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Subject:Translation (was passive voice) From:ejray -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU Date:Mon, 7 Feb 1994 14:48:05 CDT
John Oriel <oriel -at- NTSC -dot- NAVY -dot- MIL> said:
> Perhaps the translation of passive voice is actually more difficult,
> and therefore requires a more accomplished translator, who is less
> prone to make errors. Misunderstandings in commerce are often very
> costly, and whatever can be done to avoid them is always wise.
>Anyhow, I'd still like to hear from someone who can comment author-
>itatively about what I heard.
In my life as a translator I translated operator's manuals
for a heavy equipment manufacturer from English into German.
I can say that ease of translation is directly related to
how well written a given sentence is. In other words, you
couldn't pay me enough to take a crack at the sentence I
just wrote. ;-). I don't remember ever having problems
related to active vs. passive, except that the active voice
was generally clearer to read (better written).
Veering onto a tangent, I would be interested in knowing
where you find translators and how you determine if they are
qualified. I am a native speaker of English, and, while I
did a good job translating into German, I would never hire a
non-native speaker of the target language to translate into
the target language. (Obviously I will do it myself to put
bread on the table.) Do any of you have specific policies or
rules of thumb for this?