OU blog

Personal Blogs

Translation in times of crisis

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Patrick Andrews, Wednesday, 23 Dec 2020, 12:36

I have just seen a tweet about a poor translation of advice into Polish https://twitter.com/TOrynski/status/1341540344832385024?s=20

The description of how poor it is makes use of back translation, a topic covered in L161.  A famous, but perhaps jokey, example is the back translation of "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" from Russian to "the vodka is good but the meat is bad".

It is surprising that the authorities could not find a good translator for the advice, especially considering how large the Polish community is in the UK.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

An interesting brief talk on translating brand names into Chinese

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Patrick Andrews, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 15:15

I found this talk on translating brand names into Chinese interesting:

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/languages/chinese/chinese-the-tip-your-tongue-how-do-you-translate-brand-names?in_menu=349360

It shows how creative translators need to be if the translation is to be effective.  In some cases, as in the example of "mini", there is a "lucky" coincidence of sounds that matchg the original and a positive meaning (although, this new meaning rather changes the connotation of the original).  In some cases, there has been more of a focus on the meaning and the original sound is lost and someone not speaking Chinese will not know what car is being referred to - as in the translation for Land Rover.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Patrick Andrews, Wednesday, 1 Jun 2016, 12:37)
Share post

Interpretation in the news

Visible to anyone in the world

As I mentioned in a posting on 9 Feb 2011, there seem to be problems with the privatisation of interpretation services and this is referred to in today's Guardian at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/05/interpreters-courts-lost-translation-editorial

This seems to raise important issues about whether people's human rights are being eroded.

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Statistics and machine translation

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Patrick Andrews, Thursday, 10 Nov 2011, 14:44
There was an interesting TV programme on statistics last night on BBC4.  It was explained how statistics are used for machine translation.  The presenter who was Swedish was impressed with the results of a translation from Swedish to English but I was not so impressed as he was - perhaps different expectations.
Permalink
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 468343