Somya Translators Pvt. Ltd. Blog

Translation Services, Translation Agency

Translator: A Puppet or Einstein!

Posted by STPL on March 23, 2010

Is a translator a puppet or an einstein? As a translator do you want to be counted as a person who solely follows the glossary and terminology and give damn about the other things and make the translation dreadfully prosaic or we want to be simply like Shakespeare, The Master of Words!

In my opinion a translator should be a mixture of both Einstein and Shakespeare i.e. he should be inventive like Einstein and innovative like Shakespeare.

Since scope of translation is vast and it is the requirement of almost every single sector, from business catalogue, pamphlets, manuals to games guide, movie, subtitling etc., thus it is very important to maintain the rhyme and essentials of the project from beginning till the end, and still make it easy for the user to read. Most translation when taken out of context becomes more difficult to understand. It’s not the translators fault but he is certainly the one to be blamed for. It’s not his fault as he was just following the basic translation rules but his fault is that he only followed the glossary and ignored what the source is actually expressing. Sometimes some words and phrases are used as a references for which we should write appropriate word and phrases that convey the same meaning in target language. For this one has to be either sensible enough to put the suitable phrase in target language or skilled enough to play with words and form the same meaning with the same expression.

As a translator, we are bound with so many norms and rules like ‘following this and that’; which is necessary of course but the question is till what extend… Because of this incertitude, a question always come to my mind that when bounded with the rules, does a translator ever get the opportunity to open up and show his creative and ingenious professional side!

The answer is creativity can never be caged. If you have creativity and know to use it with words then one day it will surely going to get noticed. But, it’s up to you and will always be, whether you want to use it with your creativity and beautify it or let the machines overpower your sensibility.

All you need to remember is…

Never let anything prevent you from doing what is right…

This quote should not be taken as a kick against action but should be taken as a simple truth that rights can never be wrong. Of course to maintain consistency throughout the project you got to follow glossary and terminology etc. But if you feel that you can give it a better shape, even if you have to include words not present in source or exclude words from source, then why not. And, if the creativity has been used in the right manner without hindering the glossary, then Bingo!! You Got it.

Translation is just as creative as writing a film script, rather than making it complicated for us, all we need to do is to play with words rather than becoming a puppet of glossaries. Remember we created the glossaries and we can always make it work our way.

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