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Which English do you think is better?

 
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Kou



Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:14 pm    Post subject: Which English do you think is better? Reply with quote

Hi! I am a Japanese managing an office of product designs. So far, none of our staff members could speak English. Writing (including translation) English has been much less realistic a dream. Recently though, because of a joint project with an American design office, we are required to employ someone who works as a translator from Japanese into English or vice-versa. Two persons are left now from whom we have to chose one. We gave them a kind of trial test of a Japanese- English translation. The following is the two translated passages by the two candidates. At first, we thought B was much better because it was easier to understand and the use of verb tense, etc. seemed to be more appropriate. We showed the two translations to both of them, which was something we shouldn’t have done and we told the person who wrote B was to be hired. After that, a kind of serious problem began to arise. The person who wrote A got furious, insisting that the English he wrote was absolutely much better with full of sensitivity. And those who say B is better are kind of insensitive butthead with shallow thinking. He also claims that all of the native speakers of English will choose A as much better from the viewpoint of its artistic vagueness naturally required by the writings of such a field as ours. I myself believe that good writing, whether it is a translation or not, should be easy for its readers to understand. So I am a kind of confused and even at a loss about what the angry man is shouting. The person who wrote B is a kind of quiet and mild hearted man who doesn’t say anything about the man who wrote A. He only says “It’s up to you which you hire.” I’d like you, as readers of English, to choose the one you think is the better English of the two. That’s why I’m writing this now. This is the translation, of course, I asked my friend to do. I feel pity that I cannot tell how the two following passages are different. Yes, I have to study English hard.

Translation A

The Fruits of Collaboration

At our workshop, we seek to actively employ design in a variety of different situations, and as such collaborate with a number of design-minded companies, each of us sharing information that the other possesses. Without Thinking is one of these collaborations. With Norio Funawa at the helm as design director, the collaborations that unfold with designers from different companies have different results each year, but the results of each collaboration have an impact that tugs at the heartstrings, and are a constant source of pleasure for us all.

The bearing to fruition of Without Thinking is fraught with difficulties. It is unbelievably hard to come up with an idea, and then bring that design into being. But Without Thinking designs are the kind of designs that people can understand without too much of a strain (without thinking). This is because the source of these designs lies in everyday actions and senses experienced by us all. It is not the kind of understanding that comes with a single glance, but rather the time that passes between us thinking “Huh?” and then “Ah!” that really drives home just how truly interesting the designs are.

We would like to dedicate the fruits of this project – the “dustbins” that this new generation of designers have transgressed the boundaries of ‘design for the company’s sake’ to create – to us all….to we, “the people”.


Translation B

The Fruits of Collaboration

At our workshop, we have always been seeking to actively employ good designs for a variety of occasions, and with such an objective in mind, we have collaborated with a number of design-minded companies, exchanging and sharing information of their particular fields . Without

Thinking is one of these collaborations. With the Design Director , Norio Funawa at the helm, the collaborations of the designers from different companies have produced various fruits in the past years. The results of these collaborated efforts have given great impacts that touch the fine sensitivities we have , and have been a constant source of renewed pleasure for us all.

It’s not been an easy path at all that led them to Without Thinking, though. The difficulty of coming up with some new and good ideas and then bring them into actual being is almost completely beyond our imagination. But the designs introduced in Without Thinking are the ones that people can understand without any hard mental effort(without thinking). This is because these designs have come from our everyday lives and senses experienced by us all. It is not, however, the kind of understanding that comes at a single glance.
There is a little gap of time between ‘huh?’ at the moment we see them and ‘Ah!’ at the moment we nod. The pleasure of good designs may be found in this very short time for the working of our instinct.


We would like to present the fruits of this project – the “dustbins” that this new generation of designers has come up beyond the boundaries of designs for their own company’s commercial goals. They are the designs created for us all…., “the people”.
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Eigo-Mike



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 12
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: Which English do you think is better? Reply with quote

Tough question!!

It really depends on what the original Japanese writing was.

Are your translators Native English speakers?

In general I prefer B. Neither strikes me as being perfectly written, but then, I haven`t seen (and couldn`t understand) the original.

From a business perspective, I wouldn`t want to work with someone that loses their temper in this situation. My personal feelings are that both translators did their best work, and it is up to the compnay to find qualified people to decide which is better.

Have you considered asking your American counterparts?


Kou wrote:



A.

The bearing to fruition of Without Thinking is fraught with difficulties. It is unbelievably hard to come up with an idea, and then bring that design into being.


B.

It’s not been an easy path at all that led them to Without Thinking, though. The difficulty of coming up with some new and good ideas and then bring them into actual being is almost completely beyond our imagination.


Here I prefer A however.

If I were you, I`d be thinking about the following questions:

Have you considered outsourcing your translation needs?
Will you need your translators to be interpreters too?
Who is more experienced?
and finally, who do you think you can work with best?

Good luck!

and can you tell me where to find your homepage?

Kind regards

M

(No charge and no guarantees on this advice!! )Wink
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