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Thread: Uncomfortable about a translation due to it's harshness.

 
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    Default Uncomfortable about a translation due to it's harshness.

    I'm an american residing in the Dominican Republic since 2008. I speak, read & write spanish fluently since having learned it the US Navy back in 1986 at the Defense Language Institute.

    I am new to translation (2 years), and have never had an assignment yet like the one I was given today. A woman from Britain who visits the D.R. frequently asked me to translate an e-mail she received from a former Dominican boyfriend that she was with for three years, and then broke up about a year ago, according to her.

    It's a real nasty letter, and I'm not sure about whether I should tone it way down or give it to her like it is. I have copied and pasted it here:

    [Pensé que dijiste que NUNCA me volverías a hablar jamás, pero como escoria desesperada me llamas por teléfono en semanas recientes y cuelgas cuando contesto, y hace unos minutos me tratas de chatear, como si alguien como yo perdiese mi tiempo reconociéndo un trozo de heces como tú. Yo pensé que te había borrado de mi lista de contactos porque lo hice hace tiempo con mis otras cuentas de MSN. Pero ya lo hice. Gracias por dejarme saber que no te había borrado aún y por darme el placer de hacerlo, especialmente mientras me tratabas de chatear. Lo único que queda por ver es si vas a avergonzarte a tí misma aún más rompiendo tu "promesa" de nunca hablarme jamás, haciéndote la mentirosa innata que eres, que siempre eras y que siempre serás.

    O puedes arrastrarte a la pila de basura donde vives con tu rata boricua pantanosa y pudrirte con él o si quieres, puedes seguir entreteniéndome con tus payasadas que ofrecen un nivel altísimo de comedia que te hace parecer a la culera perdedora que eres desde nacer. Tu decides, me quedo satisfecho con ambas opciones.

    Y de Madelin, hace muchísimo tiempo que le hablo a ella. O te dijo notícias viejísimas o te mintió, si te dijo que fue reciente que hablamos. Con toda sinceridad, ni pienso en ti ya.} (End)

    And here is my translation:

    {I thought you told me that you'd never speak to me again, but like desperate scum you call me by phone in recent weeks and hang up when I answer, and a few minutes ago you try to chat with me, as if someone like myself would waste my time acknowledging a piece of feces like you. I thought that I had erased you from my contacts list because I did erase you quite some time ago from my other MSN accounts. But now it's done. Thank you for letting me know that I had not erased you yet and for giving me the pleasure of doing it, especially while you were trying to chat with me. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether you're going to humilliate yourself even further by breaking your "promise" to never speak to me, thus making you appear like the innate liar you are, always were and always will be.

    You can either drag yourself back to the trash heap where you live with your Puerto Rican swamp rat and rot together, or if you want, you can continue entertaining me with your antics that offer a high level of comedy that make you look like the loser asshole that you are since birth. You decide, I'm satisfied either way.
    And as for Madelin, it's a been long time since I spoke with her. She either told you really old news, or she lied to you if she said we spoke recently. In all honesty, I don't even think about you anymore.} (End)


    It's a nasty message as you can see. Should I give it to her as it is, or should or can it be toned down? I tried my best to tone it down when and where I could by using words like feces instead of sh*t, etc., but certain words like 'culera' can't really be toned down, I don't think. In all honesty I feel bad giving her this translation because it's pretty mean. I don't know her personally or anything, but I feel bad for her, she seems like a nice person. I've never dealt with something like this. All my other tasks have been normal. Any advice?

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    Senior Member Cotty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uncomfortable about a translation due to it's harshness.

    Hi

    It's a real nasty letter, and I'm not sure about whether I should tone it way down or give it to her like it is....


    It's not your letter. You didn't write it. You are only translating what someone else wrote.

    A couple of comments on your version:
    ...I thought that I had erased[deleted] you from my contacts list because I did erase you quite some time ago from my other MSN accounts. But now it's done. Thank you for letting me know [making me realize] that I had not erased you yet and for giving me the pleasure of doing it [so], especially while you were trying to chat with me. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether you're going to humilliate yourself even further by breaking your "promise" to never speak to me, thus making you appear like as ...

    .

    It's a nasty message as you can see. Should I give it to her as it is, or should or can it be toned down?...In all honesty I feel bad giving her this translation because it's pretty mean. I don't know her personally or anything, but I feel bad for her, she seems like a nice person.


    The message is what it s. What's the point of toning it down? Why do you feel bad? As I said before you didn't write it. As a translator, it is your job to translate a piece as close in meaning and tone to the original as possibe. I usually don't get emotionally involved with my clients so easily, but I don't know... that's just me. I draw a line: clients / friends. And even then, even if it were a friend of mine, I'd still translate it exactly how it was written. I am not a mediator, nor a couple's counselor.

    See you around,
    Last edited by Cotty; 01-05-2012 at 05:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Uncomfortable about a translation due to it's harshness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cotty View Post
    Hi



    It's not your letter. You didn't write it. You are only translating what someone else wrote.

    A couple of comments on your version:

    .



    The message is what it s. What's the point of toning it down? Why do you feel bad? As I said before you didn't write it. As a translator, it is your job to translate a piece as close in meaning and tone to the original as possibe. I usually don't get emotionally involved with my clients so easily, but I don't know... that's just me. I draw a line: clients / friends. And even then, even if it were a friend of mine, I'd still translate it exactly how it was written. I am not a mediator, nor a couple's counselor.

    See you around,
    Gracias Cotty, tienes razón. Ya se la di a ella y se rió al leerla, como si no le molestara. Fue la primera vez para mi que tradujera tal cosa y no sabía si hay alguna etiqueta para traductores en tales situaciones, pero al leer hilos aquí en este foro y también en otros sitios web me di cuenta de que hay que hacer una traducción fiel y ya. Pero muchísimas gracias por tu ayuda.
    Last edited by Sepahunt22; 01-05-2012 at 06:54 PM.

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