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Tip #222 - The Construction of a True Retranslation

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:35 pm
by wordmagicsoft
In our last tip we used

Un inglés vino = An Englishman came.

as an example of a typical Translation and True Retranslation made by our Professional Text translator. This example was set for a Spanish-speaking User. However, be aware that the copy-paste deception mechanism works both ways, as we have seen in previous examples.

Let's go on with our discussion. When clicking on the Retranslation Button (available on our Professional and Plus versions only) we see the display:

An Englishman came. = Un britano vino (llegar).

You might wonder why have we resorted to the use of that particular style of writing. Why don't we simply retranslate the sentence as: “Un inglés vino”, same as the original, thus using a more common, ordinary speech?

There is a reason behind this. As we have mentioned before, words have many meanings. The only way to convey to the reader exactly which meaning is chosen in the translation is to retranslate it using a synonym. Thus , instead of retranslating “Inglés = Englishman = inglés”, we use the formula
“Inglés = Englishman = britano”

Otherwise, the Spanish User will never be sure if by “inglés” the program means an Englishman or “the English language”, (which happen to be spelled exactly alike in Spanish).

So, if we retranslate “Un inglés vino”, how can the User ever be sure about the interpretation of “inglés”? That's why the program chooses to use “britano” instead, which dispels any ambiguity.

And, what about “vino”? Is the program interpreting “vino” as grape wine, or as the past tense of the verb “venir”?. What we do in these cases is to attach a synonym of the verb (in case a verb is selected) at the side of the retranslation. The retranslated sentence will read thus
Un britano vino, (llegar)

…with the synonym “llegar” placed at the side, in parenthesis. That way, there is no room for doubt, even if the retranslated sentence does not “sound” elegant in Spanish. What we seek in these cases is not literary elegance, but dispelling away any possible ambiguity. We ask the User to please bear with this form of writing for the sake of disambiguation.

You can enjoy this advanced technology–exclusive to Word Magic Software–simply by downloading a free trial of our Text Translator. That way you may see with your own eyes that we are not boasting about anything far above the true capacity of our software. We never do.