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Translations: Vernacular

 
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Marten
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Joined: 29 Jan 2004
Posts: 3101
Location: Washougal, WA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Translations: Vernacular Reply with quote

Recently, a well-meaning person at Uru Obsession provided me with a list of improvements for the German translation of Episode 5. However, I suspect that this person did not review the English version of the script, and may be "correcting" language that, while not perfect in the German translation, is also not perfect in the English version either.

That leads to a question: What should the translators do when the original English in the script is not entirely correct?

In my opinion... it is appropriate to use vernacular (popular phrasing or dialect) when the character uses an abridged or colloquial form in the original English. However, the text should not be translated literally to a foreign language in a way that would be confusing or unfamiliar to the foreign reader. Instead, choose an appropriate common phrase or form in the native language.

For example: "Okay, we go to the Nexus?". This is not perfect English. A more thorough and precise phrase would be, "Okay, should we go to the Nexus?" or "Okay, do we go to the Nexus?".

In the German translation of Episode 5, this is written "Okay, wir gehen in den Nexus?". An alternative, using more precise language, would be "Okay, gehen wir in den Nexus? (Okay, do we go to the Nexus?)." Would you expect to hear someone use the first form in everyday speech? If the answer is yes, choose that form. If the answer is no, correct or substitute with a choice that seems or feels more natural.

When characters speak precisely and formally, then the translation should also be precise and formal.

You must use your best judgment to decide what translation is best.

Note: The same consideration should be applied to punctuation, if punctuation is important in your language.
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Erik
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Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1121
Location: the Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. Wink
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