Translation Practices Explained Translation Practices Explained is a series of coursebooks designed to help self- learners and teachers of translation. Each volume focuses on a specific aspect of professional translation practice, in many cases corresponding to actual courses available in translator-training institutions. Special volumes are devoted to well consolidated professional areas, such as legal translation or European Union texts; to areas where labour-market demands are currently undergoing consid- erable growth, such as screen translation in its different forms; and to specific aspects of professional practices on which little teaching and learning material is available, the case of editing and revising, or electronic tools. The authors are practising translators or translator trainers in the fields concerned. Although specialists, they explain their professional insights in a manner accessible to the wider learning public.
First published 2001 by St. Jerome Publishing Second ediƟon published 2007 by St. Jerome Publishing This ediƟon published 2014 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2001, 2007, 2014 Brian Mossop The right of Brian Mossop to be idenƟﬁed as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with secƟons 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Contents Acknowledgements ix IntroducƟon for Users 1 IntroducƟon for Instructors 9 1. Why EdiƟng and Revising are Necessary 18 1.1 The diﬃculty of wriƟng 19 1.2 Enforcing rules 21 1.3 Quality in translaƟon 22 1.4 Limits to ediƟng and revising 26 1.5 The proper role of revision 27 Summary 28 Further reading 28 2. The Work of an Editor 29 2.1 Tasks of editors 29 2.2 EdiƟng, rewriƟng and adapƟng 33 2.3 Mental ediƟng during translaƟon 35 2.4 EdiƟng non-naƟve English 36 2.5 Degrees of ediƟng and ediƟng procedure 39 PracƟce 41 Further reading 41 3. CopyediƟng 42 3.1 Rules 42 3.2 House style 43 3.3 Spelling and typographical errors 44 3.4 Syntax and idiom 45 3.5 PunctuaƟon 49 3.6 Usage 52 PracƟce 58 Further reading 61 4. StylisƟc EdiƟng 63 4.1 Tailoring language to readers 63 4.2 Smoothing 67 4.3 Readability versus clarity 72 4.4 StylisƟc ediƟng during translaƟon 73 4.5 Some traps to avoid 74 PracƟce 75 Further reading 76.
Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge the following editors, translators, revisers and teachers who commented on various secƟons of the original manuscript of this book: Louise BruneƩe, Jane Conway, Sarah Cummins, Albert Daigen, Jacqueline Elton, Anita Kern, Louise Malloch, Ken Popert and Anthony Pym. Special thanks to Anne Schjoldager for her very detailed commentary on the ﬁrst ediƟon. I have also beneﬁted from comments made during the many revision workshops which I have led in Canada, the US, South Africa and half a dozen European countries since the second ediƟon appeared. .
IntroducƟon for Users This book aims to provide guidance and learning materials for two groups of users: ﬁrst, professional translators or translaƟon students who wish to improve their ability to revise their own translaƟons (‘self-revision’) or learn to revise translaƟons prepared by others (‘other-revision’); second, translaƟon students who are learning to edit original wriƟng by others. In this book, revising means reading a translaƟon in order to spot problemaƟc passages, and making any needed correcƟons or improvements. EdiƟng is this same task applied to texts which are not translaƟons. Revising and ediƟng are ﬁrst and foremost exercises in very careful reading. You can’t correct errors unƟl you have found them, and it is very easy to simply not noƟce problems, or to noƟce minor problems (a paragraph was not indented) and miss major ones (the word ‘not’ is missing and the sentence means the op- posite of what it is supposed to mean).
IntroducƟon for Instructors This book aims to be of use to three types of instructor: • those giving courses with an ediƟng or revising component to students at translaƟon schools; • those leading professional development workshops (PDWs) in revision or self-revision for pracƟsing translators; • those assigned to train junior translators or supervise students doing a pracƟcum at a translaƟon workplace.
1. Why EdiƟng and Revising are Necessary Why is it necessary for someone other than the writer or translator to check a text, and perhaps make changes, before it is sent oﬀ to readers? In this chapter, we’ll look at several reasons. First, it is extraordinarily easy to write sentences that are structured in such a way that readers will misunderstand them or have diﬃculty understanding them. Second, it is easy, while wriƟng, to forget about the future readers and write something which is not suited to them or to the use they will make of the text. Third, a text may fail to conform to society’s linguisƟc rules, or the reigning ideas about the proper way to translate or to write in a parƟcular genre. Finally, what the author or translator has wriƩen may conﬂict with the publisher’s goals.
Why EdiƟng and Revising are Necessary 19 • The text is not wriƩen in a way appropriate to the genre. For example, it is a recipe, but it does not begin with a list of ingredients, it is rather vague about how to make the dish, and it is full of commentary on the history of the dish and the chefs who are famous for making it.