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Journalistic Translation – Responsibility Of Journalists Or Translators?
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Nowadays, translators believe that journalistic translation is a process similar to literary translation. Thus, most linguists and literary translators are confident in interpreting information of news articles and media content. Just like literary translation, journalistic translation should be done by producing accurate paraphrases of the content from original source or document.

Obviously, it would be easier for literary translators to translate a news article if there was a big similarity between the text culture of the source language and the target language. However, the truth is that not all translators can actually provide a good quality of journalistic translation.

In a globalized world, it is very common that a country would cross the cultural and language borders. Some of these news articles are sometimes published in some other countries. One example is that an interesting Malaysian article may be translated and published into some other major languages of Malaysia, such as Hindu and Mandarin. A multi-cultural country like Malaysia is an interesting place to conduct journalistic translation especially between Hindu, Malaysian, English and Mandarin. Most people who speak Hindu and Chinese are already Malaysian citizens and can speak the local language as well; however, they still want to preserve the original language of their families and ancestors in order to save their cultures.

Despite the fact that these people in this country are living in the same language and culture of Malaysia, Chinese and Indian readers in Malaysia can determine very easily if the news article translated to Hindu or Chinese language are accurate or poor translated.

For an article to be successfully translated and properly understood by native speakers, it should be transmitted professionally by considering the different types of adaptation that would be able help to deliver the main content of the original text. A technical translation, such as many good news articles represent, should always be carried out by professionals.

Nowadays there are plenty of news articles that are translated into foreign languages; however, the unfortunate fact is that the journalist himself or herself is the one who performed the actual translation even without any rudimentary knowledge of language translation. In addition, most often confident journalists who performed the news translation don’t usually mention if he or she translated it and fail to state the original language that a given interview was conducted.

Does this influence a reader’s understanding of the translated news article?

Journalists are responsible for disseminating important issues that are happening in society. However, when it comes to actual translation of language and culture, it is not their job to adapt the information and transmit the data into other language. Otherwise if information is mistranslated, serious consequences could result that may lead to loss of dignity and possibly an end to their job as a media practitioner.


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