Understanding Greenlandic Translation
Greenlandic, also known as the language of Greenland, has close ties with Canadian dialects like Inuktitut. As with its sister languages, Greenlandic is an agglutinative language that creates derivative words by blending two words, each with its definite meaning. To master Greenlandic translation, you must have an eye for detail and be willing to learn the various vernaculars.
This quadri-dialect language is divided into Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Greenlandic. The latter is the most popular (also known as the Kalaallisut). Nearly 57,000 individuals, most in Greenland and a few in Canada, speak Greenlandic, making it the most popular in the list of Eskimo-Aleut dialects.
First, Greenlandic recognizes only two types of words: Nouns (naming words) and verbs (action words), further divided into transitive & intransitive. Just like in Inuktitut, it only accepts two numbers (singular & plural). You won’t find the “dual” in Greenlandic.
But that’s not all. Below are other basics to help you master Greenlandic;
- Remember, Greenlandic is an agglutinative language; each word can carry the meaning of the whole phrase.
- The dialect also recognizes four persons (first, second, third & reflexive),
- It only knows two types of words: verbs and nouns (each split into intransitive and transitive)
- It only accepts two numbers (singular & plural). You won’t find dual numbers in Greenlandic.
- Verbs contain the subject and object (often separated by the person and number)
- Greenlandic differs from Canadian dialects since it isn’t inscribed with Inuktitut syllables but with Latin syllabi.
Understanding these Greenlandic basics can help you master the language and be an expert English to Greenlandic translator or vice versa.
Introduction to General Greenlandic Translation
Text Translation is the art of turning text from one language to another. In Greenlandic translation, you may need to interpret Greenlandic to English or vice versa.
For translation projects, the client provides you with the text they need you to translate, usually called the Source Text. Your job is to translate this text into their preferred language.
So, where do you begin with pages of text on your laptop screen? This task can be daunting. That’s why it’s advisable to follow a specific procedure for every translation project.
While different translators recommend various approaches, some best practices remain crucial to any translation work.
Adhering to these guidelines ensures you produce a copy that matches the provided source text while maintaining a natural flow in the target dialect.
4 Steps to Translate Content to A Foreign Language
Follow these four steps every time you’re turning text into a different language.
1. Read client’s instructions
While the job is to interpret content to a foreign dialect, different clients have specific instructions for their Greenlandic translation projects.
Your task is to read these instructions and deliver them to the letter. A rule of thumb for freelancers is never to start working on any project before understanding all client instructions.
You don’t want to waste hours interpreting pages only to submit a document that disappoints your clients. Remember, in this career; nothing matters more than client feedback.
Before translating anything, make sure you understand the contents of the source text. Go through the entire story or passage. Understand the dominant topic and whether the text is legal, medical, comic, or political.
Familiarizing yourself with the source text’s theme ensures you provide an accurate translation. It also prepares you for the task ahead; more like reading a passage prepares you for comprehension questions.
Starting a translation before reading through the entire text can force you into a word-for-word approach, which can cause grave translation project mistakes.
Once you’ve gone through the source text twice or thrice, you can now begin translating it step by step.
When translating, do not take a word-for-word approach. Also, do not paraphrase. Instead, seek to translate naturally without losing important meanings.
Lastly, practice punctuating your texts to ensure a natural flow in the target dialect. Moving forward, this post will discuss common problems translators face with source texts and how to overcome them.
4. Proofread and review
No matter how meticulous you are when turning texts to a foreign language, it’s not uncommon to plunge into errors, especially when rushing against time.
After translation, take a breather before embarking on thorough proofreading and editing the interpreted work.
When proofreading, refer to the client’s instructions and customize the final script to suit their preferences.
Common Source Text Issues in Greenlandic Translation & How to Address Them
As a rule of thumb, the instructions issued by clients should be considered over anything.
For instance, if a client requests you to adhere to the source text and retain all the mistakes/errors, it’s crucial to follow this instruction. Going against these instructions will lead to penalties.
Nevertheless, if a client doesn’t provide any instruction, follow these steps to discuss any issues faced with the source text during interpretation;
How to solve common Source Text Problems
1. Drop a comment to discuss the issue.
Inform them that you’ve spotted an error and expect a correction. Seek clarification as you continue working on the project. Make an informed decision and focus on finishing the project.
With that in mind, we shall discuss some of the common problems you’ll face with your source texts.
2. Misspelled words
Always seek to correct any spelling errors or non-existent words causing difficulties faced when interpreting the text.
Don’t hesitate to forward all ungrammatical words to your client for detailed instructions.
3. Colloquialism or unclear context
Google any unclear words or phrases online to see if you can find any help. If you hit rock bottom, request the client to iron out any unclear portions of the text.
Still, it’s advisable to employ the best judgment to finish your project in time. Focus on translating the text while awaiting the client’s response. Alternatively, you can contact your freelance website’s support team to reach the client for time-bound results.
4. Sentence Structure Mistakes
Sometimes, the source text contains sentence structure mistakes that can cause challenges during an English to Greenlandic translation.
Follow these steps to solve sentence structure errors met when interpreting the text.
- Some syntax errors do not affect the sentence meaning, and you can still make sense of the phrase. In this case, correct the error during the translation to produce a naturally-reading script.
- For difficult-to-understand or weird sentences, try as much to make sense of the sentence and phrase in the most grammatical manner possible. You can also drop a comment to inform your client of your interpretation or ask for detailed instructions.
Failure to spot and work on sentence structure mistakes can compromise your translation process and make your script appear as a word-for-word translation.
5. Extra Spacing
Any unnecessary spacing should be eliminated unless specified otherwise by the client or included purposely for formatting reasons. For example, a client may include extra spaces to separate a list of words or paragraphs.
Purposely included spaces appear equally and evenly throughout their areas of use. In contrast, unintended spaces are easy to spot as they often appear weirdly and affect text formatting.
Lastly, remember to follow all client’s spacing instructions for every Greenlandic translation.
6. Poor Punctuation
It is vital to correct wrongly-placed punctuation marks in the interpreted document. Such errors are easy to spot because they compromise sentence grammar or don’t make sense in the context.
When editing punctuations, look for errors like misplaced commas that alter sentence meanings. Also, check for wrongly-placed quotation marks and correct them in the interpreted script.
7. Poetic Expressions
Kindly handle content with poetic expressions with utmost care to retain the meanings of these expressions.
If you believe you have what it takes to tackle these challenging interpretations, always seek to transfer the actual meaning.
While some artistic writings may be challenging to interpret, your client expects you to produce a readable text.
8. Unidentified Abbreviations
For such problems, the first step is to research. If you can’t find any reasonable results, seek further instruction from the client.
If the client doesn’t respond in good time, leave the abbreviation written in the source text.
If an abbreviation appears multiple times in the script and appears wrongly one or two times, consider correcting the mistake using the dominant version.
9. Factual or Statistical mistakes
Always retain any factual or statistical mistakes. For topics that you understand clearly, feel free to revise to correct the error in the translation. However, be sure to include a side note custom informing the client of the corrections.
10. Badly taken source text notes
“Poorly taken” notes are those that you can understand but sounds like word-for-word when interpreted to the target dialect or are taken by a non-native writer.
In such a situation, please provide the most reasonable translation. At least, make sure your final work is grammatically correct before submitting the final doc.
11. Slang and Technical Words
Slang words are those terms known and used by a specific group. If you realize the source text carries unknown words or topics that you can’t find further details online, do not accept the project.
You can also ask the client to clarify project instructions or provide references before turning it down.
How to Be Good at Greenlandic Translation
To excel at Greenlandic to English or vice versa, it’s essential to master a few tips to implement.
Follow these steps to perform better in your translation projects;
1. Do not translate literally
Avoid making common word-for-word translation mistakes. This often happens when you attempt to interpret texts before understanding the entire meaning of the source text.
Literal translation presents you as an unprofessional translator and triggers low reviews, which can take a toll on your career.
Follow these steps to avoid word-for-word translations;
- Learn the cons of word-for-word translation and how to evade it
- Master how to differentiate naturally-flowing text from literal words.
- Always read the provided source text before interpreting it.
Remember, interpreting word for word is one of the worst mistakes you can commit in this career. Learn more about how to evade literal translations to perfect the art of interpreting texts.
2. Maintain active communication with your client
Most freelancers don’t realize the importance of maintaining good communication with their clients.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your client if;
- You don’t understand a portion of the text
- You face some punctuation problems
- You don’t understand part of the conversation.
An English to Greenlandic translation is easier said than done. You want to spend quality time understanding the source text and double-checking every email before embarking on translation work.
If you face difficulties interpreting texts to a different language, learn more about translation at Bunny Studios and join a team of expert translators.