Romanian-English translation workshop: Laurinda by Alice Pung.

VicHealth project update

By Laura D.

I’m Laura, one of the Community Leaders for Romanian Translations and I would like to tell you a bit about my most recent TransCollaborate English-Romanian session.

For this session we had three different groups working to translate an English into Romanian. Initially, we planned to have grandparents and grandchildren working together, but we had some people cancel.

We started with a short introduction, in which I spoke about the book we were translating (Laurinda by Alice Pung – one of my favourite books!) Then, we began to translate excerpts of it. Once all groups finished, we compared each other’s translations.

One of the main things I noticed when comparing these texts was the phonetic nature of the Romanian language, and how easy it was to spell words in Romanian compared to English. There were a few exceptions, such as when Romanian required a hyphen for a word to be spelt grammatically correctly. For example: “maam” was written instead of “m-am” ( ‘m’ being the pronoun, -am being the compound perfect indicative of “to have”).

Another issue many younger groups had was with plurals of words (the -ii in Romanian). The groups copied the text word for word, which produced an understandable sentence, but changed the meaning. For example: “adult strangers” was translated to “straini adulti”, when it should have been “adultii straini”.

Another key translation point was finding the correct way to express “the gym fell so quiet that I could hear myself blink”. In Romanian, there is no way to say “hear myself blink” without it sounding unnatural so some groups replaced “hear myself blink” with the Romanian equivalent of expressing silence, “to hear your heartbeat”.

Overall, this session was an extremely successful session, all three groups gained experience in translating texts and the small, but important bits and pieces that make up a translation. Not to mention the traditional Romanian dish served at the end!

Have fun translating,

Laura D.

Laura is a community leader in TransCollaborate’s VicHealth Reimagining Health Grant scheme. Find out more about this project here.

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