Friday, 7 October 2011

Tips for translating

As I promised, I would like to add a few more tips and this time for students who need to do some translations from time to time.
Through my article, I do not advice professionals but students, people who lack experience, vocabulary or other points concerning the English grammar. Many students of mine have told me about the various tasks that they have to perform and they sometimes include translating documents from Romanian into English or the other way around.
The first tip would be to try and hide all your shortcomings concerning the use of English. But this is easier said than done.
Everybody complains about the difficulties of translating a text from our mother tongue into English. And I do not refer only to Romanian speakers, but to all. For these kinds of translations, the focus is not on our mother tongue but on the English language.
When taking into account these kinds of translations, you should bear in mind that you must not translate the text word for word. Instead of this, try to analyze the text and try to rephrase it in a simpler one. Of course, you can use The Google Translate, but it also translates the texts word for word and if you do not know  the language, you can miss some grammar mistakes and you also have to rearrange the text according to the rules of word order in English. It is better to try and translate an idea, a simple one, than to translate the words in a sentence. All the time when you phrase a sentence, use the word order in English and never forget the subject of the sentence. This is a point that generates a lot of mistakes for many speakers all over the world due to the fact that in many languages, the presence of a subject in a sentence is not all the time compulsory. So, do not forget to have a subject in all the sentences that you make and then use a tense, but think carefully about it and pay attention to the concord between the subject and the verb. Use the tenses according to the rules of the English language and not according to the tenses that we have in our languages.  When you have a long compound sentences try to split it into more simple sentences and never forget the subject.
I admit, I am a little bit obsessed with the use of the subject in a sentence, due to the fact that in many cases and classes, I some kind of missed its presence, which, for sure, did not make my day.

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