Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Translate Translating Translator Translation.

I'll be entering the fourth month now, working as a freelance translator for a company. So far, I think the job suits me well. Not much hassle to deal with. Working at home, on my own time, as long as the assignment is submitted before the deadline. But even if I can't make it before the deadline, I only need to send an e-mail, informing and requesting for an extension from the company.

Basically my job is to prepare the Malay subtitle for a half hour or one hour English variety show, series or documentary. The company will give me the assignments and I have to download the videos and scripts to help me out in performing the translation and type the subtitles using an application specifically made by the company.

Performing translation is not as easy as it seems. Especially when your language ability, in my case, Malay and English, is not at par in terms for word choice. I admit, I have a very limited vocabulary for Malay compared to English. It's a shame, isn't it? To master foreign language more compared to your own mother tongue. But through this job, I somehow able to improve my Malay words capacity.

Where do I refer to when I'm stuck or have no clue of the meaning of the words? There are a few sites that I'm very fond of. For Malay language, of course Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. This link to be exact, http://prpm.dbp.gov.my/. I only knew about this site after I started working. Suggested by the company. A very useful site because I don't think there are any other site than can provide a more accurate translation in Malay other than this. But there are still a few English words that have no Malay translation. Therefore, I will give y own meaning in which way I see fit.

Next is http://urbandictionary.com/. I discover about this site after reading The Prodigal Tongue by Mark Abley. Very informative. Bought for only RM8 during Big Bad Wolf Book Fair last year. Here, you can find almost every slang or terms used by people on the streets. Because the definition is made by us. People can submit any word with their own definition. Pretty much like Wikipedia but better because they actually have staffs to check whether the definition is valid and can be published. I refer to this site when translating shows in British English or Australian English or street slangs for drugs or people. For example, in a show that I recently translated, the casts are British and in a scene, he said, "That is rank!" after tasting his cooking. For your information, the word "rank" actually means "disgusting." Odd, isn't it?

For a quick option of words that carries the same meaning, I'll go to http://thesaurus.com/. Sometimes it's hard to give the exact Malay translation for an English word. The use of synonyms is probably the best way, from my point of view. Plus, it'll help a lot when the word belongs to more than one word class. I'll cross check the words between these sites to gain a more accurate translation and ensure that mistranslation does not occur.

The pay check. The most important thing looked upon in accepting a job offer. Primary numero uno! What I can say is that the pay suits the job, which is as a freelancer. So, yes. I'm still looking for a job. A steady job with a steady income. As for this job I'm currently doing, it is merely a side job while I'm still in search for a real job. But if I can't find any, maybe I'll ask to be an in house staff for the company. Working as a translator and editor. Anyway, let's see how it goes. Only time will tell, right?