Translate English to Tagalog
Check the Quality of the Text

In order to translate English to Tagalog using dynamic equivalence, one must have wide exposure to other translation theories and applications, aside from knowing the theory of dynamic translation. Often Filipino translators ignore translation theory out of expediency and because of a desire to “deliver the translation” pronto. But theories do help.

To translate English to Tagalog, we have outlined principles or grids that serve as our main guide for our translations.

We recognize translation’s role in
  • The transmission of Filipino culture
  • The development of the Tagalog language
  • The development of other Philippine languages
  • The unifying role of translation since it narrows the great divide between social classes, when it aims to communicate to all kinds of audience.
  • The communicative aspect which eventually yields better results
  • The expansion of comprehension and application of borrowed metaphors and images

In order to Translate English to Tagalog effectively using dynamic equivalence, we follow the following general principles.

1 Before we translate English to Tagalog, we first assess the literary as well as the moral quality of the source text. We distinguish between good writing: “careful, sensitive, and elegant;” and bad writing: “predictable, hackneyed, and modish phrases,” and apply translations that will satisfy the demand of the target users as specified by the clients. We always require that the client be specific about who is the intended immediate user of the translated text.

2 As translators, we respect good writing and we take careful account of the language, structure, and content of the text, whether it be "scientific or poetic, philosophical or fictional." If we have assessed that the quality of the text is not that good, we deem it our duty to improve it in our translation, even if it is a technical text that is already in use, sold, or widely distributed.

4 As translators, we try to take care that our approximations will not be too far from the original, since we acknowledge that there will be losses mainly because of the following reasons:

A. Certain elements in the source language which is peculiar to the "natural environment, institutions and culture of its language area."

The usual options apply when we translate English to Tagalog depending on the preference of the client:

  • Transcribe the foreign word
  • Translate it (approximate)
  • Substitute a similar word in the target language culture.
  • Naturalize the word with a loan translation
  • Add or substitute a suffix from the target language
  • Define it (with notes)
  • Paraphrase it (last resort-with notes)

    B. There are very few words, phrases or sentences that will exactly match in formality, feeling or affectivity, generality or abstraction, and evaluation.

    5 As we translate English to Tagalog we try our best to understand the contextual issues surrounding the text if this is demanded.

    6 As translators, we are aware that dynamic equivalence is not always applicable. Problems occur as Peter Newmark outlined in the following situations.

    a "If a non-literary text describes, qualifies or makes use of a peculiarity of the language it is written in, the reader of the translation will have to have it explained to him, unless it is so trivial that it can be omitted."

    b "A non-literary text relating to an aspect of the culture familiar to the first reader but not to the target language reader is unlikely to produce equivalent effect: particularly, if originally intended only for the first reader."

    c "There is the artistic work with a strong local flavor which may also be rooted in a particular historical period."

    d "The creative writer writes for his own relief…. Then the equivalent-effect principle is irrelevant in the translation of the work of art; the translator’s loyalty is to the artist, and he must concentrate on recreating as much of the work as he can."

    5 As translators, we are still discovering the best way to evaluate our work. Initially, our consultants have agreed that Newmark’s table is one guide we can all benefit from:

    A B C
    1 Typical Examples Literature authoritative texts Scientific and technical reports and textbooks Polemical writing, publicity, notices, laws and regulations, propaganda, popular literature,
    2 ‘Ideal’ style Individual Neutral, objective Persuasive or imperative
    3 Text emphasis Source language Target language Target language
    4 Focus Writer (1st person) Situation (3rd person) Reader (2nd person)
    5 Method Literal translation Equivalent effect translation Equivalent effect recreation
    6 Unit of translations Maximum Minimum Small

    CollocationWord

    Medium

    SentenceCollocation

    Large

    TextParagraph

    7 type of language Figurative Factual Compelling
    8 loss of meaning Considerable Small Dependent on cultural differences
    9 new words and meanings Mandatory if in source language text Not permitted unless reason given Yes, except in formal texts
    10 keywords (retain) LeimotivsStylistic markers Theme words Taken words
    11 unusual metaphors Reproduce Give sense Recreate
    12 length in relation to original Approximately the same Slightly longer No norm

    To translate English to Tagalog, our call is not merely to deliver the text but articulate the reasons for our choices as well since we are only too aware that a text can be translated several ways.

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