As a translator and subtitler, I often find myself noticing mistakes in other people’s subtitles. An example of this is a share on the Power of Positivity page on Facebook, where instead of “recess”, a part of this video was subtitled as “Reese’s”. Annoying, but that’s all. Pretty much anyone knows it should be “recess”, so it doesn’t create a problem.
However, that is not always the case, as I read on the LyricsTranslate website a few minutes ago.
You might be aware of my opinion regarding LyricsTranslate, as this is not actually the first time I am writing about them. Previously, I already had a confrontation over there with a user named “sandring”, a Russia-based English teacher with an ego beyond measures.
And yes, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that once again she is the cause of problems, luckily this time not with me.
No, this time it’s actually with the author of a song she translated. I wish I was kidding about that, but I am actually not.
While this may seem like me intentionally nitpicking on this one person, it’s not actually my intention. As the reality is that this happens more often, translators not willing to accept that they made a mistake. And obviously, we make mistakes. It’s like I had to pull the translation I published earlier today offline for several minutes because I used a term which made the translation a lot harder to understand. It was pointed out to me, and therefore I fixed it. Simple and easy. No one is perfect, and a translator can’t be expected to be either.
However, the reason why I am pointing out the above is that it features one of the worst things to do, which is not making a mistake in terms of translating but getting into a fight with the author. As a translator you should respect the original author, or not translate the author’s work, there are no more choices than that. It’s like when an author of a song which I’ve translated would ask me to pull it offline or make some kind of alteration, I will do it immediately, as it’s their work, even if the record label might own the copyright.
A translator is lesser to the author, as much as some translators dislike this. It’s the way it works, and if they don’t agree, they shouldn’t be translating.
Hence this all also being the reason why I am currently supportive of the EU’s new copyright directive that should be effective somewhere next year.
Yes, even though the controversial article 11 and article 13 of this directive. In fact, I am very supportive to specifically article 13, and the reason why can actually be read in my upcoming blog post that will be published soon. (The post was previously actually planned for today…)
As the easy solution to resolve the problems between authors and translators is to make copyright work like it should have, denying translations of those who are not licensed, something that is currently still partially allowed…