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Thread: To translate, you must have the correct skin color

  1. Top | #11
    Liberal Rastafarian Gospel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gospel View Post

    That question reveals you know little if anything at all about Amanda Gorman's work. Why are you here?
    So you think your skin color determines what you can translate?
    No.

  2. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by prideandfall View Post
    it is absolutely a known and quantified fact that translation is often contextual, exponentially more so the more abstract the source is.
    as such, shared life experiences can definitely impact the quality of a translation, since nuance and intent are a huge part of it when dealing with translating something that isn't strictly technical data.

    not that this is to say that lacking a shared background between the source and the translator automatically means a lesser quality of work, but it DOES demonstrate that there is a measurable improvement in translation when you increase contextual understanding.
    this gets a lot into the weeds of translation vs. transliteration vs. interpretation, which is a really big deal if you know anything about transcribing or translating languages... but, the end result is that there IS a valid reason to suggest that someone who better matches the experience of the author of the source will, on average, produce a better quality translation of a work by that author.

    now that isn't to jump to the conclusion that this dutch person couldn't have handled it adeptly, i'm merely pointing out there are concrete logistical reasons to want a translator who has some kind of similar background to the author, that has nothing to do necessarily with the genetics of skin color and more to do with the contextual experience of living as a black person.
    If translation requires 'similarity in lived experience' (or is better/more reliable with it), why would we not restrict or preference translation of white-authored texts to white translators?
    Because yall don't have any original texts.

  3. Top | #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Sort of like the US until the 1970s.
    So you admit that the wokesters are the 21st century equivalent of the segregationists?

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gospel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by prideandfall View Post
    it is absolutely a known and quantified fact that translation is often contextual, exponentially more so the more abstract the source is.
    as such, shared life experiences can definitely impact the quality of a translation, since nuance and intent are a huge part of it when dealing with translating something that isn't strictly technical data.

    not that this is to say that lacking a shared background between the source and the translator automatically means a lesser quality of work, but it DOES demonstrate that there is a measurable improvement in translation when you increase contextual understanding.
    this gets a lot into the weeds of translation vs. transliteration vs. interpretation, which is a really big deal if you know anything about transcribing or translating languages... but, the end result is that there IS a valid reason to suggest that someone who better matches the experience of the author of the source will, on average, produce a better quality translation of a work by that author.

    now that isn't to jump to the conclusion that this dutch person couldn't have handled it adeptly, i'm merely pointing out there are concrete logistical reasons to want a translator who has some kind of similar background to the author, that has nothing to do necessarily with the genetics of skin color and more to do with the contextual experience of living as a black person.
    If translation requires 'similarity in lived experience' (or is better/more reliable with it), why would we not restrict or preference translation of white-authored texts to white translators?
    Because yall don't have any original texts.
    What does that mean?

  5. Top | #15
    Liberal Rastafarian Gospel's Avatar
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    It takes a certain skin color to understand the joke. In my hood growing up (South Bronx NY early 80's) it was folklore that white people stole everything from other races and had no original ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gospel View Post
    It takes a certain skin color to understand the joke. In my hood growing up (South Bronx NY early 80's) it was folklore that white people stole everything from other races and had no original ideas.
    Pretty racist folklore (and I fail to see any "joke"), but now we know where Al Sharpton got his racist rant about "them Greek homos" ...

  7. Top | #17
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    Yeah, you can't see the joke (it's the skin color). And yes Al Sharpton has heard a lot of folklore in his days.

    Edit: Ok to help some folks out who don't see my angle. I'm making fun of the folklore. The statement made by the folklore is not funny, the absurdity of the statement is. I used my knowledge of said folklore (which I doubt I would have learned if I was a white guy living in the suburbs back then) to illustrate how skin color does matter to an extent as life experiences are different as a result. It just manifested itself right here in Post 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 (you are here).

  8. Top | #18
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    The joke was funny because of the historical basis of it. White culture did take a lot from other cultures an call it their own.
    Even I knew that and I grew up in the segregated suburbs/ruralurbs.

  9. Top | #19
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    Jokes are funny because they have some truth to them. They aren't when they don't (see jokes told by Republicans). But the folklore is hyperbole. Anyhow, I don't think Marieke Lucas Rijneveld should have stepped down. She was chosen for her talent and I'm certain she would have done an excellent job translating Amanda Gorman's work.
    Last edited by Gospel; 03-04-2021 at 04:29 AM. Reason: republican joke thingy (improved)

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    COMMUNISM FOR ALL.

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