The Most Common Mistakes in English-Macedonian Translations

Topics: Translation, Literal translation, Source text Pages: 9 (3247 words) Published: May 23, 2012
This paper discusses the art of translation from English language into Macedonian language, precisely the difficulty that Macedonian translator might face if not aware of the complexity and importance of the process of translation. This unawareness is the leading reason for many common mistakes in English-Macedonian translation. At the very beginning I would like to pay attention on attitudes that linguists have about the process of translation. As Nida defines, translation consists of providing, in the receptor language, the closest natural equivalent of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. In the popular mind, a translator is someone who has a good knowledge of both the language he/she translates from and the language he/she translates into. In other words, as long as a translator knows all the equivalents for the words in the text to be translated, there is no question about the ability of said person to produce a good, reliable translation. The concept in which the language is expressed needs to be understood before it can be translated into the targeted language appropriately. Some people still have the misconception that translation simple means converting words from the source content into the equivalent of the targeted language. In English translation, the translator is not merely dealing with the words, they are also considering the cultural aspect, the socio-political situation and the wording used by the source. This is because when most words are translated literally, it would make no sense in English translation or otherwise. English translation is a very complicated process wherein a lot of factors need to be considered. Baker notes that some of these factors may be strictly linguistic, like collocations and idioms, whereas other factors may be extra-linguistic like the pragmatic equivalence. Having in mind all the above mentioned, Macedonian translators are facing with situations where they have problems producing the correct, proper translation. In the following parts of this paper I discuss the importance of mastering the source language before even beginning with the translation, and afterwards the language interference is taken into consideration in point of grammar and vocabulary with the most frequent situations where Macedonian translators are making mistakes. I observe the language interference and the blindness to cultural differences as the main source for most errors in English-Macedonian translation. Mastery of the Source Language

One of the primary, basic and most important components in translation is a solid knowledge of the source language. Before mastery of the target language can even be attained, the translator must have mastery of the source language. It is the basic rule. Macedonian translator must first master his own native language, which means grammar, vocabulary, parts of speech and orthography before becoming a professional translator. If the translator doesn’t have a proper knowledge of the native language, the consequence will be bad translation. So, this can be one of the primary mistakes which might be noticed in Macedonian translations. It is very inconvenient if you are reading a translation and notice an incorrect use of the native language. In the further text below, I will note some examples that I have come across: -using Macedonian complex relative pronouns irregularly, for e.g. They tried to see him closely. (Back-translated: Тие се обидоа да го видат од блиску или поблиску, instead of; Тие се обидоа да го видат одблизу). -when using words only transcribed in Macedonian, such as гаџет, инхалер, интерфејс... -writing film or any kind of titles where every word is written with big letter, as it is rule in English language, for e.g. (“Sweet Home Alabama”, back-translated: “Алабама Слатки Доме”) This can be enough to realize how poor it is when one does not have mastery of...

Bibliography: 1. Baker, Mona: 1992. In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. Routledge Publishing House. UK
2. Bolinger, D. and Sears, D.: 1981. Aspects of language.New York: Harcourt Brace Joavnovich
3. Fernando, C. and Flavell, R. (1981) On Idiom: Critical views and Perspectives , University of Exeter
4. Nida, E and Taber, C.R. (1969). The Theory and Practice of Translation.Leiden, Netherlands
5. Nolan, James. Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises.
6. Toury, Gideon. 1995. “The Nature and Role of Norms in Translation”. Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1995.
7. English-Macedonian translation - Index
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