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Translating The President Can Cost The Translator His Career

Translating politicians is tough to begin with, translating a politician that is as controversial as President Trump, leaves translators in a tough place – as they do not want their opinions on matters to be mistaken as the same views as the presidents. And these days well, translators often find themselves unable to agree with Trump.

Donald Trump has a way of mangling the English language. And when he does this he has interpreters and translators all over the world scratching their heads on how to convey his message. Translators have a complex  position to full starting with finding the right words to express the true meaning of what is being said by the speaker. Should he be “censored” in a way to make him sound more subtitle when he speaks, or should a true exact translation be done so that they could hear how violent his words can be  and how he has a way of only speaking one side in his speeches.

President Trump also, holds on to one word and repeats it multiple times when speaking. Or even when answering a question he has the same concept of grasping one word in the question and saying it over and over again. When a translator is then trying to translate his message in another language after they have done a complete translation and reread their work for editing most of them realize that they have written something that is very atrocious to read. This then leaves them in a predicament – do they go through and make edits and changes to make the entire speech to sound less redundant and all over the place?

Translators have a duty to be faithful and true to the speaker and write only the words they have convey while not conflicting material or moral facts – even if they have been proven right or wrong before. Sentence structure, and proper grammar should also be followed, but when the speaker or writer does not follow these rules, the translator is not supposed to do so either.

Dealing with “Trump-isms” now implies that translators must read cultural expression dictionaries rather than conventional dictionaries. Trumps speeches are rarely ever translated in full internationally, and those who don’t speak English are left with short quotes to help divert any confusion from what was being said. Paraphrasing has become the best way of telling others what President Trump’s speeches are about since he has a tendency to rambling off topic, and contradicting himself often. Capturing all of that confusion in different languages can become very difficult. It is easier to avoid quoting Trump and just summarize his words and convey his ideas in other languages.

Compared to previous presidents some translators have said that they were unsure if they would be able to repeat some of his comments about immigration being they were so derogatory. Obama also structured his speeches logically, so that there was a beginning, middle, and end which would flow properly. Trump on the other hand, is all over the place.

A main concern by translators is with Donald Trump’s over confidence and “unique” speaking style translating him to exact word for word would make them sound stupid. Also, on some occasions it is hard to follow where exactly he is going with what he is saying.

In the case of interpreters, they are trained to be a step ahead of the speaker, and to almost predict what will be said next – most interpreters have said this is nearly impossible when it comes to interpreting the President.

While we do still have two and a half more years of Donald Trump in office, as time progresses translators will begin to get more adjusted with the way the president speaks and for each language that needs to be translated and interpreted – there is at least one person who will be able to go through rounds of testing to be able to make what the president of the United States says sound “just right” in the language it is being conveyed in.

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