Tagalog to English Translation
 A Way to Edit  

Your Tagalog to English Translation begins once you hire a back translator. More than checking spelling, grammar, and punctuation which are more the proofreader's job, the back translator's task is to give the literal equivalent in English of the Tagalog translation and then compare it with the source text. Sometimes, the back translator submits a back translation that confirms your fears: the translation is unsatisfactory because it is either (a) too literal (so stilted) or (b) too dynamic (taking liberties). When you are convinced that the translation is lacking, then you can begin scouting for a new translator.

Other translation issues may crop up after back translation. The non-native speaker you hire to translate doesn't have a clue on affixations (usually relative to a region). 

Or, the translation is Taglish. You might find out that the translator in Tagalog merely approximated the meanings instead of consulting the authoritative references, say the newest edition of a Filipino dictionary. Or you discover many glaring problems in diction (inconsistency in equivalents). 

Hopefully, the  Tagalog to English Translation  will also suggest some fixes. In order to do this, the back translator may wear another hat, that of an editor. 

Ensuring a Faithful Translation

The keyword here is "faithful." Particularly in subtitling where character space is limited, the editor must be confident about deleting unnecessary words. Tagalog is often longer than English. The challenge is how to cut decisively while staying very close to the meaning of the source text. 

Checking the Idiomatic Flow

Here, idiomatic  means how the word/phrase/sentence is said or expressed in a locality/province/region/island where Tagalog is widely spoken. Obviously, the editor must know what words go together. Sometimes, because of a total lack of exact equivalent, the translator invents words. The editor must be aware when an invention is necessary and when it is plain indulgence on the part of the translator. The editor must listen to the words, apply his own "ear" for idiom and recall their common usage in a particular locale.

Retaining Emphasis and Tone

While English is mostly subject/verb/object pattern, Tagalog is more naturally the reverse - verb/subject/object. The active voice in English is preferred in good writing. But sometimes, the voice is deliberately passive to emphasize certain parts of the written expression. Also, the polite tone of Tagalog may sometimes necessitate a passive tone. The editor must see to it that the translation retains or captures the emphasis of the source text.

Last words for this crucial step in translation

Back translators and editors must not only meet their client's specifications, but they must also care that the targeted Tagalog readers will find the material useful. 

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