"Therefore, contextual understanding about what bureaucratic agencies have what jurisdictional functions under what governmental structures is critical."
[In Part 1, I have outlined two problems which bug the evaluated translation. First, the source document was not internationalized. Second, the translator lacks the curiosity, willingness and skills to conduct proper research and investigation, thus is unable to perform the localization step. ]
As we know, internationalization (I-18-N) is the process of planning and implementing products and services so that they can easily be adapted to specific local languages and cultures, another process called localization (L-10-N). Had the source document been internationalized properly prior to the translation process, the term 'State Board' would have been clarified as 'Medical State Board'. After all, a generic 'State Board' in the United States may refer to a 'State Board of Education' for example — not necessarily in charge of healthcare.
But even if the source document was not internationalized, there is still no excuse for a translator to lack curiosity, or to be lazy to do some research. Simply put, if a translator does not fully understand the meaning of the source document, then how on earth can he/she expect the target audience to understand the meaning of the final translation product? Therefore, contextual understanding about what bureaucratic agencies have what jurisdictional functions under what governmental structures is critical. Indeed jurisdictional knowledge is not only critical for legal translators working on legal documents.
To find the actual counterpart of 'State Board' in Indonesian, I had to spend time to conduct some research. After all, I don't know everything, and this phase is actually the domain of a localization process. It turns out that in Indonesia, ethical violations committed by healthcare professionals should be reported to the so-called Honorary Councils of the relevant healthcare professional associations. Violations committed by physicians, for example, are reported to two Honorary Councils of Ikatan Dokter Indonesia (the Indonesian counterpart of American Medical Association): respectively, Majelis Kehormatan Etik Kedokteran (MKEK) and Majelis Kehormatan Disiplin Kedokteran Indonesia (MKDKI). On the other hand, violations committed by nurses are reported to the Police, or (since 2014) can also be reported to a newly formed Honorary Council of Persatuan Perawat Nasional Indonesia (the Indonesian counterpart of the American Nurses Association): Majelis Kehormatan dan Etik Keperawatan (MKEK). Thus another dimension to the jurisdictional differences: whereas in the United States violations committed by both physicians and nurses are reported to a single agency (Medical State Board), in Indonesia they are reported to several agencies depending on their respective professional associations!
The aforementioned result is indeed much more complex than Google Translate's suggestion. Use judiciously, I am not against Google Translate; it can be a helpful tool for quick, comparative, searches. However, it's only a tool and not a silver bullet. Machine Translation — with all the hullabaloo about its appeal — still cannot match Human Translation for the foreseeable future. Yes, supercomputers may be programmed to memorize words, phrases, tenses, syntax, and grammatical rules, but they cannot be programmed to be curious, sensible, and have the necessary research skills to decipher cryptic phrases as well as to understand what bureaucratic agencies have what jurisdictional functions under what governmental structures in the proper context.
Truly, a human translator's overreliance on Machine Translation is a self insulting act.
Johannes Tan, English <> Indonesian Translator & Conference Interpreter
Looking up for meanings — in encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries, or through online searches — is a constant part in a translator's life. "What does it mean?" is certainly the most natural question for a translator or interpreter — whether "it" is a word, phrase, jargon, or acronym. Seasoned translators know too well that they actually translate meanings — not merely words — from source to target documents. Likewise, interpreters constantly grapple to unlock meanings intended by a speaker. In my journey both as an English <> Indonesian Translator and Conference Interpreter, I have always been intrigued by the expressed and implied meanings of words and phrases — with all their shades, subtleties, and nuances. This interest has driven me further to explore different levels of meanings; not only literal, semantic, idiomatic, and contextual ones — that are critical in my profession — but also etymological, conceptual, symbolical and metaphysical ones worth contemplating in depth.
Therefore this blog will not only be about translation and interpreting, but also about linguistic and cultural settings relevant to deeper meanings — from every possible angle. At least, that is Plan A. No subject is off limit, as my interest is rather eclectic. My aim is to explore everything about something, and something about everything. This is an exploration for the sake of exploration, and one could be forgiven to perceive it as a kitchen sink approach. Just as an illustration, once, for no particular reasons except to satisfy my insatiable curiosity, sometime ago I read both The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking by Mikael Krogerus & Roman Tschäppeler and Why Our Decisions Don't Matter by Simon Van Booy simultaneously, simply to explore the conceptual meaning and significance of "decisions" in our lives.
Welcome on a journey to explore the multi-dimensional meanings and significance of everything that catches my fancy at random: the meaning of a word or phrase, a translation issue, a Nietzsche quote, a current affair, a Zen riddle, a Sufi fable, an anthropological phenomenon, a Patanjali yoga sutra or a Tao parable in their respective contexts. Since this blog is an intellectual and spiritual inquiry, its destination is less important than the journey itself. Who am I to promise anyone definitive answers to potential questions along the way? As James Thurber once said: "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
English <> Indonesian Translator & Conference Interpreter
Continuously exploring literal, semantic, idiomatic, contextual, metaphorical, symptomatic, conceptual and metaphysical meanings of everything worth thinking about.
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