3 translations into English that have suffered translation loss

Translations into English translation loss - cover

Humanity has been translating words from one language into another for thousands of years – from inscriptions in stone to religious texts, from books to films, and even songs.

But as any translator will tell you, sometimes it’s just impossible to copy everything into another language and expect it to have the same effect; some real creativity and ingenuity is needed to adapt the text to the new audience. Occasionally, the best solution is to leave some aspects behind in the original language, omitting certain parts in order for it to make sense – and be well received – in the new language. This is called translation loss.

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Why this “good enough” translation is not fit for purpose

 

Many translators would agree that there are two ways to translate something. While some of our clients appreciate that translations take time, require creativity and expertise, and may not word-for-word look like the original text, other clients may prefer a literal translation to be on the safe side, or may say something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect” or “as long as people can understand what it says”.

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Differences in Business Culture – UK vs. France

Even though we’re only about 21 miles apart at the shortest point of the English Channel, France can sometimes feel like a world apart from the UK. Stereotyping both parties is almost too easy – The French think that the British drop everything to drink tea at 5 pm, while the Brits think that the French drop everything to go on strike…well, whenever they please!  Continue reading

Can some “untranslatable” words be translated after all?

Lego

If you love languages like me, then you love coming across articles featuring “untranslatable words” or “foreign words that you’ll wish we had in English.” The bone of contention among translators and other linguists is that words like these are, of course, not actually untranslatable – you just may not be able to do a neat 1:1 substitution. You might need a few extra sentences to explain it, or perhaps you might leave it untranslated.

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An introduction to theatre captioning

Photo of Theatre Script. Copyright Natalie Soper 2015

Captioning, and in particular theatre captioning, is not necessarily directly related to translation – it tends to be used to provide access to audience members who are hard of hearing. Captioning is different to video subtitling and opera surtitles (which often do have an element of translation), as captions give extra information, such as indicating who is speaking as well as sound effects, in order to give the best experience to the viewer who may not be able to hear these aspects otherwise.

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