Sunday, February 13, 2005

When the "correct" translation is wrong

Translators should recognize an error in the source language and normally provide the correct translation just the same.

Many English speakers, for example, use "i.e." ("id est" = "that is") when they mean "e.g." ("exempli gratia" = "for instance").

When the meaning is clear, the "correct" translation may very well be the wrong one, so, for example it may be better to translate

"This can be a column title (i.e., 'Item')"


"Si può trattare del titolo di una colonna (per esempio, 'Elemento')",

and not as

"Si può trattare del titolo di una colonna (cioè, 'Elemento')".

1 comment:

  1. I quickly followed up with Staci's friend who might be interested in working with us. It may not lead to actual business, but it's good to know that one doesn't have to act like a used car salesman (sorry, car sales guys) to grow the business. The title of this post, "(Net) working" comes courtesy of fellow translator and blogger Corinne McKay of Thoughts on Translation, to whom I had related this story. Chinese Translator


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