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Personal methods in translation
Autor de la hebra: Becca Resnik

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turquía
Local time: 11:56
Miembro
inglés al turco
+ ...
What about commas? May 23

And the French adore to use pronouns such as celle-ci and ce dernier to an extreme extent, referring back to an antecedent 20 lines back, forcing the reader to analyse the syntax of and several subjects or objects in many sentences back to find one noun for which the gender, singularity/plurality and context matches the pronoun.

I guess it makes the writer feel more intellectual. [/quote]

Turkish language is not that complex. It's pretty straightforward, a
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And the French adore to use pronouns such as celle-ci and ce dernier to an extreme extent, referring back to an antecedent 20 lines back, forcing the reader to analyse the syntax of and several subjects or objects in many sentences back to find one noun for which the gender, singularity/plurality and context matches the pronoun.

I guess it makes the writer feel more intellectual. [/quote]

Turkish language is not that complex. It's pretty straightforward, always following the same order (subject+object+predicate). There are not even gender pronouns (everything is 'it'). But, for some reason, your description of French language has reminded me of Turkish authors' and translators' excessive use of commas. I'm by no means a grammar expert (I did fairly poorly at school, I only improved my grammar through translation), but having to proofread texts, every now and then, translated by Turkish translators, I often see an English sentence containing only two commas turn into a Turkish sentence 'boasting' 5 or 6 commas. I never understood why they feel the need to stop the flow of a text like that. I wonder if that's the case in other languages? From your description, I'd think a French or an Italian text would require frequent use of commas. I can understand omitted commas or lack of commas due to poor grammar knowledge, but do people use a lot of commas in other languages to make a text look 'more intellectual or sophisticated'?
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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Miembro 2014
danés al inglés
+ ...
Commas May 23

Baran Keki wrote:

I'd think a French or an Italian text would require frequent use of commas. I can understand omitted commas or lack of commas due to poor grammar knowledge, but do people use a lot of commas in other languages to make a text look 'more intellectual or sophisticated'?



French use of commas is closer to English than German and Danish, where you need a comma for each noun-verb unit¹.

But of course, if you really want, in English or French, just to mention two languages, you can write in a way that requires plenty of commas, for example by inserting a flood of parenthetical phrases, listing several examples, using the Oxford comma, although this obviously only applies to English, and using appositions galore.

1) Danish also allows for comma use closer to English, but only about 5% of the population use that system. Said 5% seem to be 'intellectuals' and for decades there has been a fight between this 'elite cluster', who try to force everybody else to use their system, and the rest, who were taught the German-based system in school and consider the 'intellectual' system too complicated or even incorrect. English gives the writer some leeway with commas, but while the English-inspired comma system in Danish aims to reflect English rules, it has been made a prescriptive system with Germanic rigour, so the syntactical analysis to determine when not to use commas is very complicated.


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 01:56
Miembro 2006
noruego al inglés
+ ...
Unnecessary commas in Danish May 23

Baran Keki wrote:

I wonder if that's the case in other languages?



Thomas T. Frost wrote:

1) Danish also allows for comma use closer to English, but only about 5% of the population use that system. Said 5% seem to be 'intellectuals' and for decades there has been a fight between this 'elite cluster', who try to force everybody else to use their system, and the rest, who were taught the German-based system in school and consider the 'intellectual' system too complicated or even incorrect. English gives the writer some leeway with commas, but while the English-inspired comma system in Danish aims to reflect English rules, it has been made a prescriptive system with Germanic rigour, so the syntactical analysis to determine when not to use commas is very complicated.


Danish uses many unnecessary commas, interrupting the flow. I’ve never understood why they don’t just adopt the comma rules used in Norwegian and Swedish, which make much more sense.



[Edited at 2020-05-23 17:34 GMT]


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Miembro 2014
danés al inglés
+ ...
Commas May 23

Michele Fauble wrote:

Danish uses many unnecessary commas, interrupting the flow. I’ve never understood why they don’t just adopt the comma rules used in Norwegian and Swedish, which make much more sense.


They've tried, but people stick to the rules they've learnt and know. There is no popular support for changing the traditional system – just like many Britons and Americans prefer to stick to Imperial measures instead of switching to metric.

I don't think the commas interrupt the flow when you've been using them all your life. For me it actually interrupts the flow when I reach the 'missing' commas in the new system, which notably the Language Council uses. I stumble on each and every one of them with the reaction, 'hey, a comma is missing here – oh, it's the Language Council and their fancy punctuation – let me continue'. It's very annoying to read such texts in Danish. I can't just switch 'reviewing' mode off. A Scandinavian agency I work for specifically asks its translators not to use the new system because many people would think the punctuation was incorrect.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco al inglés
+ ...
Commas May 23

Danish: My partner, also a Swedish-based Scandi translator, refuses to translate Danish because she can’t get her head round the commas, yet I don’t even notice them.

English: We have plenty of daft “rules” too. The Yanks have to have a comma after every time phrase. I trip over every Oxford comma I read. Tom can’t stand them being used instead of full stops.

Botanic: Lots of lovely commas flying around the garden in recent weeks though...


Thomas T. Frost
 

Mauro Martínez
Argentina
Local time: 05:56
inglés al español
+ ...
Step by step May 23

I usually read the ST and check vocabulary related to the topic before diving into the translation. The process of searching for glosaries, parallel STs, and maybe watching videos both in the SL and TL is key. Then, I make a draft that I do not check until I finish. I focus on different aspects of the text, I analyze step by step (grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, terms, structure, coherence, tenses) each time.

 

Becca Resnik  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:56
Miembro
alemán al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
A bit unique May 24

Matías Martínez wrote:

I usually read the ST and check vocabulary related to the topic before diving into the translation. The process of searching for glosaries, parallel STs, and maybe watching videos both in the SL and TL is key. Then, I make a draft that I do not check until I finish. I focus on different aspects of the text, I analyze step by step (grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, terms, structure, coherence, tenses) each time.


This was interesting, and it's a bit unique in comparison to a lot of the other responses. I find it interesting that many take the "dive in and start" approach, whereas yours has a lot of groundwork and prep at the outset. Thanks so much for sharing!


 
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