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Accurate or stripped down translations?

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Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019
Pending moderation

Do you prefer a more accurate translation with potentially longer texts OR do you prefer a more stripped down (reduced) translation with shorter texts (of course with the same message)?

(And when I say 'stripped down text', I mean in parts of the lyrics where the translation text gets longer)

Super Member
<a href="/es/translator/uncommon" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Se unió: 07.03.2019

You post is a confusing one (at least for me). IMHO, translation should match the original by its format/number of lines and be as close as possible by sense. If there are poetic/rhyming deviations in the translation they should not add new lines, nor they should make translation shorter.

Editor , Leader of the Balkan Squad
<a href="/es/translator/crimsondyname" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1311076">crimsonDyname</a>
Se unió: 14.10.2016

For me, accuracy is paramount. Poetic translations are nice, but not entirely practical in all situations.

Moderator and earthbound misfit
<a href="/es/translator/icey" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1172336">Icey</a>
Se unió: 05.04.2013

Generally speaking, when I look for a translation, I want to know what the original is saying, maybe having the chance of seeing how a specific word or expression (which I might for instance not be able to grasp) has been translated. A shorter, kitschier, easier, faster-to-read translation, maybe with missing bits (as I can often see happen in movies subtitles, for instance) is of little use, IMO. They are misleading and might fail to show the care and accuracy the original author put in writing the lyrics.

Senior Member
<a href="/es/translator/israelwu" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1420592">IsraelWu</a>
Se unió: 04.05.2019

IMHO opinions are functions of personal experience and goals. Coming from engineering I believe the fidelity of information conveyed is the first goal. For esthetic purposes one tries his best to keep the form as well. One substitutes synonyms, changes order of words or even substitutes an equivalent idiom (tricky, better be sure) to enable the form "flowing" more smoothly and closely to the source but one doesn't change the meaning (perhaps sometimes bents it a little but only for a really good rhyme :-). As I said one tries but the poem is a vessel not the essence. If one is a poet in his own right it probably helps but being a translator I don't want the reader "to love" me for the form instead of "loving" the poet for his Ideas.

Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019

I understand a stripped down translation will lose accurately but not the message, and if done well the sense are the same - only in other words.
To give an exampel: I'll do anything is translated into Swedish Jag kommer att göra vad som helst, but you can write: Jag gör vad som helst, it lose accurately but keep the same message.
This is not a question about poetry (if that was the message I gave you), this is more a question about stripped down translations - if translations without a double sized (or ridiculously long) text in comparison to the orginal text because of long parts, is beter and/or preferd, and still have the same message. And I only aiming at parts in lyrics where texts gets ridiculously long - not the whole lyrics.

(I'm sorry if I'm annoying but I have really struggled with this for myself and I feel this is an important question for me, and others)

Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019

I absolutely agree (it even sounds like something I could have said)

Moderator and earthbound misfit
<a href="/es/translator/icey" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1172336">Icey</a>
Se unió: 05.04.2013

I suppose there's no absolute answer. I would say that it depends. If I think it's important to pass a message, I also consider it not irrelevant to make sure a translation won't overwhelm the reader, if the original doesn't. But I can't even give a general guideline, because such decisions must be taken case-by-case and analyzed. In general, if I had to choose blindly, I think I'd go literal, but free translations are to be always considered, not just for a matter of length, but for hundreds of good reasons.

Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019

You're right, as long as you give the reader a fair picture (and follows the rules of LT), you're free to choose your way of doing it.

Senior Member
<a href="/es/translator/israelwu" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1420592">IsraelWu</a>
Se unió: 04.05.2019

My experience is: if you want to convey a message - you can "compress" it but much less than you think you should.

Super Member
<a href="/es/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
Se unió: 01.07.2018

I was puzzled by the example you gave ("Jag kommer att göra vad som helst"). I guess in Norwegian it would be "Jeg skal gjöre hva som helst", which is not much longer than in English (in French ; je ferai n'importe quoi). Is it necessary to say "jag kommer att göra" in Swedish ?

Speaking generally, I would say that if the translation of an expression is much longer than the original, it's not a very good translation...

Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019

Jag kommer att göra is I'll do.
It is, if correct grammar. You can take away att but then it lose accurately

Super Member
<a href="/es/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
Se unió: 01.07.2018

So, is "Jag ska göra" incorrect ? (that's what GT gives me).

Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019

Yeah, in that case, maybe someting like Jag ska göra någonting / något (I'll do someting) is more correct. I mean, it's GT, it's not bad, it just doesn't care about grammar. I think it will give you -vad som helst as a suggestion, which is correct (Jag kommer göra vad som helst).

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/es/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Se unió: 29.08.2015
Erik Spyro wrote:

To give an exampel: I'll do anything is translated into Swedish Jag kommer att göra vad som helst, but you can write: Jag gör vad som helst, it lose accurately but keep the same message.

Since you gave the example of the translation in a language I am not familiar with it’s hard for me to establish how much you have strayed from the original intention but if you have changed the simple “I’ll do anything” to “l am going to come and do whatever it takes” or “l will do whatever needs to be done” I’d say that both of those options are wrong.
The main objective of a translation should be to convey the exact idea presented in the original, no more, no less.

Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019

I can't blame you for anything, you're only trying to help - which I'm thankful for.
So in Swedish (the language I used as exempel) there is no singel word for anything in that scenario, anything in Swedish means vad som helst, but if you directly translate it, then it means what(any) as preferably.
There is nothing wrong with the translation but it's much longer than the original.

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/es/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Se unió: 29.08.2015

If you are restricted to add additional words by the language you’re translating into then you really don’t have a choice. You just need to be faithful to the original statement. The “I’ll do anything” example could be meant as a case of desperation, eagerness etc so, providing the translation gives the same sense, adding extra words should not matter. Remember that a translation is not meant to be sung to the original melody!
To summarize I’ll say: be as concise as possible but do not sacrifice the original meaning.

Editor Absolute Amateur
<a href="/es/translator/annabellanna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1240490">annabellanna</a>
Se unió: 27.03.2015

Michael, if I'm allowed, a translation is not meant to be sung to the original melody if you decide so.
I guess that everyone should feel free to choose between a literal or musical translation, obviously declaring what kind of text he's editing.

Senior Member Raptor
<a href="/es/translator/erik-spyro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1419592">Erik Spyro</a>
Se unió: 25.04.2019

The translation was actually taken from a part of one of my lyrics translaton
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/absolutely-anything-absolut-vad-som-helst...

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