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What makes a good translation?

Watch Dr Dorota Goluch introduce Week 4 of the course and the question; What makes a good translation?
We’re here in Bute parking Cardiff and behind me you can see some lovely flowers. Now because people walk dogs in this area it was important to have a sign telling dog owners to keep the dogs on the lead when they enter this area. Now think about it there’s so many ways in which you can say that your sign could be short and stern very formal or it could be something more polite longer, maybe something informal and even humorous. The sign that actually was used is this bilingual sign where the English reads ‘Please keep dogs on lead while in this ornamental area thank you.’
Let’s assume that the Welsh which by the way is much shorter is a translation of the English. What would make it a good translation then? You may say that as long as people get the message in other words as long as the owners don’t let the dogs eat the flowers the translation has worked. However some people might say no it’s not enough you’d like the style to be similar. So if this notice is quite polite has the thank you please, the Welsh notice should be similar mirror the style. Yet other people would think that you should forget the English and in fact think about typical notices, typical signs in Welsh and the phrasing they would use.
This may be a trivial example but more complex examples will also show that to decide what makes a good translation you need to be aware of a range of options when you’re commissioning you translate your translation when you’re doing a translation, and most importantly you should know what it is that the translation is trying to achieve. Now these are the questions will be exploring together in week 4 on translation quality.

Welcome to Week 4, the final week of the “Working with translation” course.

In the video, Dr Dorota Goluch introduces you to the main themes of this week as we ask “What makes a good translation?”

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Working with Translation: Theory and Practice

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