The Translator’s Mind – Part II, Best of Both Worlds

A translator while working has to switch constantly between two mindsets: The author’s world and the reader’s reality. Therefore, s/he must be able to simulate the author while at the same time anticipating the author’s intended audience.

When simulating the author, a translator must consider the following aspects:

  • The author’s intention
  • The author’s mindset and reality
  • The author’s know-how in the subject matter
  • The author’s writing skills

In an ideal situation, a translator can contact the author and ask questions. If this is not possible, the translator must try to infer all relevant information from the text at hand.

The other world, the readers’ reality, also has two important aspects to consider:

  • The readers’ knowledge of the subject matter
  • The readers’ situation, environment and mindset while reading the text

In some cases, the text may have to be genuinely re-written in the target language to get the message across.

Thanks for all the words


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