"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
Continuously exploring literal, semantic, idiomatic, contextual, metaphorical, symptomatic, conceptual and metaphysical meanings of everything worth thinking about.
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