Brainstorm about Your Own Translating Experiences

The first step in choosing a topic is to think of something that interests you. Only when you are interested in something will you be highly motivated and see the work through. HOW then? You have been engaged in various translating activities. It is natural to start with your own translating experiences to find something that interests you.

"Well, I have had a wide range of experiences in translating. Where shall I start?" This could be the first question. Below we collect in a table the results of the brainstorming done by a number of your fellow trainees. Each of them has presented ONE experience that either comes to mind quickly or has been troubling or interesting them for quite some time. Read through the following statements carefully and see if you have experienced any in your own translating activities.

Trainee's Statement of Their Translating Experience
A For me, translating from English into Chinese seems to be much easier a task than translating from Chinese into English.
B It is said that poems are the most difficult to translate. My experience with advertisement translation tells me that it is no less difficult. At least, ads are more difficult to deal with than technical instructions.
C My trainer often assigns us many sentence translation exercises. It's not difficult for me to offer satisfactory translations. But when I'm supposed to deal with paragraphs, the picture is rather different.
D I feel frustrated that I need to consult a bilingual dictionary so frequently to figure out what an English word means.
E I work for an international company. The language for all documents and written correspondences at work is English. In most cases I have no difficulty at all reading them. But I still remember how I struggled to complete the task I had been assigned to translate the user's book of a newly published software for local customers. It posed no difficulties when I read it but turned out to be a torture when I had to translate it into Chinese.
F Whenever I finish a Chinese-English translation exercise, I read it through. But it always seems awkward and is far from idiomatic. I feel as though I am saying things in a Chinese way with English words.
G I'm a lover of literature. I have noticed that there has been a tendency in China since the 1980s to re-translate many significant works written in foreign languages.
H English subjects have been treated very differently both in my own translation and in other people's translations I read.
I All the English translations of poems written in Classical Chinese cannot compare to their originals at all. I'm proud of the Chinese language for its capacity to create beauty.
J I often wonder whether there are any differences between writer-translators like Lu Xun and those translators who are not professional writers.
K I haven't had much experience in being commissioned for translations, but my limited experience makes me feel that the fees paid to translators are too low and do not match the efforts made by the translators.
L When I was in high school we often discussed works we had recently read. The fact that we always referred to what we read, for instance, as shashibiya de baofengyu (Shakespeare's Tempest) as if we were reading the English original seems to bother me somewhat now. What we read was actually Chinese translations but nobody mentioned the work done by the translators.
M I once read an English translation of the introduction to a tourist spot when I traveled by air. For some terms describing objects or customs unique to the given culture, the translator used the pinyin forms of the Chinese words and provided extra explanations about those objects or customs. The words of explanation were of course absent from the Chinese original. I was a bit curious how the translator determined what required an explanation.
N I found that the more I translate the better my English becomes.
O I usually feel that translations offered for one and the same original vary from each other in many ways.
P I came across a long English sentence recently and am not satisfied with any of the translations suggested so far for it either by myself or by my friends. I wonder how I can work out a satisfactory solution.
Q Although I have done some translations, I do not understand how I did them at all.

Task 1
Describe Your Own Translating Experiences


BeiwaiOnline(Beijing) Edu-Tech Co.,Ltd, Copyright © 2001-2016 All Rights Reserved.