Translators Will Never Die!

You may have been taking a career of a translator now, or still thinking of that for the time being. At the same time, perhaps, you let your thought overwhelmed with the anxiety of the now-existing translator software or free-online translating services like Google Translate that will take over the function of a translator and then many translators will no longer exist. There should be no reason for this fear, as dealing with languages is the matter of artistically getting involved with sense, feeling and emotion and not one of the machines.

To translate from a language to another, it is not just transferring the meaning of each word or phrase, but it is shifting one within the context. It is to transfer the contents and the ‘soul’ altogether, taking what the writer of the origin language wrote and placing it in the new frame of the target language. It is basically proclaiming the thought of the author to the language of ours, without any form of distortion.

Proficiency in the foreign language is not adequate without having the same degree of the capability in ones’ own language. The readers of the target language will comprehend the contents not in the source language, in which it was originally written by the author, but in reader’s own language. Thus, a translator translates sense with no corruption, while they are offering service to the readers, so that they understand and take meaning from what they are reading.

To translate the whole contents of the text, translators must also be an artist as translation is actually also an art. They should take the role of actors like those characters playing in the context. They are also acting as the original writer of the source text, but do the same in the target language. In this way, they should be involved emotionally in the whole context as if they were the origin author, and at the same time represent thoughts the readers of the target language. This is what makes you different with a translator machine.

Now, let’s see how you are translating and how a machine is doing! Take a look to this quoted text:

There was much to admire in president-elect Barrack Obama’s speech on the economy at George Mason University on Thursday. He candidly assessed the country’s predicament, calling it a “bad situation that could become dramatically worse”. He sounded a note of confidence about Americans’s capacity nevertheless to “overcome great fear and improbable odds”. And he offered a point-to-point description of American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. (from The Washington Post, Washington DC).

In Indonesian, you may translate the text like this one.

Ada hal yang sangat mengagumkan pada pidato Presiden terpilih Barack Obama tentang economi di Universitas George Mason hari Kamis. Beliau secara terus terang menyinggung situati negara yang sulit untuk mengambil keputusan, yang ia sebut sebagai ‘situasi sulit yang secara dramatis dapat menjadi semakin buruk’. Ia menyerukan nota keyakinan akan kemampuan bangsa Amerika, sekali pun harus menghadapi kekawatiran besar yang seakan tak mungkin. Dan beliau menawarkan uraian dari poin ke poin mengenai Pemulihan Amerika dan Rencana Re-investasi.

And, this is the translation from a translating software:

Ada banyak kagumi dalam memilih presiden-Barrack Obama's sambutannya pada ekonomi di George Mason University pada hari Kamis. Dia candidly dinilai dari keadaan negara, panggilan yang "buruk situasi yang dapat menjadi lebih buruk dramatis". Dia terdengar catatan dari Amerika keyakinan tentang kemampuan bagaimanapun untuk "mengatasi ketakutan dan sangat mustahil". Dan ia ditawarkan point-to-point description of America Rencana Pemulihan dan Reinvestment.

Principally, the contents may be translated the same. But, the first style looks like more familiar to Indonesian readers who are in the use of Indonesian. Here, the translator is involving their emotion, feeling and sensibility in not only transferring the contents but also in framing it into Indonesian language.

In the second one, it appears to be in coming-from-machine style. As a machine is working on a systematically programmed-software, the target text looks like having lost ‘the humanity’. In case that it is subject to publication, some editing may have to be taken to adjust the text with the ‘Indonesian ears’.

From the outlines, it should be no more excessive worry of being defeated by the mushrooming innovated translating software in the nowadays-internet era. ‘Human translators’ are now widely needed on line, from which you may be also making some money. If you are willing to try as a freelance translator, you don’t have to leave your chair and just push on one-click mouse button. Try to visit TranslatorsCafe or ProZ. You will see not only bids of translating works, but also more things in relation to the translation worlds. Translator will never die!

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manyenglishes said...

Fascinating history for those of us in the West who don't know much about Indonesia or the importance of English to Indonesians... Keep up the good work with your blog!

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