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The BF learn-a-new-language thread

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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:02 pm

It should be "u ejja" but true :lol:

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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Maltese language to become obligatory for foreign students...

according to a study together with Lithuanian, Latvian and Icelandic , Maltese is in great risk
https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/maltese- ... e-schools/

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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCB general » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:31 pm

Why Icelandic? Aren't they isolated from the foreign influence with their geographic position? The whole risk comes from the influence of English language.
Even in my language there have been some discussions about the influence of Anglophone words that comes predominantly from the technological and business terminology.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:50 pm

ramsej84 wrote:Maltese language to become obligatory for foreign students...

according to a study together with Lithuanian, Latvian and Icelandic , Maltese is in great risk
https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/maltese- ... e-schools/

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Regarding the teaching, very good.

Regarding the study, I think it's complete BS, especially because it doesn't list Irish. Something does need to be done about writing proper Maltese, though.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby Dumbledore7 » Fri May 04, 2018 12:55 pm

@FCBayernMunchen, or anyone else that might know:

Are there any "rules of thumb" when it comes to professional translation? I'm curious as to what matters when translating business/educational documents apart from simply being fluent in the two languages. My thinking is there must be some "art" to it, otherwise it wouldn't be a sought-after profession.

I'm asking because I keep getting ad-hoc requests for English/Indonesian translations at work just because people are aware of my background. More often than not, the documents don't have anything to do with my actual work. There's been no problem so far and it's well-received (probably because either side don't understand the other's language :lol:), but if I'm going to impress some people with it I might as well try to be as good at it as possible.

Thanks :)
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri May 04, 2018 2:22 pm

When it comes to business stuff etc., nothing much really tbh. The important thing is that you capture the precise meaning. Leave nothing out and add nothing as that small detail could make a huge difference to the businesses involved. Fluidity and fluency are important but sometimes you can tell the difference between an experienced translator and a good one just through how much they change. I don't know Indonesian obviously but sometimes when languages are close you can be fluent while still following the source language structure closely. There can also be interference. For example in Maltese you will notice that Maltese words drawn from English are much more common in translation than they are in speech or in things written originally in Maltese (which will use the Semitic/Romance equivalent instead). Can't think of an example right now funnily but I come across quite a few.

It's important to always check if there's an established term for something before inventing a word, which is where most non-professionals will fail. It takes a bit of research. Also make sure there are no templates for whatever you're translating. For example, much of the work I do is translating medicine registrations, and the labels and information leaflet that comes with the medicine. These all follow a certain template in the EU and if you don't follow it, no matter how much sense your translation makes, it's just not professional work and it's useless for the client.

You'd be surprised though how many people fail to make a translation sound good. Even people who did their Master's course with me sometimes wrote stuff which sounded really ugly. There's also a noticeable difference between when they translate from English to Maltese (good) and when they translate from Maltese to English (bad), even though we are all bilingual (I actually prefer translating into English but that's not where the money's at unfortunately :lol: ). I don't think you need to be a professional translator as such for that though, just good at writing.

So basically: you need to know how and where to research, understand what it is you're translating (you learn a lot about many things from the job), know how to write well, have an eye out for detail and be able to reasonably interpret what is being said well (adjectives in particular can often create ambiguity). If you want to stand out, you should also know how you can make a sentence which makes perfect sense in your language sound even better by changing stuff, or even by making it easier to understand (a tip: when discussing a process it's often preferable to change the sentence structure so that the parts of the sentence follow the order things will be done in). Sometimes there are considerations of audience, such as translating medical language for common, non-expert people which will involve even more research and you have to make sure you understand exactly what something is. I don't think that's likely to be the case with business documents though.

Funnily, although it doesn't seem like much, I find that most people simply don't have these skills though. They could probably get away with doing translation work anyway (they certainly do in Malta) but the difference in quality is very noticeable. Unfortunately most people don't really care. With Maltese there's also an ethical dimension to it because translators are a bit responsible for the development of the language and new terminology, so it sucks when you get people who just aren't good enough doing this sort of thing. Not sure this is so much the case with bigger languages.

The real art is in translating literature, where you'll have much more freedom. The reason I hated my degree is that it turned translation into a sort of manual (do this, do that) when after a short while you realise that there's really no right way to do it and much of it can't be taught. You just need the skills I mentioned above. So it felt a bit useless, especially for someone more academic/research-minded like me. That really changed when I wrote my thesis (which I am about to hand in :) ) because literary and cultural translation is a whole other behemoth which can really be described as an art. Not only in the practical manner (which is completely different than what I wrote here) but also in its implications on culture, politics, history and so on. It's a really major force when you begin to notice its effect, which unfortunately most people don't do. In fact as much as I hated the manual-like technical translation course and although I don't plan on working in this sort of translation for long I'm planning on doing my doctorate in translation eventually anyway, just on literary/political translation and its effects. :)

Oh, there's one more thing too, which is the digital tools translators use to translate (again, non-literary). These will both save a lot of time and probably make you translate better. That's probably the thing most people who know nothing or no one in the field and simply know the two languages won't know anything about.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby #12 » Fri May 04, 2018 9:12 pm

FCBayernMunchen wrote:When it comes to business stuff etc., nothing much really tbh. The important thing is that you capture the precise meaning. Leave nothing out and add nothing as that small detail could make a huge difference to the businesses involved. Fluidity and fluency are important but sometimes you can tell the difference between an experienced translator and a good one just through how much they change. I don't know Indonesian obviously but sometimes when languages are close you can be fluent while still following the source language structure closely. There can also be interference. For example in Maltese you will notice that Maltese words drawn from English are much more common in translation than they are in speech or in things written originally in Maltese (which will use the Semitic/Romance equivalent instead). Can't think of an example right now funnily but I come across quite a few.

It's important to always check if there's an established term for something before inventing a word, which is where most non-professionals will fail. It takes a bit of research. Also make sure there are no templates for whatever you're translating. For example, much of the work I do is translating medicine registrations, and the labels and information leaflet that comes with the medicine. These all follow a certain template in the EU and if you don't follow it, no matter how much sense your translation makes, it's just not professional work and it's useless for the client.

You'd be surprised though how many people fail to make a translation sound good. Even people who did their Master's course with me sometimes wrote stuff which sounded really ugly. There's also a noticeable difference between when they translate from English to Maltese (good) and when they translate from Maltese to English (bad), even though we are all bilingual (I actually prefer translating into English but that's not where the money's at unfortunately :lol: ). I don't think you need to be a professional translator as such for that though, just good at writing.

So basically: you need to know how and where to research, understand what it is you're translating (you learn a lot about many things from the job), know how to write well, have an eye out for detail and be able to reasonably interpret what is being said well (adjectives in particular can often create ambiguity). If you want to stand out, you should also know how you can make a sentence which makes perfect sense in your language sound even better by changing stuff, or even by making it easier to understand (a tip: when discussing a process it's often preferable to change the sentence structure so that the parts of the sentence follow the order things will be done in). Sometimes there are considerations of audience, such as translating medical language for common, non-expert people which will involve even more research and you have to make sure you understand exactly what something is. I don't think that's likely to be the case with business documents though.

Funnily, although it doesn't seem like much, I find that most people simply don't have these skills though. They could probably get away with doing translation work anyway (they certainly do in Malta) but the difference in quality is very noticeable. Unfortunately most people don't really care. With Maltese there's also an ethical dimension to it because translators are a bit responsible for the development of the language and new terminology, so it sucks when you get people who just aren't good enough doing this sort of thing. Not sure this is so much the case with bigger languages.

The real art is in translating literature, where you'll have much more freedom. The reason I hated my degree is that it turned translation into a sort of manual (do this, do that) when after a short while you realise that there's really no right way to do it and much of it can't be taught. You just need the skills I mentioned above. So it felt a bit useless, especially for someone more academic/research-minded like me. That really changed when I wrote my thesis (which I am about to hand in :) ) because literary and cultural translation is a whole other behemoth which can really be described as an art. Not only in the practical manner (which is completely different than what I wrote here) but also in its implications on culture, politics, history and so on. It's a really major force when you begin to notice its effect, which unfortunately most people don't do. In fact as much as I hated the manual-like technical translation course and although I don't plan on working in this sort of translation for long I'm planning on doing my doctorate in translation eventually anyway, just on literary/political translation and its effects. :)

Oh, there's one more thing too, which is the digital tools translators use to translate (again, non-literary). These will both save a lot of time and probably make you translate better. That's probably the thing most people who know nothing or no one in the field and simply know the two languages won't know anything about.


You got a TL; DR on that?
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sat May 05, 2018 12:31 am

Haha yeah I actually noticed it ended up much longer than I thought after posting it
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Sat May 05, 2018 6:31 am

Last Thu I saw a discussion where a guy (member of a particular group) said that it is so frustrating that we are not able to use our language in our own country.
The bus driver
The pharmacist
The Dr and the nurse at the hospital
The sales man/girl
The barman
The barber
The waiters
The tile layers
Even fu++ing architects

are all foreigners.... they obviously don't speak our language.... so we have to use English....... and/or sometimes we end up using Italian as well....

Wtf???

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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby Dumbledore7 » Sat May 05, 2018 10:44 am

FCBayernMunchen wrote:-snip-


Yeah, you should’ve broken it down to a couple of posts so I can thank you multiple times :lol:

Thanks for the extensive answer, I really appreciate it. You more than answered my question, but you raised some other points which I’m now interested to learn more about. One thing out of a few is: you mentioned that we should leave nothing out and add as little as possible, but you also mentioned that you can improve the translation by changing stuff according to your judgment of what would work best in the target language, as well as making it easier to understand. Now I know that these are not really contradicting, but there must be a very fine line there, no? You may run the risk of oversimplifying the text perhaps?

Also what I’m truly intrigued by is that you mentioned the Maltese language still somewhat developing, so translators are still responsible for shaping it culturally? I think I might understand that, maybe in simplistic terms: maybe where you would translate popular literature like Harry Potter which would work well with youth, so any Maltese literary writer working on new books would follow the language style of your Harry Potter translation, something like that? If you could elaborate, I’d love to hear more.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sat May 05, 2018 11:10 am

Glad it helped and I like your interest. I'll reply later when I'm not on my phone because I'll forget what you asked otherwise since I can't see it on tapatalk while posting :lol:
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sat May 05, 2018 11:12 am

@ramsej: I both agree and disagree with that. I have no problem with English because after all it is one of our three official languages with legal status here (Maltese, English, and Maltese Sign Language). And in my everyday life I almost use English more than Maltese anyway these days. However, there are an increasing number of workers (especially in catering) who can't speak either Maltese or English and that is unacceptable.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Sat May 05, 2018 11:16 am

FCBayernMunchen wrote:@ramsej: I both agree and disagree with that. I have no problem with English because after all it is one of our three official languages with legal status here (Maltese, English, and Maltese Sign Language). And in my everyday life I almost use English more than Maltese anyway these days. However, there are an increasing number of workers (especially in catering) who can't speak either Maltese or English and that is unacceptable.
Plus a lot of our elderly are not comfortable with a non Maltese speaker especially in Hospitals and Caring centers

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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby Dumbledore7 » Sat May 05, 2018 11:19 am

BTW, do you guys have an accent when speaking English?
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sat May 05, 2018 12:03 pm

Dumbledore7 wrote:BTW, do you guys have an accent when speaking English?


Not just an accent but a dialect or one of the world Englishes. There are some common structures and words which differ quite a bit from Standard English. However British English is what is taught in schools and when I once did a small research project on state exams I found that Maltese English structures are always awarded lower grades, meaning they're considered incorrect.

The accent is very noticeable if you're familiar with it. It's not the first time someone's shown me a video with people I didn't know were Maltese and I realised immediately. In my case I think my accent is not as pronounced as it used to be. If I record myself or if I'm reading aloud to someone you won't track it (probably because I'm more aware) but I suspect it still comes through in speech.
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