Although many researchers and experts more or less agree on the techniques, the processes, and the deep mechanisms involved with translating standard language, much controversy stews around technical translations and particularly around scientific translations. A common idea is that translations have to be performed respecting the original scheme and the original style of authors. Instead, others believe that translating is some kind of re-writing of the same concepts into a different language. During the past years research has moved from the translation focusing onto the translator. Today almost everybody agrees on the fact that the best translations are those done by translators who translate into their mother tongue language. Also, translators must be totally proficient in the source language. Furthermore, more recently researchers have highlighted that it is crucial that translators have a good understanding of the subject matter. Aim of the present paper was to assess the degree of capability of first year medical school students to translate scientific abstracts (medical, surgical and basic science) derived from international scientific literature. Many students were unable to finish the translation, and this could be due to multiple factors. Indeed, most of the students were unable to correctly translate technical terms (TT) in all three types of Abstracts. This seems to be due to the total lack of knowledge of the corresponding registers in their mother tongue language and even more central, to the inadequate knowledge of the specific themes. Globally, students were unable to translate 86% of the sub-technical vocabulary (STW), and 91% of the Anglo-Saxon derived words (ASDW). Indeed, most STW belong in registers mostly unknown to first year medical students. Concerning verbs, impersonal type structures were mistaken by practically all students. The reason seems to be the fact that Italian language does not contain anything that even verges an impersonal. This is also true for compounds. However, in this specific context compounds seemed to have been actually mistranslated as a consequence of the lack of knowledge of the concepts the compounds were conveying. The mistranslation of the functional forms seems to be due to the specific language background these students have. Certainly, the lack of deep knowledge of English grammar is indeed a shortcoming for students.

A First Survey on Scientific Translations

DANIELE, Franca
2005-01-01

Abstract

Although many researchers and experts more or less agree on the techniques, the processes, and the deep mechanisms involved with translating standard language, much controversy stews around technical translations and particularly around scientific translations. A common idea is that translations have to be performed respecting the original scheme and the original style of authors. Instead, others believe that translating is some kind of re-writing of the same concepts into a different language. During the past years research has moved from the translation focusing onto the translator. Today almost everybody agrees on the fact that the best translations are those done by translators who translate into their mother tongue language. Also, translators must be totally proficient in the source language. Furthermore, more recently researchers have highlighted that it is crucial that translators have a good understanding of the subject matter. Aim of the present paper was to assess the degree of capability of first year medical school students to translate scientific abstracts (medical, surgical and basic science) derived from international scientific literature. Many students were unable to finish the translation, and this could be due to multiple factors. Indeed, most of the students were unable to correctly translate technical terms (TT) in all three types of Abstracts. This seems to be due to the total lack of knowledge of the corresponding registers in their mother tongue language and even more central, to the inadequate knowledge of the specific themes. Globally, students were unable to translate 86% of the sub-technical vocabulary (STW), and 91% of the Anglo-Saxon derived words (ASDW). Indeed, most STW belong in registers mostly unknown to first year medical students. Concerning verbs, impersonal type structures were mistaken by practically all students. The reason seems to be the fact that Italian language does not contain anything that even verges an impersonal. This is also true for compounds. However, in this specific context compounds seemed to have been actually mistranslated as a consequence of the lack of knowledge of the concepts the compounds were conveying. The mistranslation of the functional forms seems to be due to the specific language background these students have. Certainly, the lack of deep knowledge of English grammar is indeed a shortcoming for students.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/169432
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