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https://www.duolingo.com/hmch09

Dilemma about translations

I'm new to the 'Immersion' and translations section of Duo, so maybe this dilemma is common for translators. I've been attempting German to English translations and since I'm a librarian, I will often research the sources that are cited in the translations. Yesterday, I came across an article that quoted a legal document incorrectly. The quoted section was a paraphrase of the Act, not the real text. In the end, I translated what was written, but it's WRONG! It's NOT a direct quotation from the Act and I wrestled with how to translate it.

So, my question is this: I know we aren't editors, we're translators. But if I KNOW something isn't right and it's a legal document that's being cited, what is the best course of action?

I'm probably thinking about this way too much, but I thought I would ask for opinions. What would you do?

4 years ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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I work as a translator and I'd say the best course of action would be to contact the customer who sent the document for translation. In a similar situation at work, I would raise a query, suggest to correct what I assume to be wrong and then follow the instructions I get.

If the article was uploaded by another user, the main purpose of translating it is language practice, so it is really not of great importance if something is quoted incorrectly. I would stick to the article's version just to be accurate in my translation.

If the article is from Wikipedia, it would be reasonable to contribute to the article discussion directly on Wikipedia and help to correct it if it is really wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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It's a dilemma that most of us who translate in Immersion have come across. It may bother some more than others, and I suspect I am more like you, in that it bothers me a lot. :) Wikipedia articles are especially prone to this, as you may imagine.

I correct typos and misspelled names and such, but factually wrong information I translate as is, and leave a note in the comments. No one may care about my little notes or even read them, but they make me feel better. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
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Same here, I leave comments on most of my corrections, unless it is just something like adding a period or capitalizing a proper noun.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
oskalingo
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I'd suggest keeping faithful to the text you are translating but put a note in the document discussion about what you have found (that's it's a paraphrase of the Act, not the real text) and provide reference links if possible.

You could also possibly message the uploader of the document about what you have found. But I'm not aware of any commercial contracts for German to English as yet, so there's no real risk of harm.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kristinemc

Can you share a link to the article you're talking about?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hmch09

This is the article in the Immersion area:

http://www.duolingo.com/translation/6c028574182555d918c35130f4d1f827

Here is the original German: Dabei sind insbesondere Züchtungen verboten, „bei denen damit gerechnet werden muss, dass erblich bedingt Körperteile oder Organe für den arttypischen Gebrauch fehlen oder umgestaltet sind und dem Tier hierdurch Schmerzen, Leiden oder Schäden entstehen“.

This is what I translated it into:

Breeding is especially forbidden "in which it must be assumed that hereditary body parts or organs for species-specific use are missing or reshaped and this creates pain, suffering or injury to the animal".

The actual TEXT of the 2005 Act is as follows:

Section 2: Animal Breeding and Genetic Modification Article 10 Breeding and generation of animals 1 The use of natural and artificial methods of breeding and reproduction must not cause any pain, suffering, harm or behavioural disorders in the parent animals or their offspring that results from or is associated with the breeding objective, subject to the provisions on animal experiments. 2 The Federal Council issues regulations on the breeding and generation of animals and defines the criteria for assessing the reliability of breeding objectives and reproduction methods; in doing so it takes account of the dignity of the animal. It may prohibit the breeding, production and keeping of animals with certain traits, in particular physical and behavioural abnormalities.

(Taken from a PDF at http://www.bvet.admin.ch/themen/tierschutz/index.html?lang=en&download=NHzLpZeg7t,lnp6I0NTU042l2Z6ln1ad1IZn4Z2qZpnO2Yuq2Z6gpJCFd3t2f2ym162epYbg2c_JjKbNoKSn6A--

The original link can be found here: http://www.bvet.admin.ch/themen/tierschutz/index.html?lang=en )

I had issue with the fact that the original German uses quotations, which in English would mean that it's a direct quote. Article 10, however, does not use that exact language. If it's a paraphrase, I would say the quotations in the German should be removed. Unless perhaps the grammer rules are different in German?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I completely agree and trust Olimo's judgement in these cases, also I think it would help for you to consider using the Immersion Community Guidelines: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/984423.

I recently added a new guideline that caters to this very scenario (ICC5 (Immersion Content Correctiveness #5):

"5. Try to be as accurate as possible. Don't add any meaning that is not in the original sentence and don't drop anything that is there. This does not mean being literal because it applies to the meaning and not to grammar, syntax or exact wording". (Olimo, 2013)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hmch09

I think the whole Wikipedia problem is part of it too. It's wrong there, so it's wrong here, but it's still my 'duty' to translate it as written. If I was better versed in German, I'd tackle it on there I guess!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I think that as a result of your job you probably take it more seriously than we do. For now at least immersion mainly serves for practice, there are very few real documents, aside from sponsored articles, and some Creative commons content such as wikipedia. So really, if you enjoy doing it then go for it.

You could always ask someone in the German section to help you correct the original Wikipedia article, I'm sure there are several competent and/or qualified individuals there.

4 years ago