Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Faithful translations or translations functional?

Speaking of a good translation, are often emphasize the concept of loyalty. Generally, believed that the target text must be faithful to the source text and respect both his style and the items referred to them. However, sometimes a "too faithful" to the original text may hinder the understanding of the reader goal, and it is possible that the text does not meet its goal, i.e., that it is not functional. It is here when the question arises: do we need translations faithful and effective translations?
Consider, for example, the text instructions, such as user manuals or recipes. In English, tend to be much more detailed than in Spanish and include information that, in the second language, generally, takes for granted. If we give Spanish-speaking audiences a translated text that is extremely faithful to the original, likely to feel underestimated and that not even finished reading it.
Something similar happens with advertising texts. Imagine one that was written in English for an American public and that is going to translate to offer the product in Spain. It is likely that many of the elements that makes reference are unknown to the Spanish public and that, even if you know them, is not achieved the same effect as with the American public. And if it doesn't impact the same way, nor sold in the same way, i.e. it will not meet its goal.

In 1978, the linguist Hans Vermeer, first introduced the Skopjetheory. SKOPOS is a word of Greek origin (σκοπός) which means 'purpose'. The theory holds that both the translation and the interpretation should take into account, primarily, the function of the source and target texts. Then, for example, if the function is to sell a product, must adapt the text so that it has the impact you are looking for in the public goal. And this does not apply only to linguistic, but also customs, world knowledge and preferences of each audience.
Perhaps this is most clearly visible in translations of films, especially in the children's film dubbing . It is clear that, in these cases, dubbing is made in order that children who speak the language meta entertainment as much as those who speak the language. To this end, it is necessary to make a series of adjustments in order to adapt references, jokes, language, etc. I am not saying that an adaptation to this end should always be, but I think it is a good example to understand what an effective translation.
To answer the question that gives title to this entry, we can say that, in general, seeking effectiveness rather than fidelity. Of course we won't say something quite different from what says the source text, but if adapt everything that is necessary so as to achieve the effect searched people to receive it in the language meta. The professional translators and interpreters are equipped with the necessary tools to help you learn what kind of translation needs and obtain a final text the most effective possible.