Friday, September 23, 2011

The translator must understand/le traducteur doit comprendre

Some time ago, I was asked to translate subtitles to a sales video dealing with a somewhat technical piece of equipment. The wording was generally easy to grasp except one part where despite the words used, I just could not understand what was being said. 

Il y a quelque temps, un client m’a demandé de traduire les sous-titres d’une vidéo de ventes d’un produit d’une certaine technicité. Le vocabulaire était relativement facile sauf un passage  que je n’arrivais pas a comprendre, même si les mots en paraissaient simples.

Fortunately, I was able to speak with the author who looked at the text and explained that the English had been quickly dictated into a Speach recognition software and the essential proofreading had been missed. He quickly provided the corrected English which I immediately translated into French.

Heureusement, j’ai pu parler à l’auteur qui, ayant jeté un coup d’oeil sur le texte, s’empressa de me préciser que le texte anglais avait été dicté dans un logiciel de reconnaissance de la parole et que la révision, si essentielle, n’avait pas eu lieu. Il me fournit sur-le-champ les mots corrects ce qui me permit de vous donner une traduction immédiatement.

For a beginner translator, the temptation is great to say – the client knows what he is speaking about, who am I to question the English?  Asking for an explanation in a diplomatic way was all that it took.  How often to you speak to your translator?

Un traducteur débutant serait tenté de dire – le client sait de quoi il parle, je n’oserai pas douter de ce qu’il dit.  Une question posée de façon diplomatique apporta la réponse. Parlez-vous souvent avec votre traducteur?


Drucker John said...

These are very good tactics to a translator. thanks for this nice post.

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Ms Jenn said...

Well, for me translation services for your website is really important thing because I was agree that nothing can be worse than to have a website that is poorly translated its important that they can easily read and understand your websites.

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amanda said...

I completely agree. When you’ve got to have a serious conversation, it’s best to have an interpreter at hand who knows what he/she is doing. It's good to know that courts take interpreter training seriously, and that there are qualified, professional interpreting services available for most languages