Tips for technical translators - part 2

15 maja 2015

- Polish language syntax is loose.

Unlike the Polish language, Germanic languages, as well as the Romance languages have a rigid syntax.  Keep this in mind when translating and avoid copying rigid Germanic and/or Romance rigid syntax. Do not be a translator, be an interpreter.

-  Change the word order in translation from the original, divide sentences in translation or join content in the original in a few sentences, whenever this is beneficial because of the expression clarity.

- Short sentences are better in technical translations.

Technical translations are characterized by the supremacy of informational functions over the other language functions. Use short single sentences or complex sentences and avoid the use of multiple complex subordinate clauses.

- In technical translations, avoid foreign words. If there is an equivalent of the word with Polish formative core, in "forced" translations try to opt out the use of foreign words (see: Dictionary of Foreign Words). In technical translations of foreign languages use words of Polish formative core. (Note that foreign language is not the same as foreign words!).

- Do not overuse the word "for" to describe the goal! ;)  Surrounding Poland's linguistic communities like Germanic, Romance, and Slavic in this case are poorer than us and do not distinguish dependence of goal and affiliation.  Let us remember about the caricatural use of the word "for" in the example given by Professor Miodek, who heard the conductor welcoming the passengers with the words " Good day dear all". Let's appreciate and cultivate the richness of Polish language, because it pays off: richer language means freer thinking and expressions of thoughts, better quality of life, innovative ideas and technology, sustainable development of civilization.

Number of errors of this type in the official translations of EU documents is amazing, moreover they are usually performed by philologists and not by engineers... the lack of understanding of the topic and linguistic sensitivity can be noticed. An example of fatal translation of  "Guidelines for the veterinary certification of export from the EU to Russia".  "Pre-export certificates should be issued only for animals ..." That is how bad translation commissioned at the lowest price are...

- Join sentences both with logical links and formal links.  Let it be clear to the reader of your translated text , that presented in the following sentences information join together..till the moment when you interrupt this connection. Then you apply a new paragraph. Translate the technical text so the reader would follow your words like footprints. You must feel that the recipient will understand not only a single sentence, but also see and recognize logical sequence of thought.

See also