Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
Techniques in
Translation
• Computer-assisted
• Machine Translation
• Subtitling
• Editing/Post editing

Techniques in Tra...
I. COMPUTER-ASSISTED
Computer-assisted translation also called ‘computer-aided
translation or machine-aided human translat...
The Role of Computer in CA
In practice, computer-assisted translation is a complex process
involving specific tools and te...
Translation skills: theory and practice
The theoretical base should include general information
regarding the translator’s...
* Software
A successful translator needs to know how to handle various
computer applications in his/her work. That’s why b...
II. MACHINE TRANSLATION
Machine Translation is a procedure whereby a computer
program analyses a source text and produces ...
Failures of Machine Translation
Computers are not human beings – the nature of TR (and
human language) is not an Algorithm...
Advantages
1. pre-translation procedure (computer-aided TR)
raw material for human refinement
2. even voice recognition - ...
Significance
1.practically still unusable (except in restricted languages)
2.MT important for the theory of TR: investigat...
III. Subtitling
Subtitles can be defined as ‘transcriptions of film or TV dialogue,
presented simultaneously on the screen...
When looking at subtitling, from the point of view of translation, many
constraints exist that will effect the translation...
For example, if we take the following narration as the spoken version of a text:
“In beautiful autumnal colours, the stunn...
This also relates to the reading speed of the viewer, which needs to be
taken into consideration. Clearly, establishing th...
The same would apply in a “whodunit” type of scene, where it is vital to the story
for the viewer not to be aware of a clu...
However, as Ivarsson and Carroll point out, ‘whatever the medium, the
principle of maximum legibility always applies’.chan...
Secondly, throughout this discussion, it is clear that there are two main
factors relevant to achieving successful subtitl...
In other words, the viewer is likely to read more quickly if his or her
eyes are not continually having to dart around the...
appear on the screen at the same time. In fact, this point is included in the
“Code of Good Subtitling Practice” developed...
Generally, one line of subtitle should have between 35-40 characters, which
implies that a lengthier subtitle will need a ...
Left-aligned:
He said that he would not be able to come
until tomorrow.
He said
that he would not be able to come until to...
In either case, it is very important that the line break does not affect the
meaning of the subtitle, by splitting the sen...
Finally, punctuation is a feature of the appearance of the
subtitle that needs to be addressed, as it can easily distract ...
The colour of the subtitle on the screen will also affect its legibility,
in comparison to the background on which it is s...
If we take into consideration the amount of time the subtitle is to
remain on the screen, reading speed etc. then it is cl...
The second area relevant to achieving legibility is that relating to timing.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to set fi...
They, also, go on to comment that if a subtitle is left on the screen for too
long, the viewer is then tempted to read it ...
Ivarsson and Carroll suggest that ‘to eliminate this problem it is recommended
to leave approximately four frames or the e...
All the constraints previously outlined will come together under the
heading of readability and influence the decisions ma...
Another form of reduction is to simplify the syntactical structure of the spoken
sentence. For example, if the spoken dial...
Therefore, the translator would need to achieve a balance between maintaining
the style but, at the same time, working wit...
It would be perfectly feasible to render this dialogue in the equivalent written
form for subtitles as:
You must fill in t...
Finally, the subtitler can take advantage of the visual element linked to
the subtitles in order to delete certain parts o...
Simplification, however, rather than making changes regarding the amount of
text appearing on the screen, deals with the t...
A common feature of simplification is, therefore, that marked language will be
made more neutral or standard. In films and...
Another type of language that tends to be standardised in the same way is
that used within specialised genres, such as lit...
Luyken points out that another reason for this standardisation could be to do with
the customs of the country where the pr...
For example, in Spanish, swear words are more frequently used than in English
and, as such, have far less impact on the vi...
Therefore, if they are then faced with a different variety, offering, perhaps,
different spelling, grammar or vocabulary, ...
IV. Editing/Post editing
Postediting (or post-editing) “is the process of improving a machinegenerated translation with a ...
Postediting
involves
the
correction
of machine
translation output to ensure that it meets a level of quality
negotiated in...
GUIDELINES
Clarity
•avoiding ambiguity, repetition and verbosity
•the use of punctuation to ensure clarity of meaning and ...
Spelling and punctuation
spelling and punctuation (including British and American uses)
Illustrations and tables
the pos...
Mr. Moses Ariel A. Altovar
EDUCATION DEPT. Bachelor of Secondary Education, Major in
English
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Techniques in translation, computer assisted, machine translation, subtitling, editing post editing

2,672

Published on

Techniques in Translation

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
0 Comments
4 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
2,672
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
179
Comments
0
Likes
4
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "Techniques in translation, computer assisted, machine translation, subtitling, editing post editing"

  1. 1. Techniques in Translation • Computer-assisted • Machine Translation • Subtitling • Editing/Post editing Techniques in Translation 1
  2. 2. I. COMPUTER-ASSISTED Computer-assisted translation also called ‘computer-aided translation or machine-aided human translation. It is a form of translation wherein human translator creates a target text with the assistance of a computer program. The machine supports a human translator. Computer assisted translation can include standard dictionary and grammar software. The term, however, normally denotes to a range of specialized programs available to translator. Techniques in Translation 2
  3. 3. The Role of Computer in CA In practice, computer-assisted translation is a complex process involving specific tools and technology adaptable to the needs of the translator, who is involved in the whole process and not just in the editing stage. The computer becomes a workstation where the translator has access to a variety of texts, tools and programs: for example, monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, parallel texts, translated texts in a variety of source and target languages, and terminology databases. Each translator can create a personal work environment and transform it according to the needs of the specific task. Thus computer-assisted translation gives the translator on-the-spot flexibility and freedom of movement, together with immediate access to an astonishing range of up-to-date information. The result is an enormous saving of time. Techniques in Translation 3
  4. 4. Translation skills: theory and practice The theoretical base should include general information regarding the translator’s workshop and the issues one should be familiar with. * Internet It is worth discussing is the role of the Internet as a source of information. It is important to use the translations which have been on the market for some time and are recognized by other people. This is where the internet becomes very useful for it allows us to search for given information (google.com, yahoo.com, altavista.com, etc.), use online dictionaries and corpora, or compare different language versions of the same site (Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia and the ability to switch between different languages defining a given notion – www.wikipedia.org). Google itself is a powerful tool since it allows us not only to search for information on webpages, but also it indexes *.doc and *.pdf files stored on servers, allowing us to browse through their contents in search for a context. Techniques in Translation 4
  5. 5. * Software A successful translator needs to know how to handle various computer applications in his/her work. That’s why basic software used to compress and decompress files should be mentioned (WinZip, WinRAR). PDF and multimedia files readers (images, audio). Last, the use of different word processors, are usually the first application that leads people to using a computer for their work. This comprises of spell checking, standard layouts, the ability to have some characters appear in bold print, italics, or underlined. We can save documents, so it can be used again, and we can print the documents. It is important to mention CAT tools, how they work and whether a beginner translator. Finally, above all, great attention should be paid to the word-processor which, in fact, is our primary working environment. Techniques in Translation 5
  6. 6. II. MACHINE TRANSLATION Machine Translation is a procedure whereby a computer program analyses a source text and produces a target text without further human intervention. However, machine translation typically does involve human intervention, in the form of pre-editing and post-editing. Techniques in Translation 6
  7. 7. Failures of Machine Translation Computers are not human beings – the nature of TR (and human language) is not an Algorithmic process: 1. polysemy - on the lexical level 2. connotations, pragmatics etc. 3. unable to account for changes in word order (syntax) 4. Unable translate literary texts (esp. poetry) Techniques in Translation 7
  8. 8. Advantages 1. pre-translation procedure (computer-aided TR) raw material for human refinement 2. even voice recognition - automated transcripts of human speech 3. Restricted texts: institutional, legal, specific technical (operational / maintenance) instructions; scientific abstracts, etc. 4. TR tools (dictionaries, glossaries, lexical & textual databases, wordnet, www) Techniques in Translation 8
  9. 9. Significance 1.practically still unusable (except in restricted languages) 2.MT important for the theory of TR: investigation of basic relationships In the process of TR 3.algorithmic rigour of MT - clear linguistic description 4.4. investigation of cognitive processes and the process of human TR (brain) 5.computers useful in helping humans (speed) in the translation activity rather than in translation itself Techniques in Translation 9
  10. 10. III. Subtitling Subtitles can be defined as ‘transcriptions of film or TV dialogue, presented simultaneously on the screen’. The types of subtitling available can be divided into two categories: intralingual and interlingual subtitling. Intralingual subtitling deals with the production of subtitles that remain in the same language as the original and are used for the deaf or hard of hearing, or for language learners. Henrik Gottlieb describes it as vertical, ‘in the sense that it involves taking speech down in writing, changing mode but not language.’Interlingual subtitling, on the other hand, refers to both a change in mode and language, going ‘from one language into another language, and from spoken dialogue into a written, condensed translation which appears on the screen.’ Therefore, for the purposes of this work, “subtitling” will refer to the interlingual subtitling described above. Techniques in Translation 10
  11. 11. When looking at subtitling, from the point of view of translation, many constraints exist that will effect the translation in question and cause the translator to modify the source text to a certain degree. Firstly, there are synchronisation constraints, which affect a number of aspects of language transfer. The very fact that the medium changes from oral to written will cause problems, given that it generally takes longer to process information received through the eyes than through the ears. So, if, in the spoken text, a large amount of information is provided, in the subtitles it will be necessary to modify the way this information is presented without losing any of it, in order to simplify the delivery and account for the change of medium. Similarly, if the length of certain utterances is too great or the structure too complex, it will be necessary to make some modifications in order to facilitate understanding through the written format. A long, complex sentence, although easy to comprehend if heard, would be very difficult to follow if it were left unaltered, given the timeframe available to read subtitles. Techniques in Translation 11
  12. 12. For example, if we take the following narration as the spoken version of a text: “In beautiful autumnal colours, the stunning models glided around the splendid arena, oozing sophistication and elegance, doing rightful justice to the imaginative designers.” the subtitled written would more than likely be rendered in a more simplistic fashion, such as : “In the arena the designers’ outfits were modelled with style and elegance.” Techniques in Translation 12
  13. 13. This also relates to the reading speed of the viewer, which needs to be taken into consideration. Clearly, establishing the profile of the target audience will be crucial in assessing the viewer’s potential reading speed and is an important factor for the translator. In this aspect, literacy and age are both influencing factors. For example, there is likely to be a great deal of difference between an adult’s and a child’s reading speed, and, as such, the subtitles would need to be altered accordingly, for example, by simplifying the vocabulary for a child. Also, if the subtitled version of a broadcast were to be shown in a country with a low level of literacy, it would be necessary to ensure the subtitles were fairly basic. So, ‘an accurate assessment of audience literacy and of the viewers’ knowledge of the subject matter is therefore essential to the success of subtitling’.4 Another constraint, in terms of synchronising the subtitling, is the correlation with the visuals on-screen and the sound track. In other words, the subtitles must link up with what the viewer is seeing and hearing on the screen, so they are able to maintain their coherence. This is especially important if the translator is dealing with a visual gag or comedy element, in which case it would not be correct to spoil the surprise before the joke has happened. Techniques in Translation 13
  14. 14. The same would apply in a “whodunit” type of scene, where it is vital to the story for the viewer not to be aware of a clue or perhaps the identity of a culprit until the appropriate moment. Frame changes represent another constraint to the translator. If a subtitle appears over a frame A final constraint, which must be accounted for, involves the medium through which the subtitles are to be shown, which, in turn, will affect factors such as font size and audience age range. In cinemas, for example, the size of the screen is much larger and therefore, will allow more flexibility with regard to the font size of the subtitles, making the reading of them easier and more comfortable for the viewer, whereas, on television, the translator is restricted to a smaller screen space, thereby limiting the size of the font. Also, the type of audience likely to be attracted by these two mediums will differ, in which case the translator’s task is made more difficult as they are less likely to be able to assess the reading speed and literacy of the audience. Techniques in Translation 14
  15. 15. However, as Ivarsson and Carroll point out, ‘whatever the medium, the principle of maximum legibility always applies’.change, it is likely that the subtitle will be lost to the viewer, as their attention is likely to be diverted away from the subtitle, due to the change in scene. Therefore, the translator must ensure that the subtitles have disappeared from the screen by the time the frame changes. However, sometimes this is not always possible. As Josephine Dries points out, ‘a good subtitler will wish to avoid a subtitle staying on screen across a shot change, and certainly across a scene change. When cuts follow each other too quickly, the minimum reading time (in most countries 1 ½ seconds, in some 1 second) sometimes forces the subtitlers to break this law’ Techniques in Translation 15
  16. 16. Secondly, throughout this discussion, it is clear that there are two main factors relevant to achieving successful subtitling: legibility and readability or simplicity. Strategies have been developed focusing on these two elements, in order to provide suitable guidelines for subtitlers. First of all, let us look at legibility. To achieve legibility, subtitlers must focus on the appearance of the subtitles and the timing. With regard to the appearance of the subtitle, for languages that read left to right, the positional options are for text to be either centred or left-aligned. Historically, subtitles had always been centred, mainly due to the poor quality of television sets, which tended to be fuzzy round the edges. So, in order not to lose any of the text, they were positioned in the centre of the screen. However, as technology has improved and, so, presents fewer restrictions, today’s convention favours more the left-aligned approach, as it is suggested that it is easier for the eye to focus on a new line if it begins in the same spot on the screen. Techniques in Translation 16
  17. 17. In other words, the viewer is likely to read more quickly if his or her eyes are not continually having to dart around the screen to find the beginning of the speech. The position of the subtitle is something that can be accounted for when a programme is in its production stage, especially if the producers are aware that the production is going to be exported and, therefore, subtitled. In her guidelines for production, Josephine Dries suggests that ‘since the subtitles usually cover the lower 15% (two lines) of the screen, care should be taken that the mouth of the speaker is slightly higher on the screen than it would normally be. Viewers focus on the moving part of the picture, i.e. the mouth in a close-up, which should not be covered by the subtitle’. As well as the position of the subtitles, the number and length of the lines appearing on screen at any one time must be taken into consideration. The general consensus is that two lines of subtitles should be the maximum to Techniques in Translation 17
  18. 18. appear on the screen at the same time. In fact, this point is included in the “Code of Good Subtitling Practice” developed by Ivarsson and Carroll for discussion at the ‘Languages and the Media’ conference in Berlin, October 1516, 1998. Point 19 states ‘the number of lines in any subtitle must be limited to two’8. However, this is considered as the maximum limit not the preferred option. It is suggested, therefore, that ‘if it is possible to write the text of any one subtitle in a single line, it is usually better to do so’.9 Of course, the medium for which the subtitles are intended will also have an impact on this, as the size of the cinema screen may justify having two lines rather than one. This, then, leads on to the issue of the line breaks. If there are two lines of subtitles, where should the break between them occur? Techniques in Translation 18
  19. 19. Generally, one line of subtitle should have between 35-40 characters, which implies that a lengthier subtitle will need a break at some point. As such, one line is likely to be longer than the other. Here, there is a connection with the position of the subtitle on the screen, as discussed earlier. If the subtitles are centred, it does not matter which of the lines is longer, as the distant the eye must travel to look at the beginning of the second line will be the same either way round. However, if the subtitles are left-aligned, the eye will have much further to move if the first line is much longer than the second, in which case it is better for the first line to be the shorter of the two. This is clearly illustrated, by Ivarsson and Carroll, in the following diagram: e.g. Centred: He said that he would not be able to come until tomorrow. He said that he would not be able to come until tomorrow. Techniques in Translation 19
  20. 20. Left-aligned: He said that he would not be able to come until tomorrow. He said that he would not be able to come until tomorrow. Techniques in Translation 20
  21. 21. In either case, it is very important that the line break does not affect the meaning of the subtitle, by splitting the sentence in such a way as to alter the viewer’s understanding of what is being said. The typeface or font used for the subtitles needs, also, to be considered. Very ornate fonts are usually quite difficult to read whatever the medium, and, so, would be especially difficult in a subtitle format, particularly on the small screen. Also, text written in uppercase tends to be harder to read than text written in the standard lowercase and uppercase structure. Therefore, it is necessary, in order to enhance legibility, to make sure the subtitles are presented in a basic, simple font, in the standard lowercase / uppercase format. The use of italics is often introduced to denote a distant voice, a voice on the telephone or off screen, quotes or internal voices such as those in dreams or flashbacks. As such, it is important that they are reserved for this specific use, in order not to confuse the viewer. Techniques in Translation 21
  22. 22. Finally, punctuation is a feature of the appearance of the subtitle that needs to be addressed, as it can easily distract the viewer and distort the meaning of the utterance. As such, it is best to keep punctuation to a minimum and to strike a fair balance between providing enough punctuation for the viewer to understand the meaning and providing too much for it to become a distraction. As an example, let us look at the following two sentences: “He said, “I can’t come ‘til 6 o’clock!” “He said he can’t come until 6.00 pm” Techniques in Translation 22
  23. 23. The colour of the subtitle on the screen will also affect its legibility, in comparison to the background on which it is set. Clearly, if the subtitle is in white and there is a lot of white or light-coloured background, the subtitle will not stand out sufficiently to be seen, let alone read. Likewise, the same would apply for black subtitles on dark or black backgrounds. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the same level of darkness will appear in the background throughout the film. Therefore, one possibility is to place a box behind the subtitles to contrast against the colour of the text. However, the technology available to the subtitler or production team will determine whether or not this is a feasible option. As point 3 of the technical aspects of the “Code of Good Subtitling Practice” states, ‘in video applications, character clarity can be enhanced by a drop shadow or semi-transparent or black box behind the subtitles.’11 Techniques in Translation 23
  24. 24. If we take into consideration the amount of time the subtitle is to remain on the screen, reading speed etc. then it is clear that the second sentence will be easier to read as the unnecessary punctuation has been removed and, therefore, does not cause a distraction. In some cases, however, it is necessary to include punctuation, for example, when two different people are speaking, which is often denoted by a dash “ – ” separating the two speakers. In essence, Luyken sums it up by saying ‘distractions such as complex sentences, abbreviations, unnecessary punctuation, incomplete sentences and ambiguities (unless reflecting ambiguity in the source) must be avoided’. Techniques in Translation 24
  25. 25. The second area relevant to achieving legibility is that relating to timing. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to set fixed timings for subtitling, as there are a number of factors that can impact on reading behaviour, such as ‘the level of literacy of the target audience, the viewer’s degree of familiarity with the programme language, the genre of the subtitled programme and the pace of the visuals’.13 However, firstly, in terms of the length of time one subtitle should remain on the screen, guidelines have been proposed suggesting that somewhere between one and seven seconds would be appropriate. Again, this will depend on the factors mentioned but also on the length of the subtitle, whether it is one or two lines, a short or a long utterance. In relation to this, Ivarsson and Carroll have suggested the following: ‘As a general rule, the minimum time for even a very short subtitle on a television screen is at least one and a half seconds and the maximum time for a full two-liner should not exceed five to six seconds. A full one-liner should be kept on the screen for about three seconds, one and a half lines for about four seconds.’ Techniques in Translation 25
  26. 26. They, also, go on to comment that if a subtitle is left on the screen for too long, the viewer is then tempted to read it more than once, thereby destroying the sense of a flowing dialogue. On the other hand, if the subtitle is a short one, maybe a simple “yes” or “no”, that ‘could theoretically be taken off the screen after a mere half-second, the risk is high that the eye will not register it at all. For this reason, even the briefest subtitle should remain on the screen for about a second and a half’. After establishing a suitable length of time for the subtitles to appear on screen, another concept relating to timing concerns the amount of time that should be left between subtitles. Again, Ivarsson and Carroll explain how ‘experience shows that if subtitles are placed back to back without a minimal pause between them, the eye often does not register that a new subtitle has appeared, but remains fixed on some other part of the screen’.16 Clearly, therefore, some sort of gap is needed for the viewer to subconsciously acknowledge that the subtitles have changed and new dialogue has been presented. Techniques in Translation 26
  27. 27. Ivarsson and Carroll suggest that ‘to eliminate this problem it is recommended to leave approximately four frames or the equivalent of about one sixth of a second between subtitles, even when the dialogue is ongoing’. This, inevitably, creates difficulties if the speech is rapid or if a dialogue between two people contains very short utterances, which can undoubtedly be uttered faster than they can be read. It is possible to overcome this by borrowing time from the gaps that occur naturally within a programme. However, the main techniques used to combat this problem relate to ways of achieving readability. Techniques in Translation 27
  28. 28. All the constraints previously outlined will come together under the heading of readability and influence the decisions made by the translator. Clearly, it is here that the translator must consider ways to present the text so that it is readable, taking into consideration constraints such as reading speed and genre, but also bearing in mind the space available on the screen, the time the subtitle will be shown, the frame changes and all the other limitations on their translation abilities. In order to do this, there are two techniques used to achieve readability; one is by way of reduction and the other, by way of simplification, and it is here that we can look more closely at the implications of subtitling constraints on translation. Firstly, reduction can be achieved by simply using fewer words to render the same meaning. Given that we are dealing with interlingual subtitling, this technique could also be useful for any reference that lacks an equivalent in the foreign language. For example, if the term “metropolitan police force” were to appear in a dialogue, it would be unlikely to have an equivalent in other languages. Therefore, unless it was a key element of the story, it would be better to simply translate it as “police”, whilst at the same time adhering to the technique of reduction. Techniques in Translation 28
  29. 29. Another form of reduction is to simplify the syntactical structure of the spoken sentence. For example, if the spoken dialogue is given as “What time can we expect your son to arrive?” the subtitle can feasibly become “What time is your son arriving?” Or, sentences that begin with “Are we likely to…” can be simplified by rendering them as “Will we…”. This may well be a process that is imposed on the translator by the structure of the foreign language into which they are translating. But equally such sentences may represent a stylistic way of speaking, which would need to be rendered in the foreign language. Techniques in Translation 29
  30. 30. Therefore, the translator would need to achieve a balance between maintaining the style but, at the same time, working within the constraints. Merging short dialogues together can be another successful technique used to achieve readability. Let us look at the following dialogue: You need to fill in this form. OK. Then you have to take it to the issue desk. Right. You must have your passport with you, too. That’s fine. Techniques in Translation 30
  31. 31. It would be perfectly feasible to render this dialogue in the equivalent written form for subtitles as: You must fill in this form, take is to the issue desk and take your passport. OK. In this way, the viewer can fully grasp the meaning of the conversation, and the instructions issued within it, without being distracted by the extra affirmations within the dialogue. Clearly, the more natural a conversation is the more likely it is for such extra utterances to occur and, as such, the translator will almost be in a position of having to summarise the conversation. For the purposes of subtitling, this would be quite acceptable as the viewer will still have access to the original voices, albeit in a foreign language, so can subconsciously add a “yes” or a “no” to their understanding of the dialogue. Techniques in Translation 31
  32. 32. Finally, the subtitler can take advantage of the visual element linked to the subtitles in order to delete certain parts of the dialogue that are, by and large, redundant. ‘Any information which may be gleaned from the actor’s performance ought not to be reproduced in the text.’18 Again, this would particularly help if a cultural reference required a lengthy or complex explanation, but could quite easily be understood through the visuals. For instance, in a scene where two people are in a bakery discussing whether to buy a Danish pastry or a Bakewell tart, there would be no need for the subtitler to attempt to explain these references or try to translate them precisely, as the visuals would provide a more than satisfactory description. Techniques in Translation 32
  33. 33. Simplification, however, rather than making changes regarding the amount of text appearing on the screen, deals with the type or quality of text that appears on the screen. Firstly, the very fact that the medium changes from spoken to written when subtitles are introduced, will inevitably cause the loss of such aspects of speech as intonation. This can, to a certain extent, be rendered in the written format by way of punctuation. However, in subtitles, as has been mentioned, the inclusion of punctuation can affect the legibility of the text. Therefore, it is likely that these aspects will incur greater loss when a text is subtitled, rather than, say, translated in the book form, which allows for the inclusion of more punctuation and more explanation, for example, in the form of adding “she said in a surprised tone”. Techniques in Translation 33
  34. 34. A common feature of simplification is, therefore, that marked language will be made more neutral or standard. In films and television programmes, this can have an important effect on the characters portrayed, as their speech could well be an intentional feature used to establish certain facts about the characters. This can be seen in a grammatical context, for example, where very formal or informal speech is used, perhaps, to convey the relationship between two characters, or where fairly ungrammatical speech is used to show that a character has had a poor education. These aspects, if maintained in the subtitles, would hinder the readability, and, therefore, the common practice is to convert them into more standard varieties of the language. So, a character with little education who uttered “I isn’t stupid”, would probably appear in the subtitled version as saying “I’m not stupid”, which would then suggest a higher level of education than was originally intended by the author, or, indeed, than other aspects of the character would suggest. It would also lose the comic element of somebody trying to maintain that they are more intelligent or educated than people think, but doing so by using a phrase that is grammatically incorrect, in relation to standard variety norms. Techniques in Translation 34
  35. 35. Another type of language that tends to be standardised in the same way is that used within specialised genres, such as literary or technical language, which require some sort of prior knowledge, particularly if being read. This would occur, for instance, in the subtitling of medical or forensic programmes. It would be impossible for the subtitle viewer of, say, ER to follow what was happening if all the technical information were rendered in the subtitles. As it is, the majority of the listening viewers will no doubt not understand exactly what is being discussed, but grasp the gist. As such, it is necessary to ensure that the subtitles provide the same effect. Clearly, the disadvantage is that the reader will not have the impression of professionalism, technical expertise and realism if the staff of the ER talks about “blood pressure” rather than “BP”. Techniques in Translation 35
  36. 36. Luyken points out that another reason for this standardisation could be to do with the customs of the country where the programme is to be aired. In the field of politics, he states that ‘highly emotional and emotive speeches might be the oratorical fashion in one country but be utterly repugnant to viewers in another.’19 Strong language is another type that tends to be toned down in subtitling or even not translated. The reasons for this could, in fact, be out of the subtitler’s hands, if censorship prohibits the rendering of swear words. However, it could also be the subtitler’s own personal preference to tone down the bad language used within a script. The problem that occurs if strong language is toned down, again, relates to characterisation. There are countless films in which the “bad guys” use such strong language, and, in fact, it could be argued that the more swear words they use the nastier they are portrayed. So, in cancelling this effect out by neutralising the language in the subtitles, the traits of the character are altered, thereby perhaps making them appear less threatening and evil than they are intended to be. Another problem that exists, however, in this context relates to the acceptability of Techniques in Translation 36 swear words in the foreign language and the implications of their use.
  37. 37. For example, in Spanish, swear words are more frequently used than in English and, as such, have far less impact on the viewer than its English equivalent. Also, because the strength of different swear words varies, it may be difficult for the subtitler to gauge and therefore, the equivalent chosen may reflect either a stronger or weaker version of the original, again, affecting the overall impression for the viewer. Similarly, another area where neutralisation commonly occurs is with the use of language reflecting social and cultural origins of the speaker; in other words, the use of dialects and accents. This tends to become the standard variety of a language in the subtitles, as it is very difficult for viewers to read a written dialect. The fact that most written publications are produced using the standard variety, as discussed in the previous chapter, means that viewers are accustomed to reading that variety. Techniques in Translation 37
  38. 38. Therefore, if they are then faced with a different variety, offering, perhaps, different spelling, grammar or vocabulary, it becomes more difficult and will take longer to read. So, for example someone in a film who says something along the lines of: “’e aint done nuffin’ yet!” is more likely to be portrayed in the subtitles as having said the equivalent of: “He hasn’t done anything yet!” This, again, can have an unwanted effect on the characters being portrayed, as the social implications associated with the way a person talks cannot be rendered in the written form. This is also especially difficult in the context under discussion, namely, interlingual subtitling, as the social implications associated with a dialect of one language, may not be the same as the social implications associated with the dialect of another language. As such, by rendering the subtitles in a dialect form of the target language, the subtitler may be associating an inappropriate set of social features with the character in question. Techniques in Translation 38
  39. 39. IV. Editing/Post editing Postediting (or post-editing) “is the process of improving a machinegenerated translation with a minimum of manual labour”. A person who postedits is called a posteditor. The concept of postediting is linked to that of pre-editing. In the process of translating a text via machine translation, best results may be gained by pre-editing the source text – for example by applying the principles of controlled language – and then postediting the machine output. It is distinct fromediting, which refers to the process of improving human generated text (a process which is often known as revision in the field of translation). Postedited text may afterwards be revised to ensure the quality of the language choices or proofread to correct simple mistakes. Techniques in Translation 39
  40. 40. Postediting involves the correction of machine translation output to ensure that it meets a level of quality negotiated in advance between the client and the posteditor. Light postediting aims at making the output simply understandable; full post-editing at making it also stylistically appropriate. With advances in machine translation full postediting is becoming an alternative to manual translation. There are a number of software tools that support post-editing of machine translated output. This includes the Google Translator Toolkit, SDL Trados and Systran Techniques in Translation 40
  41. 41. GUIDELINES Clarity •avoiding ambiguity, repetition and verbosity •the use of punctuation to ensure clarity of meaning and ease of reading Grammar and usage •the conventions of grammar and syntax in written English •words and their meanings (but not technical terms) •the expression of numbers, dates, percentages, measurements and statistical data •the use of italics, capitalisation, hyphenation, symbols and shortened forms the display of lists and quotations Techniques in Translation 41
  42. 42. Spelling and punctuation spelling and punctuation (including British and American uses) Illustrations and tables the position of tables and illustrations in the thesis the clarity, grammar, spelling and punctuation of the text in illustrations and tables Text •completeness and internal consistency in references (including citations, bibliography, list of references, endnotes or footnotes, and cross-references) consistency in page numbers, headers and footers. Techniques in Translation 42
  43. 43. Mr. Moses Ariel A. Altovar EDUCATION DEPT. Bachelor of Secondary Education, Major in English
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×