How do you translate opinion pieces?

Traducir artículos de opinión
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The role of translation in the field of journalism is essential. Often we read news articles or opinion pieces and we are unaware that a large number of these texts are in fact translations.

However, these translations are often not signed by the translator, which can, of course, lead to ambiguities, given that the text may have changed substantially. For this reason, in this article we want to tell you how to properly translate texts of this kind. Read on!

How do you translate an opinion piece?

Translating an opinion piece is no easy task and, what’s more, it brings with it the responsibility of expressing, as faithfully as possible, what the original author wrote. As such, these translations are oftentimes assigned to professionals in this field who have a deep understanding of both the culture of the country in question as well as its political landscape. They also need to understand, of course, the author’s ideas and inclinations. However, how much leeway does the translator have in such cases? Practically none.

The very aim of these pieces is to raise awareness about a certain subject, which in turn means that the translator must convey, as accurately as possible, the author’s words. So, what’s the problem? Most of the time, the translator, in order to maintain the original tone and perspective, feels the need to be flexible in their methods, since otherwise the ideas may oftentimes not be understood or may lack meaning in the target language.

Translating opinion pieces

The closer the better

It is important to highlight that, for a translator, the closer the country of origin of the piece that needs to be translated, the better. If the translator and author are on the same page, there is a greater chance that they have similar ways of understanding the world and expressing an opinion.

When the topic at hand is hard to understand, the translator can take the liberty to clarify the more difficult terms. But, careful; this must never be done with the main ideas that the author wanted to convey in the text.

Advice on how to translate an opinion piece

Although it may seem like a complex task, translating these pieces reliably is possible, and we’d like to offer you some advice that may greatly help you when developing a method. Here it is:

  1. Try to read all kinds of printed material. This includes novels, reports, laws, etc. In these texts you will find many useful terms and jargon, and this will help you to significantly improve your vocabulary, as well as to get familiar with other forms of expression.
  2. Use the dictionary. The dictionary is an excellent tool you can use both for checking the definition of a term as well as for articulating the same idea in a different way, with expressions that perhaps you didn’t know. What’s more, it offers us synonyms, examples of usage, etc. And when we say “dictionary”, we are of course referring to all types: monolingual ones in the source and our native language, bilingual ones, specialized ones, and many more.
  3. The more synonyms the better! As a translator, it can almost be said that this is one of the cornerstones of your work. It is important to have a wide selection of words and phrases at your fingertips, in order to avoid repetition. It is also essential to have a solid vocabulary base which allows you to produce a text with good semantic variety.
  4. Always consult sources of information; the more reliable they are, the better. The United Nations, as well as its specialized agencies or international bodies, have focused on areas such as economy, taxation, and finance, meaning that specialized vocabulary is always within your reach.
  5. A trick that may help you considerably is to read the document you must translate and identify all the jargon that may be problematic. Stay one step ahead of your obstacles. Once you understand the meaning or, at least, the general sense of the words, you will find it much easier to translate the text fluidly, without interruptions that distract you and make you lose focus.

Ultimately, these pieces express the writer’s opinion on a specific current topic. As well as exposing their opinion, the author will assess and analyze the topic. This is why it is so important that the translation is correct, since in this way you will manage to convey to the readers the meaning and ideas that must be extracted from the text.

Count on Blarlo

Because of all this, in order to translate an opinion piece it is essential to be able to count on the work of the best professionals in the field, to guarantee a reliable translation. Here at Blarlo we have the professionals you’re looking for, native speakers of all languages who can translate articles related to different fields. If you need qualified and specialized translators, Blarlo is home to the best. Don’t wait a second longer and contact us to get top-quality translations!

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)