About Nadira FAHED

C’est par amour de la traduction que j’ai choisi cette spécialité. J’ai alors vite découvert que cet amour que j’estimais déjà profond allait fleurir au fur et à mesure que j’explorais ce vaste domaine. La traduction ne cesse de me dévoiler de nouveaux horizons. Elle me pousse aussi à rechercher avec passion de plus en plus de connaissances et à vivre de nouvelles expériences.

Translation: It’s Everywhere!

“What is he trying to tell me?” “What is she talking about?” We all face situations where something that might seem perfectly intelligible to someone is over our head and plainly incomprehensible. It even seems like we sometimes need the help of a phenomenal glossary to translate everyday conversations.

You are unique. Every person is; and that is simply fascinating. But with this reality comes a not so fascinating intricacy: every person has a distinctive manner of expressing themselves. We each speak our own “language”. As a result, communication can be characterized as a cross-cultural interaction.

To some “I’m just going to read a few pages of my book” implies “I’m going to read as many pages as I can”. To others, it stands for “I am not going to read a single page”. Others yet might understand it as, “I just feel like being left alone” or “I have so much free time and nothing specific to do”. The list goes on. In all cases, one thing is certain: a simple sentence can transmit umpteen different messages.

This certainly is a humoristic scene, but it's not so unfamiliar! There are endless ways to express one idea. Crédit image :

This certainly is a humoristic scene, but it’s not so unfamiliar! There are endless ways to express one idea.
Credit: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMy02NDIzYzA2ZGZiN2ViNGYy

 

People express themselves differently.  Their feelings, emotions, beliefs, and characters clothe their words with distinct meanings. Not only that, but tone and non-verbal signals also play a role in transmitting messages. Hence, we do not all speak the same language. Each of us develops a language specific to them.

In the face of such a reality, every person takes on daily the task of translation. They try to decipher what others want to say and transmit it to their own language.

So, if you think you don’t need translation, think again! You face everyday situations where you not only need but also use translation, most of the time subconsciously. Whether to understand what your boss, friend, or parent is saying or to converse with your spouse or child, you resort to translating their language into yours.

Every woman has done that at least once! Credit :  http://m.rottenecards.com/cards/Shortwcc/?page=7

Every woman has done that at least once!
Credit : http://m.rottenecards.com/cards/Shortwcc/?page=7

This diversity is a source of richness but also the mother of countless misunderstandings. Still, let’s dare to be different, learn to embrace and understand our divergent languages, and celebrate this diversity that gives each of us a taste of a translator’s intricate work.

Hi “Google”, Hello “AutoCAD”!

What translator has not, at least once, been compared to Google Translate? I, for one, find myself constantly being referred to as “Google”, particularly by one specific friend who is an engineer. My final response: calling him AutoCAD. Only then did he understand…

“Hello Google, how is it going?” That is the greeting I have so frequently received from a friend who is an engineer and considers translators different, less efficient versions of Google Translate.

To me, however, such a nickname is but an insult. A translation offered by Google Translate stands nowhere near one provided by a professional translator who takes the time to understand the content of a text and grasp its spirit before translating it. Translators live the substance of a text in its different phases and feel the emotions it brings out. They live both the writer’s experience, as well as that of the reader. Translators take the time to produce a text they are proud to call their own. They transmit any and all nuances machines can not detect. Altogether, every translator is granted the gift of creation.

A machine on the other hand is devoid of all feelings. An example alone is sufficient to illustrate how flawed such a translation can be:

When we enter, “It’s raining cats and dogs. I could really use an umbrella right now” into Google Translate, the translation provided in French reads: “Il pleut des chats et des chiens. Je ne pouvais vraiment utiliser un parapluie à l’heure actuelle.”

There is nothing to add to such an all-encompassing example.

A machine can not understand a text; it just simulates such a comprehension.

A machine can not understand a text; it just simulates such a comprehension.

What if engineers were nicknamed AutoCAD? I’ve tried that with this friend I mentioned, and it turns out he doesn’t like it; he says this program can not replace engineers. True. The same goes for translators. Maybe then we’ll keep calling engineers “AutoCAD” until we, too, are seen differently.