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https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Smilie

immersion, direct translation vs. 'grammatically flowing'?

Mr.Smilie
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!hola mis amigos y compañeros de estudiantes del Español!

so, as I'm progressing down the Spanish tree farther I'm starting to look into doing more and more translation within the immersion section of the webpage, (I did try a little before but I understood so little at the time that it felt like I was just looking up EVERY word..) thing is I'm not sure which I should be aiming to do more with my translations, am I suppose to be doing direct translation from Spanish to English maintaining the punctuation and construct as it sits in the sentence or should I be a little more liberal about how I feel the translation should read in English? for example..

" Es un sistema de autodefensa simple y efectivo basado en principios fundamentales, movimientos naturales e instintivos y técnicas prácticas. " I believe this could be translated quite directly as

"it is a system of self-defense simple and effective based in principle fundamentals, movement natural and instinctive and technique practiced."

or with a little less broken English

"it is a simple and effective system of self-defense based in principle fundamentals, natural movements and instinctive and practiced techniques."

or to me it seems like it could be translated with a little more freedom to relay concept in a few different ways..

"it is a simple and effective system of self-defense based on the principle fundamentals of natural movements, instinctive, and practiced techniques."

"... the principle fundamentals of natural movements and both instinctive and practiced techniques."

"...based on principle fundamentals: natural movements, instinctive, and practiced techniques."

I think that this would be more obvious one way or the other to me if I was familiar enough with both languages grammar, but hey, that's why I'm suppose to be doing the translations in the first place, right?..

I'm curious how others try to translate, do you go for a direct meaning of the words? or do you try to relay the general meaning in a more natural feeling/sounding way?

to see the source of this text to be translated https://www.duolingo.com/translation/408dc36c468278f9f940f8e3659ca72b

I have a feeling I'm going to find that my English grammar skills are lacking and that this is going to improve far more than just my Spanish vocab and grammar..

Thanks in advance for any advice or help you can give me, tryin' to stick with the learning and translatin', Meshach

3 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/El_Gusano
El_Gusano
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Like the others, I will go for flow because literal translations don't always make sense in English. If the sentences around my translation have already been done, I will finish my translation, then read several sentences together with mine, to ensure that the context is correct. Of course, there are low-hanging fruit translations that are just fine to translate literally. Those are gravy points!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK
AureliaUK
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I translate for clarity of meaning. If I have to stray too far from a literal rendering I almost always leave comments to explain why I have treated the sentence as I have.

As to the sentence you use as an example, I would render it as:

It is a simple and effective system of self-defence based on fundamental principles, natural and instinctive movements, and practical techniques.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Smilie
Mr.Smilie
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thank you for your input AureliaUK that's the way I was leaning toward myself (both this time into immersion, and the last) and when I submitted my translation I did just what you are talking about with the comment, in this case it reads

"it is a simple and effective system of self-defense based on the principle fundamentals of natural movements and instinctive and practiced techniques

Comment by Mr.Smilie: I realize that 'the' before "principle" and 'of' after "fundamentals" do not appear in the Spanish text, however it feels to me like a more natural way of saying this, however I'm unsure if it's better to do a direct or grammatical smooth translation.."

heh, guess I miss-translated "practical" there.. oops, hehe.. I better go change that.. EDIT: Actually, I feel due to context it's referring to practiced techniques as well as instinctive ones, so I'll leave it for others to judge.. END EDIT: Thanks again for the input, much appreciated, it's nice to know what other translators are looking for so you can try to avoid errors in the eyes of others..

Meshach

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
CharmingTiger
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Be free and translate! Direct translations sound so... awkward. Go with how you feel it would sound best in English, without losing any of the important parts of the sentence.

So again, be free and fly, like this girl's eyebrows!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Smilie
Mr.Smilie
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I totally agree with direct translations sounding awkward! it has that "broken English" sound to it, it's no wonder new speakers of a language speak in mixed up manners at times, it's a lot to wrap your head around!

unlike that girls eyebrows that have no problem wrapping their way around her head!

thanks for the advice!

Meshach

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
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I go for flow. If it sounds like an obvious translation, it is clunky and, in my mind at least, "fails." The goal should be a fluid translation that sounds natural to a native ear.

That said, translation is an art as much as anything, and there are many valid ways of translating a sentence. But for me, if it's awkward it needs editing.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Smilie
Mr.Smilie
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I suppose the hard part is just learning what the actual context is suppose to convey in the sentence, and then putting it in fluid terms. I guess that comes with time and is why we are translating like this, if we make mistakes that are big enough to be caught we can learn from someone that better understands the language, otherwise we learn that translating is messy and at times a bit loose..

I'll try to keep all that in mind when I'm translating thanks!

Meshach

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HenryMille4

There are many different translations of the bible in part because of the issues you raised. All answers have merit and some good points.

Try maintain the same choice for an entire document across all translators.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Smilie
Mr.Smilie
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the bible is a very good example and after trying to do a few basic translations I applaud anyone who can achieve a "perfectly accurate translation" of such a massive text on their own, though I'm starting to feel that anyone that thinks such a thing is a bit over confident.. and I do realize that many people work very hard on such translations together and do get very close to "perfection"

when you say "try to maintain the same choice for an entire document" do you mean translate the word or phrase in question the same every time?.. as an example from that Krav thread there is a part "combate cuerpo a cuerpo" which seems to translate as "body to body combat", but every time I came across it I put it as "hand-to-hand combat" (as this is the commonly used and accepted term in English) is that what you are saying?

Thanks for your input.

Meshach

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HenryMille4

The same philosophy. If a document starts as a literal translation don't switch it to general meaning half way through.

3 years ago