Translation, loyalty or readability?

zyqagg

New Member
China, Chinese
Hi, there!

Hi, I am a translator from China. We are having a debate on a Chinese website over which should be given priority to in translation, loyality or readability? While this issue may seem a concluded one, praticality is more complicated.

The following are two translation versions from the same original:

Translation A:
We are sensitive professionals who provide trendy designs suitable for enterprises with varied promoting budgets. We can help our customers successfully set in markets and showcase their unique products.

Version B:
Feasible initiatives for promoting new product designs are tailored for clients, by leveraging our strong design-oriented capabilities, based on the actual situation of the firms and in light of the status quo and future development trend of the market. All these efforts are aimed at enabling the firms to make a success in the market while showcasing their sound product images through optimum designs.


I would like native speakers of English to compare the two versions and give comments. Thanks in advance.
 
  • zyqagg

    New Member
    China, Chinese
    The second version is loyal and the first is readable with missing information that the its translator thought unimportant.

    But the first writer argues that translation should be based upon loyality and readability sometimes has to be sacrificed.

    Since Chinese and English are two very different languages. Which translation would the readers expect more? In case this kind of article is seen on an enterprise profile or catalogues with a company info?
     

    the tree

    Member
    England
    I prefer the first translation, but it's not perfect. I would replace enterprises with companies because enterprise is a term that gets used more in very big buisness. Replacing set in with settle into would probably be good for readability.
     

    zyqagg

    New Member
    China, Chinese
    Thanks so much, the tree. As a translator, I have long been taught the principle of loyalty in translation. Here in my country, it seems there's only one rule. However, I believe there must be other criteria that regulate translation in other countries. I would like to hear more on this.

    Thanks again.
     

    zyqagg

    New Member
    China, Chinese
    If you vote for the first translation, that means you can torlerate the information loss that can otherwise be obtained between the lines in Version B.

    Likewise, if you vote for B, it means you prefer all information supplied and the form isn't as important.

    This is not easy, is it?

    Suppose this is a company profile. Please kindly vote after lots of consideration.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    zyqagg said:
    If you vote for the first translation, that means you can torlerate the information loss that can otherwise be obtained between the lines in Version B.

    Likewise, if you vote for B, it means you prefer all information supplied and the form isn't as important.

    This is not easy, is it?

    Suppose this is a company profile. Please kindly vote after lots of consideration.
    Welcome to the forums Zyqagg. This is a great question. I recently listened to an interview with a novelist, who said something like, "I would prefer that my translators' be loyal rather than faithful." He went on to explain that, given the impossibility of exact, precise translation of a work of fiction, he would be less unhappy with a loss of exactitude, if the inherent meaning and intent of the original is maintained in the translation.

    I think this is fine for a novel or poem. With expository writing such as that in your examples, I would lean more towards a preference for accuracy and precision. This must be tempered, of course, by the stylistic customs and 'comfort zone' of the target audience, but this may be done without loss of accuracy. Yes, it's hard work, but possible.

    That said, I'll address your question. The second translation, however accurate, is painful to read. It unfairly burdens the reader, and may thus fail to communicate. The first translation, while much easier to read, is clearly lacking in accuracy. The best solution would be a combination of the accuracy and completeness of the second, presented in the style of the first.

    If I could not have theoretical perfection, I suppose I would have to choose the first, as it gives me a general sense of the intent of the original. I say that as a reader and not as a translator, which I am not.

    best regards,
    Cuchufléte
     

    zyqagg

    New Member
    China, Chinese
    Thank you, Cuchufléte,

    Translators are servants of either readers or writers or both. They should try to entertain both of them. But when you can not have them both, what will you sacrifice in this particular case?

    I expect to see more. Thank you all!
     
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