Details Discussion in Proofreading
During the project process, the project manager will get the finished sub-projects in batches from the translators, so he/she sometimes has enough time to do careful proofreading to those translations. He/She also finds some difficult points during proofreading, the brief description of which are as follows:
Transliteration. In some projects, it involves a lot of transliteration of proper nouns. To solve those problems, we have to choose the suitable reference books and look up carefully on one hand; on the other, we need to grasp the transliteration rules of proper nouns.
Back-translation. Translating Chinese ideographs relating to Chinese culture is sometimes not as easy as translating foreign words. In most cases, we must use “back-translation” instead of literal translation. If the context is complete, and the translator is familiar with the terminology, it is not difficult to do back-translation.
For example, the Red Turbans（红巾军）, the White Lotus（白莲教）, Blue and white porcelain（青花瓷）, Yin Zhen（胤禛） and so on, they can be correctly translated after a little thought and search.
There are some terminologies, which looks simple but can easily be mistranslated. For example,
Japanese pirates: 倭寇. It should not be translated into “日本海盗”.
The First Emperor of the Han Dynasty Entering Guandong: 《汉高祖入关图》, should not be translated too literally as 《汉朝第一个皇帝进入关东》.
The words that are most difficult to do back-translation are the names of Chinese “prospective famous people（准名人）”. Generally speaking, foreign languages involving Chinese names – if it is of famous people, can be easily found on the internet; if not, can do transliterating according to the Chinese naming rules.
The most difficult situation is the translation of “prospective famous people” – the translators may not know about that person, but transliteration is improper here since that person has certain popularity. Facing such situation, we should check repeatedly and try our best to reproduce.
Correction of errors of the original text. Sometimes, there are some misspellings of Chinese names and place names in China’s tourism manual which could mislead the translators.
As the translators who are more familiar with Chinese culture, we should be able to identify and help correct the errors, especially, should have the aid of modern communication tools and information inquiry means, such as telephone, email and web search etc. to help check such information.
Transfer and back-translation of minority languages. For those nouns transfer from minority languages into Roman alphabets, when back translated into Chinese, should be searched and checked more carefully. For example:
Zharu Temple 扎如寺
Translation of Hong Kong and Macao place names. The place names of Hong Kong and Macao have many established by usage but nonstandard transliteration, and should be checked very carefully. For example:
Largo da Torre de Macau 澳门观光塔前地
Lower Albert Rd 下亚厘毕道
Luard Rd 卢押道
Reader awareness。Some tourist manuals that we translate, the original of which is for readers of English-speaking country, and the content is also arranged and designed based on this point. When translating, we should consider that the Chinese version is for Chinese readers and should be adjusted accordingly.
For example, we should pay attention to adjust the order of British units and metric units. In Chinese translation, we should adjust into metric units with British units in brackets. Actually, the British units can also be deleted. But when dealing with such project, we should communicate with the client to reach a consensus.
Knowledge of Chinese culture. In recent years, the teaching world started to emphasize on the education of traditional Chinese culture to students of foreign language specialty. Traditional Chinese culture is not only very important to students of foreign language specialty, but should also be an organic composition to the cognition of modern Chinese nation.
For example, speaking of Chinese calligraphy, we may see such wording like freestyle calligraphy and eight strokes. In such cases, only if the translator has the corresponding knowledge of Chinese calligraphy, can he know that freestyle calligraphy refers to “草书”, and eight strokes should be the so called “永字八法”. Only on the basis of such cognition, can the translator hyphenate the original text.
Encyclopedia knowledge. Translating tourist manual requires the translator to possess rich encyclopedia knowledge. For example, there’s a paragraph involving “silk banner”, which introduces Mawangdui Han Dynasty, the translator mistranslated it as “锦旗”. This problem is not hard to solve: the unearthed relics are very famous; searching relative materials of Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tomb, we can easily know that it is a “帛画”.
Comprehension ability. Experienced translators all emphasize that translation is to translate the meaning. Si Guo once said that translation is to “eliminate the restrictions to word by word translation（去字梏）” (Si Guo, 2001: VII). Therefore, for the new words, they should be put into the context for better understanding. For example:
A few intrepid spelunkers have been exploring the extensive karst cave network of Guangxi. A small industry of caving tours has developed, […].
In this paragraph, the word “caving” here should be translated into “洞穴探险游”, not the usual meaning of “溶洞” or “开采工业”. We should translate the meaning according the context.
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