May 25th, 2011, 7:40 pm
Hi everyone, I'm doing a linguistics study and I am in search of 4-5 people who are all fluent in the same non-English language. I'd like to ask you a few questions about your language and compare answers, but I would like conduct interviews over private messaging, or another messaging client that you would be more comfortable with.
In this thread, could you post what language you speak, and maybe a bit about the difficulties in translating between English and your language? :D
May 26th, 2011, 8:59 am
I am originally from Germany but I have lived in the UK for more than ten years and I am a fully qualified translator.
Difficulties in translating from English into German? Well, in German we have got genders for most nouns and there is a difference between male and female plurals. This has led to a huge discussion when talking about groups of people and certain job types. So far the male plural version of a group has been used even if this job has been predominantly held by women these days and attempts have been made to use more "neutral" terms to include both. For example "teacher" means "Lehrer" and the female equivalent would be Lehrerin. The male plural is also "Lehrer" and the female plural is "Lehrerrinnen". In order to make the plural neutral (i. e. it can be either male or female) the term "Lehrkräfte" ("teaching forces") can be used.
This is just one example that comes to my mind straight away.
May 26th, 2011, 9:37 am
Hi Flameow! :wave: I'm originally from Germany as well, but live in Belgium now; I'm also a fully qualified translator (same uni as Titania), though currently working "only" as a translation assistant (i.e. post-translation and formatting) in a translation department.
May I ask you a few questions first? :)
1) "fluent in the same non-English language": what do you mean by that - the mother tongue (for me German) or any other language/s (for me e.g. French, Spanish, Esperanto, passive Dutch, ...)?
2) "difficulties in translating between English and your language": does this mean that you are actually looking for translators for your study, or do you mean the everyday "translation in your head" back and forth between native tongue and foreign language? I'm asking because some of us who have been living in another country for quite some time don't even do this back-and-forth "inner translation anymore, because we've grown comfortable enough in the foreign language to move along without constantly translating back and forth in the head.
3) Just out of curiosity: what is this study for? :) Is it meant to be a university homework, or a final study for some course/class? With the small sample of just 4-5 people it probably isn't meant to be a final thesis, right?
As for translation difficulties (in actual translation in this case), I keep hearing from translators in our department that texts in French or English are often worded more vaguely than in German, so you'd often need to ask what exactly they mean in order to pick the right word or wording in German. As we also act as a pivot language for some of the smaller European languages, they sometimes wait for our version before finishing their own, because ours is usually clearer and more precise. :) (Or perhaps we're just more nitpicky... ;) )