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How to translate well

A technical translator or a specialist in some other subject area (e.g. medicine) does not so much translate as he or she guesses: sometimes more successfully, for example when using Transcriberry transcribing and sometimes less successfully. After all, no one taught them how to translate, they were only taught to read a text in their specialty. And to read it, you don't have to understand everything thoroughly down to the smallest detail.

If the text is uncomplicated and logical enough, a limited knowledge of the language, combined with can be quite sufficient to produce a generally good and competent translation that correctly conveys all the terms.

But in practice, you will often come across illogical texts, and the narrative can be so confusing that even a philologist has trouble making sense of the piles of appendices, modal verbs, and complex tenses.

This is where technical translators fail, because they are unable to produce just a word-for-word translation of what is in the original, and there is almost nothing to guess in such a convoluted text.

I remember a funny story from the period when I was working at Wismuth in the German Democratic Republic for almost 7 years after graduation (1974-1980). One day we were translating a serious meeting, I think it was the directorate with the participation of Semen Nikolayevich Voloshchuk, the general director of the industry.

And here I was just translating a speech thanks to also helped the director and chief engineer of one of the mining companies and I gave the following sentence to the audience: "...and we drilled wells through the waste dumps." Then, unable to help himself, the General Director (mining engineer by profession) intervenes, turns to me by name and says: "What are you translating?! Through what other dumps?!"

For all the absurdity of the phrase to hear for professionals, it turned out that I translated it perfectly correctly. The enterprise's chief engineer stood up for me and explained to the GD that the wells were indeed drilled through the waste dumps for some reason.

At Wismuth I had a chance to teach German language to mixed groups of Soviet specialists (geologists, miners, economists, mathematicians, doctors) for several years. I remember asking the specialists to translate from a sheet of paper a text in their specialty. And they would start "guessing" instead of translating strictly what was written. RELATED RESOURCES: Watch YouTube and learn! Top 7 Channels with Useful Videos

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