nicole rademacher

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Translation notes

Hallucinogenic complex = Drug paraphernalia

I was recently asked to translate a Code and Conduct and Health and Safety Regulation pamphlet. I am not a translator. I have translated before. I do a pretty good job. I do a better job when the jargon is at least in my field of expertise.

So, it got me thinking: you read "hallucinogenic complex" and understand what they are trying to say. Maybe "drug paraphernalia" doesn't immediately come to mind, but either way you get it. But, once "drug paraphernalia" is said (or occurs to you) suddenly everything becomes clearer.

I read the Normas de Orden and I understand what they are trying to say, but it remains in this abstract realm (which I am completely comfortable with), until I find the correct translation (sometimes I have to look for synonyms then leave the phrase/paragraph for a while until the correct way to say it in English dawns on me). It all becomes abundantly clear when this happens.

I am not sure if it is my faulty and severely-gapped knowledge of Spanish or just a peculiarity of my personal thought proceses; in any case I am not sure what I am getting at.

This has just been a recent observation I have had about translation...

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