Non-native speakers/Nicht-Muttersprachler

Pf arbeitet als Lektor für eine türkische Zeitung, die auf Englisch erscheint. Die englischen Texte, die er redigieren muss, sind anscheinend kaum verständlich.

This is copy-editing rather than translating, but somehow it reminds me of some translations I’ve read.

The famous pf, of pf’s blog, is copy-editing for an English-language newspaper in Istanbul. Here’s an early example (February 19th) of copy before editing:

bq. Global variation wavy began at last quarter of previous century and gained acceleration in 90’s, shaked political and ideological positions in us extremely.

bq. Because the lived was not the influence of West norms to the world. At the same time, the modern world?s perception was opened to interrogation and a new mental formation’s prolongation entered to policy over democratism.

And here’s an example of February 21st. Here is the way pf wrote it (it’s about cloning for stem-cell research):

bq. “Science has never been in the monster-production business, however Hollywood might film it. The real monster is the unequal distribution of wealth in our society.”

He (I think) uses block quotes plus quotation marks, the belt-and-braces approach. Here is what the paper did before putting it online:

bq. “Science has never been in the business of producing monsters, assuming of course we ignore Hollywood’s portrayals! The real monster is the unfair distribution of the wealth among people.”

Here’s the paper itself, Zaman Daily News. One good thing – after a year and a half of trying to learn Turkish, I can still understand this better than Hürriyet. Ah, but this is good – I can get the same stories in Turkish. But will the English ‘translation’ bear any similarity to the original?

I have rarely encountered English as incomprehensible as the example first quoted, but the general behaviour of the client ‘improving’ the English is very familiar.

4 thoughts on “Non-native speakers/Nicht-Muttersprachler

  1. Hey now, they have native speakers of English in India, after all.

    By the way, the braces are there because it was a person being quoted in the article – I forgot to note that.

    Thanks for the link!

  2. I see about the ‘braces’. I get the impression that Germans use both indenting and quotation marks, but I am too lazy to look it up. But I must look it up, because some of my blog, especially my other blog, is in German and it’s important for me to indicate quotes correctly.

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