09 April 2009


What do you call the process of taking a translation of something written in a foreign language, which is crude, ungrammatical or non-ideomatic, perhaps done by computer, a literalistic language student, or a non-native speaker, and rewriting it in ideomatic English without mastery of the original language?

It is an activity I have undertaken a number of times lately (in both legal and non-legal texts). While it can be a problem in terms of faithfulness to the original, the alternative of using unclear garbled language has its own problems, and a proper ideomatic translation is often unavailable.

1 comment:

Michael Malak said...

I call it "translation in the Internet era" or "everyone's a translator".