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Why do YOU translate into a non-native language?
Inițiatorul discuției: TranslationCe

Alistair Gainey  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
Local time: 07:07
Membru (2009)
din rusă în engleză
I don't Feb 21, 2016

and not just for the obvious reasons: even if none of those applied, I would still translate only one way. You might compare a translation career to building a house: we start off with the foundations, and as we gain experience and develop our skills, we build the walls, the floors, the roof... We add the fixtures and fittings, decorate, and so on, until we eventually get to the stage where we're buying new paintings for the living room, or, perhaps adding an extension if we learn a new speciali... See more
and not just for the obvious reasons: even if none of those applied, I would still translate only one way. You might compare a translation career to building a house: we start off with the foundations, and as we gain experience and develop our skills, we build the walls, the floors, the roof... We add the fixtures and fittings, decorate, and so on, until we eventually get to the stage where we're buying new paintings for the living room, or, perhaps adding an extension if we learn a new specialist field, etc. In short, we get to a stage where what we have isn't just four walls and roof providing basic shelter, but a real home that we can enhance to our tastes and desires. Translating both ways would, I think, be like building two houses. They'd be very similar houses, of course, and they'd even share lots of the same material. But neither would be as good as the house built translating one way, and there wouldn't actually be that much point having two anyway. Other people, of course, might be good enough to build two lovely houses, and they have my admiration.

[Edited at 2016-02-21 21:53 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:07
din germană în engleză
+ ...
I don't Feb 22, 2016

The reason that I don't is that my translations into my non-native languages, one of which is in fact my mother tongue, is not of the same professional quality, according to my own assessment. As an amateur it would be good enough, but I am not an amateur.

P.L.F.Persio
writeaway
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
Statele Unite
Local time: 02:07
Membru (2005)
din engleză în chineză
+ ...
Into native vs non-native languages Feb 22, 2016

If I'm fully occupied, I can make about $300 per day to translate into my native language but about $400 into my non-native language. This is simply because I work faster translating into my non-native language. The good thing is that I have more and more demands for translating into my non-native language.

[Edited at 2016-02-22 04:03 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:07
din chineză în engleză
Looking for a naive reading, perhaps Feb 22, 2016

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

Last year a client asked me to back-translate a clinical trial document from English into German. They admitted that specifically seeking a non-native translator was extremely unorthodox, but justified the request by insisting that, in this case, having a native understanding of the source outweighed any flaws that may arise due to non-native writing ability. I still declined - even though I could probably have cobbled together a mostly comprehensible German text without any critical mistranslations, it would have taken far too long be worthwhile.
I still struck me very odd, though. It's the only request of that type I can recall ever receiving.

I wonder if what they were trying to do is combine a back translation with a naïve focus group analysis, to check both the details of the translation and target reader response at the same time? It's a crafty ideas, though I can't imagine it would work.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
din suedeză în engleză
+ ...
[Intentionally left blank] Feb 22, 2016

Vesa Korhonen wrote:

...discussion appears very much to be that it is impossible do translation work at all.

But before I stop, allow me 10 mins to complete this technical document from my native language to my 2nd language:

"Press button 1 to turn on motor 1."
"Press button 2 to turn on motor 2."
"Press the Stop-button to stop motors 1 and 2."

Done!


I take your point, but without wanting to be mean, it is obvious even from this tiny snippet that the text has been written by a non-native.

This could instantly lead to me losing confidence in the instructions and maybe even the device itself.

I have to say though that instructions and technical manuals translated by natives are normally very poor anyway - they never seem to have seen/used the machines in question. I definitely favour British-made parts for this very reason.


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Franţa
Local time: 08:07
Membru (2018)
din franceză în engleză
instructions Feb 22, 2016

Chris S wrote:

I have to say though that instructions and technical manuals translated by natives are normally very poor anyway - they never seem to have seen/used the machines in question. I definitely favour British-made parts for this very reason.


I have translated instructions without even knowing what device they are for
(for a sweatshop agency - and our working relationship didn't last long)


P.L.F.Persio
Ameen Ola
Adieu
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
Statele Unite
Local time: 02:07
Membru (2005)
din engleză în chineză
+ ...
A contract translated into English by a team of linguists native in Chinese Mar 28

I just reviewed the PDF of a previously translated contact signed by the representative of the end client, which is a US based company that produces advertisements. Apparently, the contract was translated by a team of linguists native in Chinese, and not even reviewed by a translator native in English.

The parties of the contract just signed and implemented the contact translated by the non-native linguists.

It is not an uncommon phenomenon/practice, at least for the C
... See more
I just reviewed the PDF of a previously translated contact signed by the representative of the end client, which is a US based company that produces advertisements. Apparently, the contract was translated by a team of linguists native in Chinese, and not even reviewed by a translator native in English.

The parties of the contract just signed and implemented the contact translated by the non-native linguists.

It is not an uncommon phenomenon/practice, at least for the Chinese to English pair.



[Edited at 2021-03-28 03:24 GMT]
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Jianrong Sun  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:07
Membru (2019)
din engleză în chineză
+ ...
Take the English-Chinese language pair as an example, and share my opinion. Mar 28

For those who had received higher education in mainland China, most of them had their Chinese writing skills largely fixed at the level they graduated from their high school, and their English writing skills largely fixed at the level they graduated from their college.

For those world-famous LSPs, when they hire translators from English to Chinese, they usually require translators to be native speakers of Chinese. Since the majority of translators fail to meet the LSP's requirement
... See more
For those who had received higher education in mainland China, most of them had their Chinese writing skills largely fixed at the level they graduated from their high school, and their English writing skills largely fixed at the level they graduated from their college.

For those world-famous LSPs, when they hire translators from English to Chinese, they usually require translators to be native speakers of Chinese. Since the majority of translators fail to meet the LSP's requirement of Chinese and English proficiency, some unqualified translators can be filtered by virtue of the mandatory requirement of native speakers of Chinese.

In fact, if one is proficient in both languages, then either translation of English to Chinese or Chinese to English is manageable. In the past cooperation with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Association, IPK Institute in German, I constantly switched between Chinese and English contracts, and the final contract was signed in both Chinese and English versions. If you're interested, check out my Twitter and comment on my translations.
https://twitter.com/sun_jianrong

Therefore, my point of view is that translation does not have to be restricted to the native language. As long as privacy is not involved and you are not afraid of losing face, it is a good idea to put the translation on social media. In this way, you can accept the challenge of translation enthusiasts all over the world and improve your translation level accordingly.
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Yaotl Altan
 

Jianrong Sun  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:07
Membru (2019)
din engleză în chineză
+ ...
Following the text above Apr 2

Following the text above

As a matter of fact, as far as English-Chinese translation is concerned, those native speakers of Chinese who can only translate in the direction of their mother tongue and cannot do the reverse translation are not good translators either, because it is impossible for them to have an accurate understanding of pure English.


Ameen Ola
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
Statele Unite
Local time: 02:07
Membru (2005)
din engleză în chineză
+ ...
This is so true Apr 3

Jianrong Sun wrote:

Following the text above

As a matter of fact, as far as English-Chinese translation is concerned, those native speakers of Chinese who can only translate in the direction of their mother tongue and cannot do the reverse translation are not good translators either, because it is impossible for them to have an accurate understanding of pure English.


It is hardly possible for those native speakers of Chinese who can only translate in the direction of their mother tongue to be good translators even in the direction into their mother tongue.


Ameen Ola
 

Jana Elsen
Germania
Local time: 08:07
Utilizator nou
din engleză în germană
+ ...
Spent most of my adult life in the country of my target language Apr 6

I am a native German speaker but I moved to England at the age of 20 and completed 3 degrees there and worked in various jobs. While my work always included the German language, I have worked and communicated in English for most of my adult and professional life. So I feel that my knowledge of the English language is equal to that of the German language.

 

Adieu  Identity Verified
din rusă în engleză
. Apr 6

This doesn't really apply to long-time bilinguals.

 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:07
Membru (2006)
din spaniolă în olandeză
+ ...
@Jana - Curious Apr 7

Jana Elsen wrote:

I am a native German speaker but I moved to England at the age of 20 and completed 3 degrees there and worked in various jobs. While my work always included the German language, I have worked and communicated in English for most of my adult and professional life. So I feel that my knowledge of the English language is equal to that of the German language.


Please, no insult meant, but you FEEL that your knowledge of English is equal to that of German, but is it?

Also spent a long time abroad, speak five foreign languages, (for various reasons) translate out of three, but always into my native tongue Dutch, because it is the only language in which I can guarantee quality!


writeaway
P.L.F.Persio
 

Gerard Barry
Germania
Local time: 08:07
din germană în engleză
My story Apr 7

When I was freelancer, the agencies I worked with only worked with translators translating into their native tongue (which was fine by me). But when I started working in-house jobs, this "rule" no longer seemed to apply, in the sense that most of my colleagues since then have been Germans translating into English! Don't get me wrong, they do a good job but here's the thing: I'm still not allowed translate into German, not that I'd want to anyway, but it is a sort of double standard nonetheless.

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spania
Local time: 08:07
din spaniolă în engleză
+ ...
In-house Apr 7

If you work in-house, and I'm talking from experience, they want to get as much as they can out of you, and so you might find yourself translating into your own language and out of it too, instead of twiddling your thumbs waiting for the next job into your own language. My boss had me doing both combinations, and he checked the Spanish jobs afterwards, to the extent that I was putting away 6K or 7K a day, and one day I thought Hey, why not do this for yourself? It stood me in good stead for late... See more
If you work in-house, and I'm talking from experience, they want to get as much as they can out of you, and so you might find yourself translating into your own language and out of it too, instead of twiddling your thumbs waiting for the next job into your own language. My boss had me doing both combinations, and he checked the Spanish jobs afterwards, to the extent that I was putting away 6K or 7K a day, and one day I thought Hey, why not do this for yourself? It stood me in good stead for later on, since by then I was well used to the pressure of large volumes of technical blaargh to high standards of quality.

[Edited at 2021-04-07 15:24 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-04-07 15:25 GMT]
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