Don’t flame me for nitpicking, someone might wrote about this before (not sure), but this is a genuine concern for quality translations. I speak these 3 languages fluently (native speaker) to be able to discern the difficulty in making perfect translations.
I recently tried to sub the Love, Now episode 50,51,61,62 and I encountered some inconsistencies with the previous subs. Please give me some idea on what Viki community would prefer. I personally disregard direct translation in favor of conserving the actual meaning.
1st example: (Conserving the meaning of the action vs direct translation of the said words.)
The action in the movie refers to “slap her”
The actual word said by the actor is “打她” or literally translated to “hit her”
The Indonesian translation that i gave is “menampar dia” or “slap (genderless) that person”
2nd example: (languages that have levels of formalities vs those that does not)
The word “you” in Indonesian is “kamu” when said to someone of similar age or younger.
I rarely heard “kamu” referred to the elderly, I heard more of “kau” a less rude.
“you” in chinese have 2 forms: 你 and 您. “You” for most people and “you” for elder, now less often used. In Indonesian, they are usually addressed by their social standing “you” for mom is “mom”, you for father is “dad”
3rd example: (one word with multiple meanings in other languages)
Formal vs informal. the word “no” in english can be translated as “nggak”, “tidak”, “tak” which bears different context. In rare cases “no” can be translated to “not” in Indonesian, “bukan”. I translated the informal conversation to informal languages and formal conversations to formal languages.
4th example: Positive affirmation vs negative affirmation
“You are tired, right?” in English is translated into Indonesian as “Kamu lelah, bukan?” which directly translated as "you are tired, not? One other variant is the repeating word affirmative in Chinese language, have this expression “你累不累?” translated “you tired not tired” do i translate it to English as “Are you tired?” and Indonesian as “Kamu capek nggak?” Same meaning different structure.
5th example: Explicit object vs implicit object
no example yet, but i know this occurs esp in translating between these languages in my University paper back then.
I can go on and on, but there should be a convention on what is the rule for translation:
- It should first and foremost “directly translated”, keeping the sentence structure where possible
- If it does not make sense, then it should “keep the ‘specific’ intended meaning”
- Then adjust for formal/informal, gender/gender neutral, etc
- Finally if all else fails, keep what makes the audience understand.
Let me know what you think