02- translation tips

automated translation?
Automated translators are useful for single words. But I do not recommend this method for a whole text. Most of the time, you will end up with an incomprehensible mush or worse, mistranslate. If you want to use these sites, you need to be able to understand the original text. Until then, the proven method is decoding the grammar and reproducing the patterns of the sentence
Hier, la petite fille m'a donn
é un manuel scolaire.          (petite - small, young or little )
Yesterday, the little girl gave
a school manual to me
adaptation or translation?
It is important to distinguish an adaptation from a translation. a translation aims at reproducing a text in another language by keeping the exact speech structures. An adaptation is less formal: Without changing the story, you can leave out text or arrange speech structures for a better flow.   Adaptations can be found with folk tales , older texts, manuals and children's literature. They are usually based on oral traditions or older translations/adaptations. We find adaptations in non-fiction, especially manuals, as those need to be useful for their target audience. Plays and literature can sometimes be adapted or abridged. When dealing with poetry, the accepted way is to do an accurate translation and keep the structure of the poem, especially the line breaks. Rhymes and meters are lost in translation.
The French language uses the 'imparfait' and the historic present for narration. Both are translated with the past tense in English (and in German). We do not need to add 'used to + verb' every time we translate a habit in the past, but we use adverbs such as 'usually'.
Speeches in dialect are rendered in conversational English. we can use contractions to make them feel more real. (I do not -> I don't). Hesitations are translated with"hm...", astonishment with "ah!", laughter with "ha! ha!" . Direct speech is always introduced by quotation marks  : "speech". we use single quotation marks for an unusual word or quotes within speeches: 'word' and  'quote'. If we need to write down the pronunciation we use parallel bars /pro-nun-si-ey-š*n/
The rest of the text is translated in standard English.
A literary text may present some difficulties and we recommend to read a similar translated work to get a feel.
" 'Ha perdato qualchesa Signora?' 'There was a cat' 'A cat?' 'Si, il gatto.' " - In this quote by Ernest Hemingway from his short story 'Cat in the Rain', we see how words from a different language are quoted into a conversation. Ernest Hemingway did not assume that we understand Italian but he showed us that the main character has some knowledge and  that we can guess the meaning. Therefore, we only need to translate the English words.
Apart from our travel dictionary and our course material, the most important translation tool is a 'glossary' - an alphabetical list of technical terms. These type of words are usually absent from a travel dictionary.  In science and medicine, the words have been standardized in Latin, and this is how doctors and scientists understand each other at international level. Animals and plants are listed according to the Linné classification. The table of chemical elements, the catalogue of  ISO standards is used for the import/export of manufactured goods, a firm's product catalogue. When in doubt, leave the original word as it is followed by (?)
This year, I translated a 'Petite Lotte' which is set in the world of Parisian flower traders between 1880 and 1897, this meant that I had to acquaint myself with the tools, the products and the manufacturing process. My translation ended up with a few adaptations to make the text accessible to a modern English-speaking audience.
geographical names
If you need to translate a geographical place name from a specialised article, it is important to look it up on a map.  An atlas needs to be up-to-date to take political changes into account  . In my novel 'Bohemian Tales', I mention that Austerlitz is now called 'Slavkov'  (and located in the  Czech Republic). However, if we refer to the 'Battle of Austerlitz', we need to find out how it is translated in the history books. When in doubt, leave the location as it is followed by' (?)'.
Addresses are never translated. This is for obvious reasons of practicality. We write the name of the country in the original language and for our own post-office, we write the name of the country in our language.  A region, county or province is not a valid country name, if we want to add this to the address, it goes after the town name.
people names
It is generally agreed that the names of ordinary living people are not translated. Sometimes they are adapted by leaving out diacritical signs (Vaclav Havel) or transcribed into phonics (Vladimir Putin). Popes, saints, emperors and kings also have their own adapted names. If you find 'Carlos I' in a text, you make to make sure which country he ruled. The Spanish language also translates Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as la reina Isabel II de Inglaterra.
proverbs and quotes by famous people
If you have to translate a quote by an English-speaking writer from a foreign language back into English, we need to do some research and find the exact words. Exception to this rule are interviews but check out whether the person has done interviews in English on the same subject. (promotional tours) . Proverbs will usually have a standard translation and this is where the internet can help.