Criteria of a good translation. Many people assume that any bilingual person can do a good translation. Therefore, often a very complicated, well-written document ends up in the hands of someone with absolutely no translation experience. So what all goes into the process of translating, how you do judge a good translation from a bad one and what are the criteria of a good translation
Do you know that not every person is capable of transferring a message accurately, let it be for a sworn statement or a technical text translation, and this is when misinterpretation happens. Criteria of a good translation. Many people mistakenly believe that being bilingual is all it takes to offer a good translation. As a result, people often ask a friend or relative who has studied a foreign language for four or five years in High School to translate a document for them. However, translating can be considered an art and it is much more than a simple word by word exchange. We have frequently been asked to discuss bad translations and/or translation errors but what makes a good translation ?
A good translation is where the translator is invisible, imperceptible. You should not be able to tell the text is a translation. Does it read smoothly and sound as if it were originally written in the target language? Good translations do not look like ones. They are well written, ideas flow naturally and carry the sense and atmosphere of the original text. The information is presented clearly and any acronyms are correctly translated and/or explained.
- A good translation sings, whispers, hums in the ear and swears like the original text and leaves the reader thrilled, disturbed and amused in the same way as the original text;
- A good translation respects and, therefore, reflects the author’s style and vocabulary and is sensitive to the meaning, effect and intent of the original text, but also the best ways to render them in the target language;
- A good translation captures the spirit of the original text without slavishly following it to the letter;
- A good translation captures the energy and texture and voice of the source text and replicates them in the translation;
- A good translation conveys what is written between the lines;
- A good translation elicits the same emotional response in the reader as the source text does in its readers;
- A good translation reads as if the text was originally written in the language into which it has been translated; and
It is also important to pay attention to the accuracy of the translation. The original document needs to be respected and translated completely, without missing any word or sentence, but it has to be grammatically correct and have no spelling mistakes as well. A wrongful translation is difficult to read and understand and can also seriously affect the reputation of the person or business organization that requested it.
Finally, the audience should also be taken into consideration. This is important in two ways; on the one hand, the translated text should be culturally appropriate for the target audience.
There should be no references to religious or political figures that may offend the reader or be controversial and the style needs to respect the tone and formality used by the original writer. On the other hand, the reading level of the audience should be accurately matched. For instance, the words used should be more complex and sentences more elaborated if the text will be read by scientists or high skilled professionals and simpler if it is written for newly arrived immigrants.
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