Brian K. Lingard

Dear Gene & List:


You do require an intimate knowledge of the original language a document or dialogue is in, as well as what you are translating it into.


However, you need to know all the idioms of the language you are translating from.


People discussing the Switch in a meeting abut telephone switching machinery mean a machine capable of connecting between one and 200,000 telephone calls simultaneously, not a LIGHTSWITCH.


A meeting of railroaders may be discussing a switch used by a railroad train to go from one track to another, sometimes called Points. Points may face forward or backward depending upon the train’s direction of travel. The translator may interpret the switch to be a commutator in French, but if it is a track switch, it sure will not fit on most walls!

One day, at Bell Mobility, someone not accustomed to translating telephone jargon said in English, dial `1 plus the regional code and seven-digit number. The word in French for Area Code is Region. A more experienced translator would have said in English dial one plus the area code and seven-digit number. It would have rather been acceptable to say dial 1 plus the region and seven-digit number.


Brian K. Lingard VE3YI, Ab2JI, B. A., C. T. M.


From: [] On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: February 19, 2019 10:11 AM


I do not think the statement about being a native speaker when translating to or from a language is correct way.  It depends on how knowledgeable the person is in both languages.  It is probably necessary that the person has lived in countries where both languages are spoken if you are going to translate informal language.  In the case of a user guide such as the NVDA guide, I expect you do not need the kind of knowledge of informal English you would in other cases, so living in the country is, I suspect, not necessary.  This is not idiomatic English. 


In addition, you do not have to be a native speaker of the languages you are either translating to or from.  You can be very fluent in a language and not be a native speaker of the language.  In addition, there people who have the talent or ability to master languages more quickly and easily than many other people do.  You can master a language by study and by living among native speakers of a language. 



Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 4:55 AM



I believe this to be completely the wrong way round.

A professional translator should be a native speaker of the language they are translating TO, and a very competent speaker of the language/s they are translating FROM.

The reason is simple - they are creating their own work in the destination language, and that needs to be flawless to another native speaker of that language.  Anyone writing in a second language is going to make more mistakes or come up with more curious constructions than a native speaker is.


On Tuesday 19 February 2019 at 11:14:18, Brian K. Lingard wrote:

> Dear Rui & List:
> Professional translators or interpreters and revisers, editors of
> translated work, need to speak, read & write the language they are
> interpreting from, normally their "A" language, their Mother Tongue as
> Well as their "B" or "C" language they are translating to.
> > For this reason, a person translating an English user manual needs to
> speak, read & write English as their Mother tongue. They would not
> Normally be Portuguese. They must recognize the idioms of the language.
> > For example, a radio station with the slogan:
> New York Spells NEWS might translate this into {Portuguese as New York
> Means NEWS, or New York is always newsworthy! As opposed to the literal
> Translation, New York spells NEWS!
> > In Spanish, it would be Nuevo York espelle Noticia! However, saying Nuevo
> York is always worthy of Noticia might get the meaning across more
> Accurately.
> > Friend of mine, a professional Interpreter translator & reviser, Engl0ish
> Into French, interpreted a meeting about the switch as being about le
> Commutator, a light switch. Partway through the meeting, it dawned on him
> They were discussing a telephone-switching machine, not a light switch!
> True it switches, but it connects telephone calls, does not turn the
> Lights on or off! He said man, did he feel dumb@!
> > If the meeting had been about railways, it might have talked about the
> Switch, however a railway switch, which lets a train, go from one track to
> Another, is also called Points or Track Points! If you hand a railway
> Locomotive engineer a LIGHTSWITCH when he says he needs a switch, he will
> explain he needs Points to go to another track, not something to turn the
> Lights on and off! Brian K. Lingard VE3YI, Ab2JI, B. A., C. T. M.
> > From: [] On Behalf of Rui
> Fontes Sent: February 16, 2019 11:15 AM
> To:
> Yes, if I can find a professional translator specialized in assistive
> Technology the result should be good, but at least in Portugal we do not
> have that...
> Rui
> Às 15:57 de 16/02/2019, Brian Vogel escreveu:
> > Rui,
> >
> >           No criticism of you, but of the "professional" translators
> >
> > You
> > used:  Attempts to do "literal translation" are about as
> > Unprofessional as you can get.
> >
> >           The job of a professional translator, which you are showing
> >
> > Yourself to be in this context, is to bring the concept, in as much
> > Fullness as possible, across languages.  That often involved very
> > Intentional choices to dump literal, word by word or even phrase by
> > Phrase translation.  The object is to convey shared understanding, and
> > You are trying to do that admirably.
> >
> >            Then again, to give professional translators who may be
> >
> > having difficulty here some credit, they are not tech geeks, either.
> > How someone who has no idea of what “input gestures” would is supposed
> > To convey be able to accurately translate it conceptually?   In
> > Order to translate well you have to have some idea of the meaning, not
> > Just the written structure, of what it is you are translating.
> >
> > --
> >
> > Brian

#define SIX 1+five
#define NINE 8+1

In main() {
    Print("%d\n", SIX * NINE);
- Thanks to ECB for bringing this to my attention

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