Saturday 2 November 2019

The 5 Golden Questions of Translation

I love decluttering, especially because my ongoing decluttering frequently unearths (long-forgotten) gems from the past. And some of the things I find are downright amazing!

They often put a smile on my face. From 2000 to 2002 I was a student at the Institut für Fremdsprachen und Auslandskunde in Erlangen. While going through the materials from a class in translation of certificates, diplomas and public documents a few days ago, I found this:

If I remember correctly, the question “Do I need a cup of coffee?” was supposed to serve as a reminder that taking a short break from translation can be very beneficial in that you often come up with a solution while away from the desk (for example, to fetch a cup of coffee).

I’d completely forgotten about the “5 Golden Questions of Translation”: Do I need a cup of coffee? Can I leave it out? Can I find a synonym? Can I find a paraphrase? Can I risk translating it literally?

(A German translation of this blog entry is available here.)