actually means “machine that’s accessible remotely” or “machine that permits distant entry”.

– Equally, are phrases with “of” or “for” over-used the place English would use a compound. Over-use of phrases comparable to “technique of/for gross sales” relatively than “gross sales technique” are basic indicators of a translation from varied languages.

– Are determiners (“the”, “a”, “your”…) used as they’d be in idiomatic English? Phrases comparable to “noticed an elevated productiveness” relatively than merely “noticed elevated productiveness” recommend a very literal translation. Extra subtly, a phrase comparable to “the phrases and the circumstances”, “the cities and the cities” relatively than “the phrases and circumstances”, “the cities and cities” suggests a translation from a which does not normally enable two nouns to share the identical phrase for “the” (comparable to French), whereas repeating the phrase “the” is unnatural in English.

– Does the interpretation use a story type and rhetoric that sounds pure in English? We have all seen French museum indicators telling us, for instance, that “the king will die in 1483”. Extra refined indicators of a translation embody the over-use rhetorical questions (which, for instance, seem extra frequent in Spanish than English, the place they will make your textual content sound overly infantile). In a translation into English, selections should even be made about, say, using contractions (“do not”, “cannot” vs “don’t”, “can not”) or preposition stranding (“Who… to?” vs “To who(m)…?”) which can not have been points within the supply language. Does the type adopted convey the impression that you simply wish to give to your viewers?

In the end, the translated textual content ought to ideally sound as if it was the unique, written to convey your message with the type and readability you meant.

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What Makes a Good Translation?



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