M1: Unit 1: Task 3.1 Solution

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Opinions differ, but most readers prefer Translator B. Why? Because it is more readily comprehensible.

The interesting question is why this should be so. Answer: it is probably a matter of how the brain processes information. You may have had to read the sentence produced by Translator A twice before you fully grasped it. Translator B has broken up the original long sentence into three sentences. As a result, the information can be stored piecemeal in the short memory.

If this is a valid way of looking at the difference between the two translations, you can begin to think of a programme to educate Translator A: don’t stick to the original syntax if it is likely to lead to texts that are hard to read; break down the information into its component parts (i.e. ‘deverbalize’) and then rephrase it in your own words, etc.

Apart from syntax, you may also want to look at word categories. If I counted correctly, Translator A used 21 nouns (including a couple that occur twice), Translator A only 15. (The French original has 23). Several of Translator A’s nouns have become verbs in Translator B’s version, thus producing more variety.