Translation Industry, Translation Theory and Practice, Translator Training

Shortcomings of (Untrained) Native Translators

Should translations be done exclusively by native speakers of the target ("into") language? This question has recently come up in several publications. The language industry and training programs in the US predominantly answer in the affirmative. I have speculated about some possible reasons for this attitude. A recent article in the American Translators Association (ATA)… Continue reading Shortcomings of (Untrained) Native Translators

Language and Society, Translation Theory and Practice

Guilty By Association: When Idiomatic Translation Hurts Your Message

One of the benchmarks of a good translation is whether it sounds "natural" or "flows." An important exception to this rule is when the "natural," idiomatic expression has negative connotations in that language. Such cases may warrant a departure from the choices made in the original text.

Language and Society, Translation Theory and Practice

Are Your Corporate Materials Localization-Ready?

US-headquartered corporations will often want to expand their operations overseas. At the same time, few of them internationalize their corporate communications and training materials. In other words, the original content was authored with the US in mind, and when the company decides to publish this content abroad -- to localize it for other markets --… Continue reading Are Your Corporate Materials Localization-Ready?

Language and Society, Translation Theory and Practice

Unquestioned Assumptions About Translation

Encountering translation both professionally and casually, as a consumer, I can't help noticing certain assumptions on which people operate when ordering, evaluating, and sometimes even performing translation. I will list some of them here in the order of apparent complexity. In other words, while each subsequent attitude may look like a solution to the previous… Continue reading Unquestioned Assumptions About Translation

Translation Theory and Practice

Invisibility of Translator in Fiction

Translator invisibility is a recurring theme in translation studies. To summarize the issue, I will quote Lawrence Venuti's famous book on the subject: A translated text, whether prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction, is judged acceptable by most publishers, reviewers, and readers when it reads fluently, when the absence of any linguistic or stylistic peculiarities… Continue reading Invisibility of Translator in Fiction