Translation and Adaptation are Different
English to French Translation and Adaptation are completely different, and they even serve entirely different purposes. It is true that simple translation is not suitable for all types of situations, but it is false that all of the quality translations are actually adaptations. The fact is that a proper translation is genuinely not an adaptation.
Attributes of A Good English to French Translation
An authentically good English to French Translation should be correct with the complete context of the original text in accordance with meaning, style, register, appearance and message. The message should be as important as the words used, and there is no surety how the reader will take the translation, but the translation should not be given any room for leniency. In case, the text is focused on a specific audience and if it has been written in a special register, it is imperative that it should be focused on the corresponding audience and it should also be written in the same register in the target language.
An adaptation, on the other hand, takes the ideas of the source text and re-writes them in a completely new way. The source text may be altered somewhat to appeal more to a new audience (i.e.: different marketing sector, class or age group for example) or it may be placed in a different setting. Adaptations are more common in literary, poetic or advertising media, where you can choose to forgo either media (form) or literal meaning in favor of conveying a particular message or emotion, if one or the other is considered more important to the individual situation.
How Much Adaptation is Needed?
Prior to determining the amount of adaptation required, it is important for the English to French Translation expert to find the objective of the document according to its audience and use. For instance, a letter that is translated to be used in a court should express just what is meant to be said, and no alterations should be made to the medium or the message. However, if a letter is to be sent to a business client or a political ally, it would be required to adapt it a little. This may be needed because a French letter’s format is unlike that of an English letter. The paragraphs may be required to be rearranged in order to focus on the same concept, but in a convincing or more engaging manner, in the reader’s culture, which will help in either making a sale or a new ally.
English to French Translation of Literature
When carrying out an English to French Translation of a piece of literature, the same type of decision will have to be taken, whether a translation is required or an adaptation. For example ‘Romeo et Juliette’ is the French translation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ written by Shakespeare, but it is written for a French audience. However, ‘West Side Story’ is the adaptation of the story that has some alterations in order to attract the music loving 20th century American audience that is completely different from the theatre-hugging 16th century English audience. Even though both are equivalent in serving different tastes, the purpose is different.
Poetry: Translation or Adaptation
Most of the English to French Translation poetry has resulted from adaptation. This is because it is not quite possible to convey similar emotions to other culture readers by retaining the same words and form as in the source poem. Similar to advertising, poetry is culture-oriented and highly personal. As metaphors vary from one culture to another, same do stylistic choices do. This is what poetry can be all about. However, it should not be taken that translation of poetry is not done at all, but it is quite rare to find such an instance.
Localizing English to French Translation
Localization is a related concept. This can make the notion somewhat complex as on one hand it involves translation, on the other hand it is attached to a highly particular modern reality. It is basically the procedure for adjusting a product or service into a specific language, culture and required local perception. When localizing a product, a large number of details have to be considered along with idiomatic translation of language. This includes currencies, time zones, local color perceptions, national holidays, gender roles, geographic examples and names of products or services.
Localizing a Product or a Service
A product or service that has been localized with success seems like it has been created in the local culture. These texts can consist of material that could be required to be generated a number of times in the same language. However, it may have to be accustomed for cultural and dialectal differences, or for texts that particularly focus a region where that language is spoken. You cannot call this to be an adaptation as the same message and content are usually spoken in the same manner, and these products are mostly created in such a way that they get localized without any need of changing the style, format or imagery.
‘Straight’ English to French Translation
Sticking to originality of the text is not just limited to legal and scientific texts that are commonly known as ‘straight’ English to French Translation. It is important for newspaper articles to preserve all the facts that should be addressed to an equivalent audience from the target language community. A number of other texts need to be given straight translations, including government documents, public information books, corporate literature, textbooks, travel guides and others. In addition, they need to maintain same content, style, register and format. It is also necessary to retain the grammar, structure and culture in the target language. Failing this, the English to French Translation expert would enter the scope of adaptation.
In short, a genuine translation is carried out in a way that seems natural and accurate in the target language. However, it should not diversify from the spirit of the original text. The translator cannot delete, add or alter anything from the source text. It can be said that a genuine adaptation from English to French Translation is the re-creation of the original message in order to become fit for a new audience, which may be a different age group, cultural group or from a different era.