Translation Style (?) Question

All other historical discussion, ancient or modern, falls here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm

Translation Style (?) Question

Post by billd89 »

1) I have a German text, 1898: I machine-translated it, 85% adequately on first go. That version is highly 'literal' w/ umpteen nested clauses and the verbosity of late 19th C. Germanic academia. It's readable (useful) but terribly inelegant, sloggy, as such. Lots of editing, proofing required.

2) I have an English text, 1905. It appears the SAME author translated the 1898 German text, 'plagiarized' his own work effectively. However, he made many, many textual changes in his translation, thereby changing the meaning or relation of clausal points (say, 5% different). Nevertheless, I'd say it's 98% accurate/identical. I do see some suprising errors, and a few important things this scholar missed, which is both amusing and concerning. 'Did he mean that?' Anyway, his own 1905 'translation' looks dour and old-fashioned next my machine translation.

I am re-working the translation of #1 with text of #2, which makes a hybrid. But this uses the Author's own revision & expression, preserving (I think) his original intent. Counterintuitive?

Is this acceptable, to get a more readable, better copy for 21st C. eyes? What's the protocol, in translation? Druthers?

Rank amateur, here.
Post Reply