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Translations: One Piece 907 by cnet128 , Gintama 686 (2)

How-to successfully share a translation

+ posted by Harun as tip on May 2, 2009 13:13 | Go to

-> RTS Page for

How-to successfully share a translation

Stunning stories and brilliant articles give joy to those who read them. For most people, the matter of sharing this information is easy. They can print it, email it, or tell it to friends. However, what if this information is in another language? The answer is simple: translate it for them. Some may be interested in translating for friends or others, but not know where to start.

The first step is deciding on what to translate. Try to make a rough estimate on the amount of time it will take to make a rough draft, to edit the rough draft, to localize the text, and to publish. Some may overstretch limits and try to work through a book in one month. Others may take an entire week analyzing, and a few days for each stage of a very small two-page project.

The second step is making sure the work can be translated. Scientific or technical texts are more challenging than a children's story. Does the translator have sufficient vocabulary? Does the translator need to put a lot of time into research? How much time is needed to read and comprehend the meaning behind what is written?

The third step is a thorough reading. If the text is hazy or confusing, the translation will be just as confusing as the original. Read it once at a relaxed pace and make notes. A second read through should be with a critical eye. Notice portions that may give difficulty, or sections that are easier to explain than others. If the work is very large, break it down into chunks. If it is literature, find logical acts and plan to work them one-by-one.

The fourth step after reading and understanding the material is research. Some concepts may exist in the culture that is read about, but not in the culture the translator lives in. One word in English may have three in Spanish. Counters are fine in Japanese, but need some attention if expressed in English. Names may carry puns or other connotations, and the translation should do the best to reflect this subtlety. Many aspects of culture also need to be looked at. Dates and calendars may use different schemes. Holidays may need to be explained.

Now that the text has been researched and planned, it's time for the fifth step: starting a rough draft. The rough draft consists of a quick, relaxed translation of the text. If it helps, use a literal translation technique. No one sends in the first draft for publishing. Editing and polishing are always needed.

When the rough draft is finished, revise it. In the revised rough draft, emphasis is placed on spelling, grammar, and inconsistencies. Editing shows professionalism. If the time has been taken to translate, then an equal or greater amount of time should be taken to revise and edit.

For the sixth step, the draft needs to be localized, or brought into the target culture. The story may sound great to the translator and make a lot of sense; but it may not have that feel of a native English piece. Have a friend who speaks only English read the revised rough draft. If they have problems with certain words or phrases, that may give hints about some of the changes to be made.

Finally for step seven, it is time to share the final. If it needs to be sent off by mail, be sure to make copies in case the final does not arrive.

Translation has been compared to bridge building. The translator, as architect, builds a bridge to connect two places. When people volunteer to translate something, they help both communities by bringing material together. The foreign now becomes known to the native, and everyone benefits.

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Imitorar, Himemo, Kettuk

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