If you missed Monday’s post, you might want to start there before attempting this next challenge.
We say that a translation is a good translation after having asked 3 important questions:
- Does it sound natural?
- Is it clear?
- Is it accurate?
Some would add a 4th question: Is it acceptable to those who will use it?
You are a team of Mother Tongue translators somewhere in the Northwest Region of Cameroon and you are studying an English translation in preparation for drafting. Each text will have a problem with either a word or group of words that you will want to identify and think about how to write it, so that the message is communicated naturally, clearly and accurately. (These problems come from real world challenges.)
Today we are going to have 2 texts and 2 problems –
Text – John 20.2 “They have taken away the Lord….
Problem – Your language says to “take away someone” means that someone such as kidnappers or police have taken someone to another place, where he is still alive. What would you say to correct this wrong idea in this verse?
Text- John 20:2 “…. and we don’t know where they have laid Him.”
Problem – Your language says to “lay someone” is to speak about people who are still alive. What would you say to correct this wrong idea in this verse?
Solution – From a translator – You give a similar situation in their context and ask them how they would say it. That is a good rule of thumb. For the John burial context I know that in some languages you lay a living body down but put a dead body down.
Solution 2 – “We don’t know where they have taken his dead body” and “we don’t know where the have placed his dead body.” The idea is to confirm the fact that he really died.