Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's difficult than I thought..

Assalamu'alaikum..

Do you ever experienced translating something from one language to other language?What did you feel?An easy job?

Maybe for those native English speaking might find this work as a piece of cake but for us,especially me who learning English language through 'self study' it's quite hard.(Although I have a dream to be one of the good translator in the future.English,Arabic,Malay,Turkish and Hebrew maybe?)

When I was in the primary school,some of my friends did asked me certain words to be translated into English.Since I was a 'kid' at that time,I just translate it literally.I didn't care whether the words are suitable for that particular sentence or not.For instance,one of my friend asked me,"Beri dalam English apa?"

I didn't asked him what kind of sentence he was trying to make instead,rather than just gave the word he requested."give."

Then when I read his sentence I spotted the word requested was not used at the proper place."He gave the speech yesterday."
Personally I would think the word 'delivered' should be replacing the word 'gave'.Am I right?

Yeah it was the same thing happening when I was in the secondary school.When I read a lot in English I found some of my words are used wrongly.Even till now.Still having mistakes here and there.(Even Grammatical errors)

From my point of view,in translating something,we can't easily translate it word by word.We need to understand the gist of the texts,speeches etc.before start translating.Even some external factors need to take into account.The location,community,cultures etc.

Ok,let say I wanted to translate one of the famous Malay idiom i.e "Mencurahkan air ke daun keladi."

How would it be then?I'm afraid people might not grab my point if I translated it like this "Pouring water on the yam leaf"..Huhu..Even it made me sound weired and stupid.

If we're looking at the English community,the 'yam' is not a sort of famous plant.It's not really fits their customs or daily activities.Hence it's kindda difficult to understand the meaning of the idiom.

Unlike the Malays,our 'orang kampung' think 'daun keladi' is so useful.Sometimes due to it's 'water resistant' they used it as a temporary 'cup' for drinks etc.And the 'daun keladi' can easily be found in Malaysia especially in sub-urban area.

So,how would it be to translate this idiom?Let us look at the gist of the idiom..
What is exactly the meaning of 'mencurahkan air ke daun keladi'?

I would say it is 'doing something useless'.Am I right?Yeah,we did know that water can't stick on that particular leaf and yet we still pouring water on it.What for?it's useless..

Ok now we understood the gist of the idiom.Let us look at the English idiom which brought the same meaning.'useless'

I think the most accurate one is, 'Bringing the coal to the Newcastle'.As a matter of fact,Newcastle once was a place for coal production.Hence bringing coals to the Newcastle is kindda useless.Did you see how it works?As the Newcastle was a place of coal production,thus the idiom is likely linked to the surrounding+ local activities.

As Daun Keladi is famous among Malays,thus the idiom "mencurahkan air ke daun keladi" was established.

What I'm going to stress here is,Translating is not an easy job.We need to study carefully the words,cultures,surrounding etc.Not to forget,we need lot of readings.

I remembered at one time I was asked to translate two pages English text regarding Palestine issues into Malay language which later was published in one of the Palestine web.I was in the middle of semester at that moment and had bunches of assignments and tests which need to be completed.As I had a limitation of time,I couldn't translate it in a proper way.I still remember how I was struggling finding the word 'Flotilla' in Malay Language..As I'm so called 'English-reading-guy' I hardly find the word in Malay.It just came into my knowledge that Flotilla in Malay is 'Armada'..

Honestly I never heard the word Armada before.It is my bad cause I'm so weak in languages regardless English,Malay or Arabic..

Anyway,Al-Quran is the most beautiful language used.Even some words couldn't be translated by other languages.It shows how powerful Allah has created Al-Quran as the final Mu'jizat and guidance to the humankind.

And learning Arabic is a compulsion for every Muslims as it is the language of the Al-Quran,the people in the Paradise and the language of our beloved Prophet,Muhammad Sallallahu 'alaihi wassalam.


Wallahu'alam...

*I still need more efforts to master my favorite languages..Please pray for me..

2 comments:

Atiqah said...

if u have the 'like' button..i will surely click on it..thumbs up for this entry..it reminds me a lot of my past experience being an unofficial translator to few of my friends who did other courses than english..how difficult it was to find the right meaning and at the same time to help them understand what was the text trying to say...

as for translating words depending on culture and people, yup...i agree with that too..

regarding to your point about writing text on Palestine issue, hoho..i have lots of questions to ask about it but it seems that i dont know where to start..let me finish my JPJ test this week and KMK Perlis first then i'll get back to u later..insyaAllah.

ukur kira said...

@atiqah:
All praise be to Allah.I like to improve myself especially in languages.Although my background is somehow likely to be math + language,i think my right hemisphere brain is dominant.

it's ok.Settle off your other stuffs first.I'll try to respond to ur question at my best insha Allah.