The Joys and Woes of Translators.

 Oi there,

   Indeed, translations can be very "tricky"! First of all, the person doing the translation should have well mastered the original language of the text being translated. Translating demands a vast knowledge of our own mother tongue as well as an appreciable knowledge of the language we are to translate into, the customs of the people using that language and some history. All these give the translator a rich "library" of words, notions, quotes and so on.

I have been doing some translations from different languages into also different languages, mostly from English, Portuguese, French or Spanish into Polish and vice versa.

At the beginning of my translating escapade there were many pitfalls awaiting me at every page, baaaaaa..every paragraph as then I had little general knowledge. But with passing time, I came to know different disciplines of science and its particular vocabulary or as it is generally called, „professional jargon”.

  A good example of what I am driving at, is the following phrase: "another ring added to the fortress" with which one of our chatters had to struggle with.

To get the notion what those "rings" are, we should first know what a fortress is and what it served for.

   In the old days fortresses were built to give a stronghold against any attemps of invading the land the said fortress is to safeguard. To make the fortress hard to conquer, usually a moat filled with water surrounded it adding obstacles which the attackers had to overcome. Those protective moats ran around the fortress and may have a shape of rings.

  Knowing all the above said, we can fairly enough assume that the "added rings" could mean additional safety obstacles/difficulties or measures if used in a context not related to trongholds and attacking nefarious, bloodthirsty hoards.

I am far from discouraging anybody from taking a go at translating as translating gives a great dose of satisfaction as well as it enriches our personal knowledge.

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Tags: Languages, translations

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Comment by White Knight on August 22, 2017 at 19:41
I face big difficulty when I translate my mother tongue to English bcz grammar differs alot in conversations.
Comment by Emma on August 21, 2017 at 19:00

I've tried to translate subtitles from English to my native language couple of times and If I have to be honest my first attempt was a disaster. I got better with time, still I keep struggling with some idioms. I completely understand them, but I cannot find their equivalent in my mother tongue. I had hard time translating some jokes as well. I clearly remember one of them. I am talking about a movie where one of the lines was "Things just went from worse to worser" :D Comparatives are formed in completely different way in my native, so it was impossible for me to make it sound funny as it is in English... But I enjoy translating, so I won't give up :p

Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog, Rysperski! 

Comment by BATUUU on August 11, 2017 at 23:56
Well my major is not something related with translating field but as a consequence of my zeal and curiosity,I translated some movies from English to turkish. from this personal perspective,I could absolutely say that translation is not everybody's cup of tea and the person who does this must be patient and be in love with reading. In addition to that,there are too many unknown idioms in the jargon of movies and I believe that there is something similar in your field as well. To put it into simple terms,everybody should do what they really think that they are good
Thanx for the post

Comment by ★ღ ˚ Paula✰ •* ˚ on August 8, 2017 at 17:17

Great and informative.......made me want to try to translate something other than English........what fun........but I am not sure I have the brain power........but this blog gave me a moment of desire to do as it was describing........Thank you so much Rys!!!!   I knew it would be good!!!!!!!!

Comment by Hurieh on August 8, 2017 at 13:56

Dear rysperski,
I ran into your blog all of a sudden and couldn't resist my curiosity, particulary when I saw the word "translators" in title of your blog. You are right. Translating a text into a different language from our mother tongue is a tough job. Though, It can be interesting and informative too particularly when you get to know other societies' convensions, traditions, thoughts, beliefs, life styles, etc.
I can confidently say that I'm the best translator in my city when it comes to professional medical texts and articles. Though, this doesn't stop me from having native speakers edit and proofread my texts.
Sounds like I wrote this to brag about my owm qualifications. hahahahaha . It's fine though. A little dose of narcicism is obligatory to boost your confidence and self-esteem! hahahaha
Thanks for your nice blog!

Comment by rysperski on August 8, 2017 at 11:54

Oi Expecor,

  Indeed, to express a subtle meaning in a language, one must know something about the culture of those people, their habits and it's also good do know some idioms an sayings...that's why I mentioned it in my blog. You must match the words of a poem or joke in any given language with the same notions you feel in your mother tongue, not necessarily word by word, only that "something" hidden in between the lines.

Comment by Roman on August 8, 2017 at 11:50

Mmmmmm, wow, Rys! So interesting... Especially because i found out about that rings) Thank you!

Comment by Expector Smith on August 8, 2017 at 10:33

Thanks for sharing the translation experience!

In my opinion, the most tricky part is how to express the subtle meaning in another language without losing the original taste, so it can be so hard to translate ancient Chinese poems or poetry. 

By the way, it seems you've got such a large vocabulary - maybe you could write a blog about how to enlarge our vocabulary:)

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