Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by seizetsu, Mar 24, 2003.
True, all too true. Non-english speaking writers have it harder that english speaking writers.
I'm currently translating a fragment (part of a longer story) from german into english. Horrible ! because there are som many words I normally wouldn't use in everyday speech.
The next time, I think I'll write a story first in english, and than translate it back to my nattive language, german. I think It will be less painful that way.
Use the universal translator free
there is the link
Thanks for your Link, but so far I did it "by hand" while using an old version of Babylon ond two or more dictionaries.
It is hard, but also a good training. *sigh*
Well, those translators are seldom very good... I've seen hilarious translations from English to Swedish, when people think they can just put the text through some translator.
An example: The line "A warm hello to you and thank you for visiting our site!" put into a translator (English to Swedish) gave this:
"EN vÃ¤rma god dag till du och mig tack sjÃ¤lv fÃ¶r besÃ¶ka vÃ¥r tomt!", which means something like:
"A warm good day to you and me thank self for visiting our garden."
You can probably figure it out what it means, but well, I wouldn't take the writer of it seriously.
The best way is still to do it "by hand", or at least proofread the text from the translator very carefully!
Personally, I write all my English text directly in English. Much easier.
Yes, I must admit that I've been literally ROFL when I read some of these "automated" translations.
For "quick & dirty" tranlations - just to understand a thing, they are well enogh, I think, but not for serious translation.
Hi, I'm from Romania and I definitely have problems with writing in English. While I can understand almost anything and I know a good many words when I read them I just can't use them when writing a story. They just don't come to mind.
Same here. I have huge problems writing beyond basic english - I must look up all those seldom-used words in the dictionary, all those subtle expressions.
The more you practise writing directly in english, the easier it will get.
To avoid loseing my thoughts while looking for a word or a phrase that I need but that wont come to mind, I write the post first on paper and just put the missing word in my language between breaks.
When I am finished with that part of the story I typ it down into the computer and look up the missing words. It too gives me the opportunity to rephrase the one or other thing or add some details to the more discriptional part, where my difficulies as writer lies.
I definetly think it's easier to write directly into English, then I don't get dissappointed with my own bad translation.
One thing that I think it's really hard to write is descriptions that compares things with nature, or nature itself. To get that little extra poetic feeling to the words.
*jumps up and down, so that everybody notices*
IÂ´m from Finland and as everybody knows finnish is veeery different from English and that causes a huge problem for me when I write in English. There arenÂ´t words like to, at, the, in, on... in finnish so when I translate I have to, basically, rewrite everything, I canÂ´t just translate... Also the grammar is very different so I have a lot of grammatical errors in my texts... ThatÂ´s why, I write in English when I have to and donÂ´t translate anything. ItÂ´s much easier and saves time.
ItÂ´s very frustrating, but what can you do...
Translating and reading SW books in finnish is also annoying... e.g. while reading a part about Han Solo, you get mixed up because HÃ£n means (s)he while HanÂ´s a personÂ´s name... After a while you, if youÂ´re reading fast, you donÂ´t know who said what... Also Talon (Talon Karrde) means houseÂ´s... etc...
There are a lot of small annoying things, IÂ´m sure everyone has while translating and reading translations, but thatÂ´s something we canÂ´t do anything about...
OMG, IÂ´m babbling, IÂ´ll shut up now, thank you....
Well, what can I say, I live in a English flooded enviroment: movies, ads, heck even store signs.Besides I studied English since I was 8 so I have it a lot easier when speaking or writing. In fact I sometimes find myself thinking in English as I have a wide enough vocabulary for that.
Still, when I want to write a story in English ( I have only 2 viggies non-SW) I find myself at a lose because I want to keep redundanccies to a minimum and I like to use metaphores and such and it is hard. I can't just check the dictionary every 2 senteces, can I?
Another thing I find difficult is to filter all the swearing and PG13 forbidden words from my writing. The thing is that about 90 % of the american movies use such words on a frequent basis and after a while it is hard to notice when I'm using them.
Then there are the spelling problems: like wether and whether, knowing wich is wich or how to properly spell them. There are a whole bunch of words that I can speak but don't have a clue how to spell them. It gets especially annoying when I don't know their exact translation into Romanian or when there isn't one. In such cases I havce to go by with the Webster dictionary nd when I am not sure about the spelling it becomes a pest to look them up.
At times like this I just want to throw the whole project to the trash can. And ussualy I do, I have a dozen or so fics no longer then sa couple of sentences on the computer and god only knows how many I have written on paper and then trown away.
Sorry, for the length.
I just needed to vent a little.
Yes, I recognise all those problems. Even though I have grown up using English (I have spoken it since I was five) and I hear or read it every day, it's a wholly different thing trying to express yourself in it in a good way. Sometimes I just want to throw my computer out of the window when I can't find a word I'm searching for, or when I'm not sure about grammatical things. But I guess that's what a beta's for, isn't it?
On the other hand, I also write a small humouristic SW-fic in Swedish, and my, that is difficult as well! Trying to translate all those SW words... I go crazy sometimes, trying to find out what, for example, I should translate "duracrete" to...
And Han also means "he" in Swedish, Jeanida_Myrishi. Pretty annoying when it's used in the beginning of a sentence and you have no idea if it's Han (the person) or just meaning "he"... anyway, that's just a problem if you read SW in Swedish, which I rarely do.
Anyway, writing fics is a great way of learning English and getting better at using it, and I think that most people here are a bit forgiving if you tell them that English isn't your native... otherwise, I'll bite them! And force them to try to write something in Swedish, or Finnish (which seems extremely difficult to me) or Romanian...
I write all my stuff in English...It just wouldn't work to first write in Swedish, then translate it. The languages may be similiar in phrase forming and such, but it's a different flow to English...as I've said before, thank Heaven for my beta! But, like Obi-Anne said, all those extra small things to render the text some poetry, it just won't work - highly annoying, 'cause I LOVE language, and perfectly formed sentences...*wistful smile* Well, someday, maybe...
What about writing in English first, than translate it back to your own language ?
Even although English is not too far away from German and some related languages (relatives in linguistic terms), I had to rewrite some parts as I translated from german to english.
There are constructions that simply cannot be translated and I see it might be even worse in other languages.
Well, that's language.
Therefore I have a high respect for translotors in General !
Hmm... Translating from english into one's native langauage is a pain in the ...
I started a while a go to translate a rather long fanfic (novel length) into Romanian so others might enjoy it as well ( there are still people who can't read in English something like that and enjoy it) and I had to give up after the first chapter. It was consuming a lot of time and energy and it never seemed to advance.
Jokes or names are always tricky because some can't be translated while others (names) when translated sound bad and even atrocious and there are yet others which must be translated otherwise it won't make sense. Deciding how to go in each case looks to me like the labours of Sisif.
I recently read Lord of the rings translated and it pained me to read instead of Rivendell - "Valceaua Despicata" it just doesent sound the same. And of course the mythologies differ if I translate dwarf in Romanian - "pitic" one would rather think of "Snow white and the seven dwarfs" because those kind of dwarfs apear into Romanian mythologies (folklore).
I really admire skilled translators...There is this Swedish one called Peter Lindforss and he's just awesome. He translates the Terry Pratchett books, and if you've read them you understand how hard that must be! All those jokes and play with words...but he does it very well!
there are some really good translators and they really are a blessing.... for example in Finland thereÂ´s Kersti Juva who translated all of TolkienÂ´s books into finnish... IÂ´ve read the english version and the finnish version and even though some expressions are different and the songs vary, the whole idea of TolkienÂ´s books can be found... She really is y favorite translator...
The Swedish translation of LOTR is infamous...it's horrible. Truly horrible...! You can't even imagine the disaster...
In the german version of LOTR, Shelob (original name) is named Kankra.
Rumor says that Tolkien had worked a little bit together with the translator. I don' really know whether this is true or not. *shrugs with shoulders*
In Swedish she's called Honmonstret (the She-monster). Stupid name. Anyway, even Tolkien HATED the swedish translation of LOTR (yes, he knew Swedish), so most people in Sweden who like the book read it in English. Luckily, a new translation is on it's way, I just hope it's better... (and don't translate "he stopped dead" to "han hade hejdat dÃ¶den", which means "he had stopped death"... just one of many examples from the swedish translation of LOTR.)
I hate bad translations, even though I know how difficult it is to translate something. But I really like it when the translator manages to do something good, and convey the puns or wordplays in the original to the translation.
And here's another non-english speaking FanFic-writer from Germany. Just found this thread because of my only reader - thanks to Elfsheen at this point - and it's nice to know that there are more people around who do such things.
My biggest problem with writing FanFics was when my Beta-reader just disappeared and didn't answer a single mail Now that was really hard...
And it's true, Tolkien worked with the german translator for LOTR. And they say he also liked Elben more than the english elves and Auenland more than his original shire
Jedi_Strike. I got the same problem. My beta reader was gone. She did not reply any single of my e-mail. I went to Fanfiction Force and I got two beta readers. They are really nice people.
I think that they have for German Italian, etc.
There are some nice beta reader here, but I must got one that got sick or tired of correcting my grammatical mistakes.
Hey I love your story.
Hey, that's really bad...I had a beta, and she had to stop beta-reading, for personal reasons, but she sent me a mail of explanation of apology. I would have been really upset if she had just disappeared.
I guess I'm just lucky never to have had any problems with disappearing betas...however, I really think it's worth some work to get a really good one. BabyBantah, my current beta, is a miracle - I can't stress how much she's improved my English the last year. She's like a personal teacher.
I had the other way round : Someone sent me a text for a little bit beta-reading, and I corrected it with the help of another beta-reader , but that was only the first part of the text. I never got the second part ... ?