Talk:Translation/Archive 2

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This talk page was getting very long and needed to be archived. Please feel free to restore any currently relevant discussions. Dreadstar 07:27, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


I do not agree with the main definition, since it does not have into account translation of non-textual information (e.g., speech, sign-language, etc.). I suggest replacing it with this more general one: "Tranlation is the process of preserving meanings when changing the representation code of a message from one natural language to another."

The rendering of non-textual information would not be translation but interpretation. Nihil novi (talk) 17:40, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
I would add that text is a pretty inclusive term. Sign language (if recorded) can constitute a text. maxsch (talk) 01:17, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

TMX standard?[edit]

I removed a link to the Localisation Industry Standards Association (LISA) because I followed it and didn't initially see anything about translation. Autoterm put it back, saying LISA was "the originator of the TMX Standard, to name only one." Forgive me, but I've never heard of the TMX standard or LISA. There are a lot of websites of translation associations, and associations somewhat related to translation, but it doesn't make any sense to include them all. Adriano had pointed this out [1] in the archived discussion. I think that the LISA link should go. LISA has no wikipedia article and the link, in my opinion, doesn't really add to the article. But I thought I'd put it up for discussion. maxsch 03:04, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Concur. Also, do we need the "Expert Translators" section that was recently put in? The article previously had a whole slew of sections on specialized sorts of translators which, fortunately, have been deleted. Nihil novi 03:16, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I admit to having also been confused by the expert translators bit. For one thing, it could use a reference. I can see having something a "translation certification" page that maybe gets referenced in the "see also". But my vote is for it not to be in translation. maxsch 03:23, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
That's odd: I just entered "TMX" in the search box and had no problem getting to Translation Memory eXchange, a core standard that enables users of translation memories from different vendors to exchange their language assets. And if that doesn't satisfy you: Searching Google for "translation memory exchange" produces more than 16,000 hits, which indicates, at least in this contributor's opinion, that there is substantial discourse around this topic. And yes, unfortunately there is only a stub on the Localization Industry Standards Association. However, LISA is the driving force behind standards that make the lives of thousands of translators easier every day because the standards developed by LISA (TMX, TBX, SRX, GMX, to name just a few) allow translators and vendors to share linguistic assets across otherwise incompatible tools. Autoterm 03:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
I've added Localization Industry Standards Association to "Category:Translation." That should suffice. I don't see a need to add a link to "Localization Industry Standards Association" under "See also" in the "Translation" article. Nihil novi 05:09, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Nihil novi. LISA is specific to l10n, not to t9n. --leuce 10:26, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Are you seriously saying that translators working outside of the localization field neither use translation memory nor terminology management tools? Because anybody (translation vendor, agency, translation buyer) who is serious about translation memory management (TMX), terminology management (TBX), quality assurance (remember the LISA QA Model?) on any scale simply cannot ignore the standards LISA developed and evangelized. Just take a look at LISA's member list and ask yourself why organizations such as the ATA, the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission (DGT), McDonald's Corporation, the Polish Association of Translation Agencies and hundreds of others with a non-localization focus would join LISA if it solely catered to the L10N industry.Autoterm 13:30, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Expert translators (certification)[edit]

Regarding the question Maxschmelling sent to me about expert translators, here is the provisional/preliminary answer I have: a) an expert translator or sworn translator or court translator or legal translator (the name depends on the country) is a translator authorized by the law (different procedures in different countries) to render special kinds of documents (official documentation such as certificates of studies/death/marriage/birth/divorce/criminal or police records, commercial agreements, powers of attorney, etc.); b) on the other hand, certified translators are those translators who, by means mostly of an exam, demonstrate their ability to work professionally as translators, but this does not include the legal authorization to translate the aforementioned types of documents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Correogsk (talkcontribs) 21:53, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I disagree with this distinction. Only recently did the ATA begin to call their accredited translators "certified translators" (causing much confusion in the process because "certified translations" need not be done by certified translators).
I do agree, however, that the concept of a translator whose translation is considered legally equivalent to the source text, and that should be explained here. Not all "legal translators" are sworn translators. Not all lawyer-translators are sworn translators either. And in my country (ZA) you don't nee authorisation to translate legal documents (although you do need to be a sworn translator to swear an oath that a translation is good).
I suggest a rewrite of these two sections to NPOV:
Translating for legal equivalence
For legal and official purposes, evidentiary documents and other official documentation are usually required in the official language(s) of that jurisdiction. In some countries it is a requirement for translations of such documents that a translator swears an oath to attest that it is the legal equivalent of the source text. Often, only translators of a special class are authorised to swear such oathes. In some cases, the translation is only accepted as a legal equivalent if it is accompanied by the original or a sworn or certified copy of it.
The procedure for translating to legal equivalence differs from country to country. For example, in South Africa, the translator must be authorised by the High Court, and he must use an original (or a sworn copy of an original) in his physical presense as his source text; the translator may only swear on his own translation; and there is no requirement for an additional witness (such as a notary) to attest to the authenticity of the translation.
Even if a translator specialises in legal translation or if he is a lawyer in his country, this does not necessarily make him a sworn translator.
Accreditation of translators
Private or parastatal organisations from various countries often accredit translators based on a variety of requirements, which often include a written examination to attest to the translator's skill. Such accreditations often have no legal effect, and their value lies in the esteem that the translation organisation has as an independent authority on good translation.
Most translators' organisations refer to this stamp of approval as "accreditation", although the American Translators Association's accreditation system is called "certification".
See also [Category:Translation_associations] -- leuce 10:15, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I just want to add that I don't know in which countries these translators are known as "court translators", "expert translators" or "legal translators", and I think we should be able to name the countries before we try to tie down these names to this specific class of translator. -- leuce 10:29, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
This is an interesting issue. In principle I agree with the rewrite, it does seem more neutral. I think, however, that because there are so many different legal situations involved, it will be difficult to make the section "translation for legal equivalence" true for all countries/all jurisdictions. I can foresee this bit getting long as different laws are described. I am going to put the text by leuce in the article, but I think we should think about whether this ends up being a separate page eventually. maxsch 18:49, 5 November 2007 (UTC)


What's going on here? Why are the images disappearing? How are the images of Kurzweil and Muegge less relevant to this article than those of Krasicki, Johnson and the others? If anything, there are not enough images in this article. Naturezak keeps changing his standards, and where does the path he wants to take us down lead to: a totally bland and lifeless Wikipedia! Autoterm (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 14:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I wouldn't insist on images of Kurzweil or Muegge. What the historic personages said has stood the test of time. These two moderns are highly speculative and, I think, superficial. I doubt that either has had much practical experience of real-life translation. Nihil novi (talk) 15:51, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how "practical experience in real-life translation" qualifies a person for having their image accompany their entry in a section on machine translation. And I don't see the logic of having a reference to a person in the article but removing their image. So yes, all three Hofstadter, Kurzweil, and Muegge have also stood the test of time as the community has considered them worthy of inclusion in this article for a long time. If a person appears in an article and if an image is available, then that image should be included in the same article. Anything else just doesn't make sense. Let's keep Wikipedia colorful and alive! Autoterm (talk) 17:34, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
This is not a debate about aesthetics, and I am not pleased to be characterized as trying to make Wikipedia less colorful and more deadened. Since the images of the three contemporary commenators does not illustrate a concept discussed in the article, or demonstrate the visual aspect of the subject of the article, they do not belong. The images of historical personnages might very well be removed for just that reason.

Autoterm, you say that "there are not enough images in this article." Is this an aesthetic preference (and therefore not a point in contention here) or do you mean that there are not enough images to properly convey the meaning of the article? Naturezak (talk) 17:41, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

So you are saying that you would happily remove all images of all people referenced in this article, and you would have to to be consistent and not discriminate against contemporary contributors to the field. And the result would be, pardon my repeating myself, a bland and lifeless entry. There are too many of those already! WP:Images states that "Images must be relevant to the article they appear in and be of sufficient notability (relative to the article's topic)." All the images you removed meet those criteria. Please tell me which requirements of WP:Images have been violated by the images you removed from the article to warrant their removal. Once again, you can't say the people are relevant but their image is not.Autoterm (talk) 18:48, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, all the images of translators should go, since their inclusion is ornamental rather than encyclopedic. Not of them illustrates a concept discussed in the article, or demonstrate a visual aspect of "translation." The image of the Rosetta stone, on the other hand, does illustrate a concept (the anquitity of the concern with simlutaneous translation, to name one) and therefore can be included in the article. Your argument that the people of relevant, so their images must be too, doesn't make much sense. Naturezak (talk) 19:29, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Once again I ask you: What specification of WP:Images are you enforcing? Because if you are not following WP policies, you are simply vandalizing this article. Autoterm (talk) 19:44, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I am enforcing the WP:Images#Pertinence_and_encyclopedicity specification; I have stated this clearly several times, and invited you explain your justification for keeping the images on the page. Don't revert the page until you have a reason to do so, please. Naturezak (talk) 19:48, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
All that policy says is that "images must be relevant to the article they appear in and be of sufficient notability (relative to the article's topic)." The images of Hofstadter, Kurzweil, and Muegge are relevant to their respective references in the text. The only case where they would not be relevant would be if these people had nothing to do with the article. But since each of these people appears in the article, there can't be any argument about the image's sufficient notability. You would have to remove all references to Hofstadter, Kurzweil, and Muegge to prove your case. As things stand, you don't have a case. Instead, you are making up your own rules. Your actions violate both the letter and the spirit of WP:Images. I'll leave the reversion to other stakeholders. Or even better yet, maybe you come to your senses. Autoterm (talk) 20:13, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Please explain which portions of WP:Images I am violating in letter and spirit. You might also explain how you think the images are relevant, even though they fail to either illustrate or explain the topic, "translation." Naturezak (talk) 22:27, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I must admit that I was fond of the pictures of the historic figures. I'm not sure why I didn't particularly care for the three moderns. Maybe because those were photos (and not flattering ones) rather than "works of art." And I am not much in sympathy with Kurzweil's or Muegge's views as I understand them.

But, if necessary, I suppose I can live without any of the historic illustrations. Nihil novi (talk) 03:19, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Several editors have expressed a strong preference for restoring to this article illustrations (portraits and photographs) that have been removed; one even restored them (they have since been deleted again). Other Wikipedia articles are generously illustrated with such portraits and photos, e.g. "Poetry" and "List of Poles." Whether or not such illustrations "tell us something" about concepts discussed, they do tell us something about individuals mentioned; and surely there is no irreversible harm done to readers by the illustrations' inclusion. Nihil novi (talk) 00:28, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

The analogy to Poetry and Poles is informative, I think. The former is about an *enterprise*, not the *practitioners* of that art. Poets are once removed from the topic of the article; they are mentioned in the text, and those seeking information about them (including portraits) have only to click through to the relevant individual articles. You make the point yourself: they tell us something about something *other* than the topic of the article. That is the rationale I'd like addressed by arguments in favor of their inclusion.Naturezak (talk) 17:09, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I take strong exception to Naturezak's behaviour. There is absolutely nothing in WP:Images that would legitimate the removal of the imgages in question, in particular, the language Naturezak keeps reiterating ("illustrating or demonstrating a visual aspect" of a concept) is completely absent from the actual policy. Naturezak is not an editor, and therefore an edit as far-reaching as this one should first be discussed on the talk page and if, and only if, the community comes to a consensus, then should such action be taken. What we are witnessing here is an individual exhibiting gross disrespect towards the community of contributors to this article. Naturezak has mutilated this article for no good reason, and his edits should be immediately reverted. Autoterm (talk) 02:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I didn't state that my justification was in the language of Wiki policy -- I'm merely restating my rationale, which you have not yet addresses. I *am* a contributor to this article, and I do not think it appropriate to try to build consensus by painting this as an outsider vs. the in-crowd confrontation. I have made a good faith effort to remove clutter and irrelevancy in this article, and I do not see where you have provided a reasonable argument against my rationale. Instead, you are merely stating your preference. If my tone seems rancorous, please know it is not meant to... I'm merely trying to be succinct and frank.Naturezak (talk) 16:58, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I would only say that I don't see how images that are related to the article (if not illustrative of its content) can hurt. It does seem nice to break up the format. I guess I would say that if we are going to include pictures of people, maybe we could do it a little more evenly. I don't remember all of the pics, there was one of Schleiermacher, maybe, but it did seem like they were a little heavily biased toward the machine translation folks. I mean, do we need Kurzweil, Muegge and Hofstader? I'd rather more pictures of famous translators (Of course I dare not name any, it is bound to be controversial). Just my thoughts.maxsch (talk) 04:36, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
The fact that they are not illustrative of the article topic means they do not merit inclusion. That it would seem nice to "break up the format" is a statement of aesthetic preference that 1) I do not share, and 2) that doesn't belong in a discussion of editorial policy. The article is in dire need of major rewriting -- I suspect that the "format" weaknesses will be resolved once it moves beyond its current peripatetic structure. Furthermore, the images of translators here are redundant: anyone wanting to see them, can click through to their individual articles. Naturezak (talk) 16:58, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Returning to a topic I feel strongly about. I meant to remove all the images of translators; I just missed a few, and did mean to seem selective. None of the images belong here, according the reasons I list above and will list here again briefly: they are redundant to the images already found in the translators' articles; not illustrative of this article topic; and clutter an article that is already overlong and leggy. Naturezak (talk) 17:55, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I take it, then, that as a presumably equal-opportunity iconoclast, you mean to do away also with Schleiermacher, St. Jerome and the Rosetta Stone?
Are there any illustrations that you would deem appropriate to an article on translation? Nihil novi (talk) 20:36, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: The persons illustrated, appeared in their roles as theoreticians of translation, rather than as translators. Nihil novi (talk) 20:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'd like to see those images of Schleiermacher and St. Jerome removed as well. The Rosetta stone, however, is suitable; its parallel charactery is illustrative of the literal act of translation. What do we learn of translation by knowing what theoreticians of translation look like? I'd like to have consensus on this first, though. As for other images: could we find a screenshot of translation software, a transit sign in multiple languages, a page spread of a book printed with translated text en face, or a much closer image of the Rosetta Stone? Naturezak (talk) 23:49, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Translation is a very human enterprise, and portraits of classic theoreticians and practitioners of the art humanize the narrative. They also instantly, almost subliminally, suggest the long chronological span of discussions on the subject, from antiquity to modern times.
What would a screenshot of translation software look like? Could you find us a sample? The other suggestions would enhance the article too. Nihil novi (talk) 03:41, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate your good will, Filli, but I feel you haven't addressed my point: that the images do not inform the reader of the article topic. Your rationale goes to the point that portraits of human translators enhance the sense that translation is a human art; in this role they are ornamental. We might as well say that translation is a textual art, and we should have images of famous texts that have been translated. If this article were a listing of famous translators, it would be appropriate to include images, but as it is not, they are too far removed from the topic to be included. I think nothing should be done subliminally on an encyclopedia, so their possible *suggestion* of a long history of the field is, I think, an invalid justification for their inclusion. We lose nothing by losing the images, but I think that we gain clutter and divergence by their inclusion. When a free moment appears I'll see if I can find some of those alternative images... for I am a great supporter of the graphic representation of information, but only when it is not just ornamental. Naturezak (talk) 19:27, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
I look forward to the illustrations of parallel texts.
Who is "Filli"? Nihil novi (talk) 20:57, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
What are your thoughts on the images of translators, re: my latest 'summation'? Filli is another editor with whom I am in frequent discussion; close enough to "Nihil" that I swapped your names unthinkingly. Naturezak (talk) 13:45, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
If by "latest summation" you mean your remarks immediately above: I tend to some iconoclasm myself, but I still like to see the individuals whose opinions I am reading, without having to switch to the articles about those individuals. Nihil novi (talk) 23:00, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I feel like there is actually a really interesting discussion to be had here. What does it mean for a picture (or other graphic) to be illustrative of the content? I think one could argue that in the 'History of Theory' section, the theoreticians are in fact the history. Thus illustrations of them would be illustrative of the history, though, admittedly, not of the theories that those theoreticians espoused. If we limited imagery to theories that have graphic expression, that would seem to me to privilege those theoreticians who use images to forward their views. I don't know the answer. I admit my bias includes a certain pleasure at having (some) images in the article, but I do see merit in the argument that Naturezak makes about images being superfluous if they do not contain information that either adds to the article or helps clarify information in the article. maxsch (talk) 05:31, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Point well taken. Because of their abstract nature, nearly all the article's other sections would be hard to illustrate: the term; misconceptions; fidelity vs. transparency; equivalence; back-translation; even, machine translation. Nihil novi (talk) 07:27, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Proposed moves[edit]

Is there any objection to emancipating the "Translation" article's current "Translating for legal equivalence" and "Accreditation of translators" sections and making them into independent articles, as was previously done with "Translation-quality standards"?

These sections do not tell us anything about translation per se, and would in any case continue to be reachable as separate articles via "see-also" links, as "Translation-quality standards" now is. Nihil novi (talk) 03:05, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I've also taken the liberty of removing the "clean-up" tag. The article seems clean enough now, also communicative and fairly well sourced. Further work should, of course, continue as appropriate. Nihil novi (talk) 00:37, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

If there are no objections in 5 days, I will merge Translating for legal equivalence into this article. --Kannie | talk 00:50, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Disagree - I think the topic of translating for legal equivalence is distinct enough to merit its own coverage. There are lots of different kinds of translation, and it would be really nice to be able to read about them, but not all in the same monster article. This one is a start in the right direction. Cbdorsett (talk) 05:43, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, for reasons stated above. Nihil novi (talk) 21:27, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, for some of those same reasons. Also, Translating for legal equivalence has the potential to grow quite large if the relevant statutes are included for more countries than just South Africa and Mexico. I don't think the Translation page should grow into a compendium of laws about translation. maxsch (talk) 23:57, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Mildly opposed Just because I don't see any real info in that other article. I'd say either delete it or improve it because it was probably created to stop this page from being filled with jargon only a professional translator would understand. Man It's So Loud In Here (talk) 16:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The proposal having failed to win consensus over two weeks, I have deleted the proposal notice from the two articles. Nihil novi (talk) 05:11, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Certainly? Axiomatic? - this is not proper tone for an encyclopedia.

may I propose that it be changed to "Since Johann Gottfied Herder, in the 18th century all translators have worked towards their native language." or similar or that it be struck.--Kiyarrllston 01:20, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I thank Nihil Novi for fixing this.--Kiyarrllston 00:04, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


I think there are too many references to Polish here. Would people object if some of the less important ones were replaced with references to other other languages? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:56, 31 March 2008 (UTC)