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English Translation Rules

All over the world, it is believed that translating into a language other than your own is bad manners. It is very difficult for a non-native speaker, even a translator, to reach the language level of a native speaker. The possibility remains that the translator will not be able to translate the text into a foreign language so that it reads as naturally as if it were written by a native speaker. However, in the Russian-speaking space, translators often have to translate from their native language into a foreign one.

In what situations is translation into a foreign language usually required?

  1. Translation into a non-native language is a mandatory component of oral translation from translation agency England.
  2. It is also not always possible to involve carriers in translation due to the too high price for their services.
  3. A translation made by a native speaker needs to be checked just like a translation made by a non-native speaker. We think there is no need to explain that the quality of translation depends not only on how well the translator speaks his native language. Otherwise, anyone who knows, for example, English and has an A in Russian could translate into Russian perfectly. And this is not so.
  4. In some subjects it is extremely difficult to find a native translator.
  5. And, finally, translation by a native speaker is sometimes impossible or very difficult due to the peculiarities of the original language. For example, because of the dialectal coloring.

Possessing the skills of translating into a foreign language will not interfere with the translator in any case, because this increases his value as a specialist. In addition, such a transfer is paid at higher rates, which is always nice. 🙂

In this article we will consider the features of translation into English.

General recommendations

To begin with, let’s consider the general points regarding the translation from Russian into English.

Grammatical and syntactic discrepancies

Be aware of major grammatical and syntactical differences between English and Russian. Language is primarily a reflection of a system of thought. That is why it is impossible to translate by simply substituting English words instead of Russian ones. It is necessary to convey the meaning, not the form.

For example, we say “He was nervous.” Native English speakers say “He was nervous.” The original form in this example corresponds to the action (he was nervous), the translated form corresponds to the sign (he was nervous – literally “he was nervous”).

Ambiguity of translation

Do not allow ambiguity in translation: for this, use the stylistic means of the English language correctly.

Here is an example of how a grammatically correct translation can be stylistically incorrect:

If you look closely, you can see the ambiguity of this phrase. The expression ‘to take care of’ is often used figuratively: children can be ‘taken care of’ in a criminal sense.

Translation Reader Knowledge

When translating, use the variant of English spoken by future readers of the translation. Avoid mixing spelling and vocabulary between American and British English.

Translation of phraseological units

When translating phraseological units, one should strive to convey their idiomatic nature. If there is no phraseological unit in the English language, then a neutral translation option can be used.

“There was nothing to cover” can be translated with a similar phraseological unit ‘ I didn’t have a leg to stand on ‘ or give a semantic translation of ‘ There was nothing I could say ‘. The choice will depend on the situation, context and target audience.

Lexical Features

Choose the correct lexical matches. For example, let’s take the phrase:

Express (bring) deep (sincere, heartfelt) condolences.

A literal translation immediately comes to mind, which looks decent and does not arouse suspicion:

To express (convey, offer) sincere (heartfelt) condolences.

Such a translation is possible, but there is a better option. Native speakers speak

‘to bring profound condolences.’

Grammar Features

In this section, we will remind you of the rules already familiar to you, which, however, are not universally observed.

Rules for constructing English sentences

Below we consider the main rules for constructing English sentences.

Word order in an English sentence

English has a fixed word order: Subject + Predicate + Object + Circumstance.

  • Nitrogen forms complex nitrides with iron and alloying elements. – Nitrogen forms complex nitrides with the iron and alloy elements.

The addition complex nitrides in Russian is at the end of the sentence, in English it takes place after the predicate.

Translation of prepositions

Prepositions when translating into English require special attention. An important topic here is prepositions at the end of a sentence.

  • Example 1: ‘ The last theme was the one which I was mostly involved in . 
  • Example 2: ‘ The last theme was the one in which I was mostly involved. 

How right? answers this question:

“It’s not an error to end a sentence with a preposition, but it is a little less formal. In emails, text messages, and notes to friends, it’s perfectly fine. But if you’re writing a research paper or submitting a business proposal and you want to sound very formal, avoid ending sentences with prepositions.”

Grammatical constructions

Let’s take a closer look at the grammatical features of the translation using examples.

Translation of emphatic constructions

Emphatic constructions help highlight the most important information in a sentence. Consider examples of the structure of emphatic constructions in Russian and English with a change in word order:

If a Russian sentence begins with “no matter how”, the English one will begin with an adjective + as:

  • Exhaustive as these experimental data have been…

If a Russian sentence starts with “only”, an English sentence will start with what+subject:

  • They will only be specific to the type of system configuration tested. – What they are specific for is the type of system configuration tested.

Examples of emphatic constructions without changing word order:

  • Whatever… it was. – as … as it may be, no matter how, whatever the …
  • Whatever the mechanism of fragment detachment…
  • no matter how … – however … may
  • No matter how much the individual features change, the overall picture remains the same. – The broad picture remains the same however much the details may vary.

These small but useful expressions will diversify your translation and help it sound more like English.

Translation of sentences with indirect word order

To translate a simple verbal predicate, you can use the turnover there is and the formal subject it.

  • There was a regular exchange of delegations. – There was a regular exchange of delegations.
  • Ties in the field of culture have taken root. – It has become standard practice to maintain cultural ties.

Translation of constructions with a verbal noun

In Russian, verbal nouns are used quite widely, but they do not look good in English translation – it is better to replace them with an infinitive or gerund.

  • Recent changes have prompted the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to join and actively participate in the European structures. – Recent changes have prompted central and East European countries to enter and actively participate in the European organizations.

Punctuation features

Since punctuation in Russian is more complicated than punctuation in English, there is a temptation to transfer its rules to English. You should not do this: English punctuation has its own peculiarities. Here are some of them:

All turns placed at the beginning of the sentence are separated from the subject by a comma.

  • For the studied range, the heat transfer coefficients from the outside are well described by the Nusselt number. – For the range investigations, external heat transfer coefficients are well represented by Nu.

A comma separates absolute constructs

  • The summation now over, we proceed to further stages. 

When enumerating with three or more elements, the so-called Oxford comma is placed before and or or. Its absence may affect the meaning of the statement.

  • I had eggs, orange juice, and toast.

In English, there is such a thing as restrictive and non-restrictive elements – restrictive and non-restrictive definitions / elements.

Non-limiting elements do not change the meaning of the element being defined and are therefore separated by commas. In other words, if a separate part is removed from a sentence, its meaning will not suffer.

  • Example 1: The builder, who erects every fine houses , will make a large profit.
  • Example 2: The builder who erects every fine houses will make a large profit.

In the first case, the phrase “who erects fine houses” is separated by commas. This means that it does not carry an important semantic load, and it can be painlessly removed. Therefore, any builder earns well.

And in the second case, only the builder who builds quality houses makes good money.

It is important to understand this, for example, when translating participial phrases, complex sentences, etc. The use of commas in the Russian text does not mean that the corresponding part of the sentence should be separated in the English certified translation service as well.

Stylistic recommendations

Let’s finish the story with stylistic recommendations. They will help make the text beautiful and readable.

Break long Russian sentences into short English ones

  • The large military-industrial potential and significant influence that the Russian Federation possessed gave it the opportunity to utter a weighty word to curb the aggressors. – The Russian Federation wielded great military and industrial power and had considerable influence. This gave it an ample possibility for sounding a stern warning to curb the aggressors.

Use the same grammar forms

In the list, each component must be expressed by the same grammatical form: noun, infinitive or gerund.

  • The recommendations include: building a proper database, improving environmental management, increasing monitoring and compliance efforts
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