Spanish – English – Social Sciences (news item on the possible discovery of Atlantis)
Auteur du fil: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:30
COLLABORATEUR DU SITE
Mar 17, 2011

Online news item


Source text:


La Atlántida, el paraíso perdido que describió Platón y que desapareció tras un gran maremoto, podría estar en España, según una investigación que comenzó hace cinco años con unas fotos satelitales.

Los textos de Platón sitúan la Atlántida frente a las Columnas de Hércules, lugar atribuido al estrecho de Gibraltar que señalaba el límite del mundo conocido, y la describen como una isla más grande que Libia y Asia juntas.

Durante años, científicos y aficionados a la arqueología se han adjudicado su hallazgo. Uno de los más recientes fue un ingeniero aeronáutico del Reino Unido Bernie Bamford, quien en 2009 dijo haberla encontrado usando el Google Ocean y el Google Earth, pero resultó ser un mapa del suelo oceánico.

Sin embargo, después de dos años de investigación, un equipo internacional en el que participó el profesor Richard Freund de la Universidad estadounidense de Hartford cree que ha localizado la isla perdida en el parque nacional de Doñana, en Cádiz , según contó a EFE. “Hemos descubierto un patrón geológico que no suele encontrarse en la naturaleza”, aseguró Freund, que explicó que la estructura y la disposición de las grandes rocas detectadas demuestra que ha habido intervención del hombre y que podrían ser los restos de la antigua isla.

La investigación cuenta con el apoyo de National Geographic y ha sido seguida por el canal especializado en ciencia, que ha recreado el descubrimiento en un documental que se difunde en los Estados Unidos desde ayer.



Translation:


Atlantis, the lost paradise described by Plato, which disappeared beneath a giant tidal wave, could be located in Spain, according to research which began five years ago with satellite photos.

Plato described Atlantis as an island larger than Lybia and Asia combined, setting its location facing the Pillars of Hercules, the area now known as the Strait of Gibraltar, then the limit of the known world.

For years scientists and amateur archeologists have laid claim to the discovery of Atlantis. One of the most recent was UK aeronautical engineer Bernie Bamford, who in 2009 claimed to have located it using Google Ocean and Google Earth; the discovery turned out to be a map of the ocean floor.

However, after two years of research an international team believe they have found the lost island in the national park of Doñana, in Cádiz, Spain. One of the team members, professor Richard Freund, of the University of Hartford, who spoke with the Spanish news agency EFE, said, “We have found a geographical pattern that is not usually found in nature,” explaining that the structure and placement of the large stones detected signal the intervention of humans and that they could be the remains of the ancient island.

The research has been backed by National Geographic, whose television channel specialized in science has followed and recreated the discovery through a documentary which began airing in the United States yesterday.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnie-Herzegovine
Local time: 21:30
allemand vers serbe
+ ...
Referring just to the target. Mar 17, 2011

I'm not sure whether everyone is allowed to post, but I'll do it anyway, for the sake of inciting a discussion.

Please be reminded that this is not my language pair, but I work with French, and can follow Romance languages to a degree.

Two points that I spotted in the target English that I'd like a native speaker to clarify to me:

1. " However, after two years of research an international team believe they have found the lost island in the national park of Doñana, in Cádiz, Spain. "


believe or believes? international team is singular, right?

2. "explaining that the structure and placement of the large stones detected signal the intervention of humans and that they could be the remains of the ancient island. "

is there a preposition missing here, i.e. at the intervention.. ?


And one more, this is optional:

3.
"The research has been backed by National Geographic, whose television channel specialized in science has followed and recreated the discovery through a documentary which began airing in the United States yesterday. "

Why not "specializes" instead of "specialized", as it refers to universal truth? This way it seems as if it didn't specialize in science any more, as it's Past Tense.

If these three are indeed mistakes, which I'd like others to confirm, I'd label them all as "minor", as they didn't jeopardize the context or the integrity of the text much.


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 14:30
Membre (2008)
croate vers anglais
+ ...
@ lingua Mar 17, 2011

1. In AE team is always singular, while in BE I believe collective nouns can go either way depending on the precise context. Perhaps BE colleagues can confirm that.

2. While I would have phrased it differently, the lack of a preposition is not an error in itself. "The structure and placement [...] signal [something=direct object].

3. Specialized is really an adjective here (not a verb - the subject-verb combo in the clause is "...television channel...has followed...". A bit clunky, though. "specializing in" would have been better, or "...television channel, which specializes in science, has followed..."

My 2c, anyway.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnie-Herzegovine
Local time: 21:30
allemand vers serbe
+ ...
About the third point. Mar 17, 2011

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:
3. Specialized is really an adjective here (not a verb - the subject-verb combo in the clause is "...television channel...has followed...". A bit clunky, though. "specializing in" would have been better, or "...television channel, which specializes in science, has followed..."



You are right, I also saw later on that something was wrong with my comment, as it didn't make sense with the rest of the sentence.

(television channel specialized in science) = subject

I also agree that "specializing in" would have been much more clear; this kind of construction kind of confused me and ruined the flow of the rest of the sentence.

I always regarded "team" as singular, that's an interesting point about AmE.

Thanks for the feedback, Rudolf.


 

Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Grèce
Local time: 22:30
Membre (2010)
grec vers anglais
Team Mar 17, 2011

According to 'Fowler's Modern English Usage' words such as team can indeed take either form of verb, depending on context. Here, since it could be seen as a case of the individual members of the team holding a belief, I think it is correct (or, at least, not incorrect) to use 'believe' (pl.). However, it would be "The team is going to make an announcement" because that would be a statement made on behalf of all the team members collectively.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Pays-Bas
Local time: 21:30
Membre (2006)
anglais vers afrikaans
+ ...
My comments (non-Spanish speaker) Mar 17, 2011

I also don't speak Spanish, so my crit will also be based on the target text only.

Atlantis, the lost paradise described by Plato, which disappeared beneath a giant tidal wave, could be located in Spain, according to research which began five years ago with satellite photos.

It is uncommon in English journal writing style to start an opening sentence with a single word followed by a comma. I would try to improve the flow of the text, but that might mean adding information or removing it, in order to attain a more appropriate mix of phrase length and punctuation.

When analysing the source text (through the translation, since I don't speak Spanish), I find it odd that the author chooses to put so many obvious facts into that opening sentence. And why mention Plato at all? What does Plato have to do with it? Sure, he's the guy who dreamed up the idea of Atlantis, but that's irrelevant to the reading public here. And why go to such great length to define what Atlantis is? The author defines Atlantis but does not define Plato. It is as if he believes that fewer people will have heard of Atlantis than of Plato.

Here is my attempt (based only on the translation):
The legendary lost paradise of Atlantis, which the ancient historian Plato had claimed was destroyed by a giant tsunami, may have been located in Spain, according to researchers who have been studying satellite images for the past five years.

I have added "legendary" to help the text achieve what the author had (in my opinion rather unsuccessfully) been trying to do with the reference to Plato. I would have loved to leave Plato out, but we can't wish him away, and unfortunately he must be present in the translation, so I've kept him there. However, given the assumed target audience (as inferred by the author's decision to include Plato in the first place), I think it is necessary to define Plato here, hence my "ancient historian".

I'm unhappy with "tidal wave" because the word that is upper in the minds of the public (since about the last decade) is "tsunami"... but that would also depend on the actual target audience (UK? US?). I changed "research" into "researchers" because journals (e.g. newspapers) tend to focus on the actions of people. Placing "with satellite photos" at the very end of the sentence makes it seem like an afterthought -- but if there is an afterthought, I think it would be "for the past past five years" rather. How long it took to do the research is not the main point here, but that it was done using satellite images is quite an important part of the sentence.


 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordanie
arabe vers anglais
+ ...
Some additional comments Mar 17, 2011

I am not fluent in Spanish, so my comments are only about the English-language text.

1. The research has been backed by National Geographic, whose television channel specialized in science has followed and recreated the discovery through a documentary which began airing in the United States yesterday.

I would just say:

National Geographic, whose science television channel has followed and recreated the discovery...

2. explaining that the structure and placement of the large stones detected signal the intervention of humans and that they could be the remains of the ancient island.

There is something off here. I might rephrase as:

...explaining that the structure and placement of the large stones detected signal human involvement and could be the remains of the ancient island.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Pays-Bas
Local time: 21:30
Membre (2006)
anglais vers afrikaans
+ ...
On translating factual errors Mar 17, 2011

With regard to this paragraph:

Plato described Atlantis as an island larger than Libya and Asia combined, setting its location facing the Pillars of Hercules, the area now known as the Strait of Gibraltar, then the limit of the known world.

An issue which I think is relevant here is whether to retain factual errors from the source text. I assume that the source text would have been understood by its readers as having said "Asia" and not "Asia Minor". While it is true that Plato mentions "Libya" and "Asia", what was referring to was Ancient Libya (i.e. the coastal regions between Egypt and Morocco) and Asia Minor (i.e. roughly modern-day Turkey). So, do we retain these errors in the translation (if we assume that the target publication is a journal, magazine or newspaper)? I think not... but what do you think?



[Edited at 2011-03-17 16:59 GMT]


 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordanie
arabe vers anglais
+ ...
Spelling Mar 17, 2011

It is Libya, by the way.

With regard to Samuel's comments, I would definitely make a note to the client about Asia versus Asia Minor.


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italie
Local time: 21:30
Membre (2002)
anglais vers italien
+ ...
adding information Mar 21, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:
the ancient historian Plato

Added information might be acceptable sometimes, but should not introduce complex or questionable information as in this case. I would be tempted to change this into "philosopher". I understand that you would like to characterize Plato as an historian with regard to the subject at hand - still I am afraid this might be too much of a change.

Plato is mentioned here not so much as an information about Atlantis, but simply to remind the reader how far the legend goes (even Plato wrote about it...). Adding information about Plato will change entirely the author intent based on your judgement.

"Libya and Asia" might require an translator note or a consultation with author/client, depending on the situation.


 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:30
espagnol vers anglais
+ ...
Punchy Mar 23, 2011

I think that it is a great translation. Punchy, just brilliant.

 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
Royaume-Uni
Local time: 20:30
italien vers anglais
Collective nouns May 19, 2011

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

1. In AE team is always singular, while in BE I believe collective nouns can go either way depending on the precise context. Perhaps BE colleagues can confirm that.



Unfortunately you are right. Those of us trying to maintain a logical grammatical approach seem to be voices in the wilderness.


 

Neptunia
Local time: 21:30
italien vers anglais
another logic problem Oct 4, 2012

This part doesn't make much sense in English and I think the problem is with the source text:

"... pero resultó ser un mapa del suelo oceánico."

"...the discovery turned out to be a map of the ocean floor."


A little fact checking reveals that what appeared to be the remains of an underwater city was apparently just an accident of the grid-like mapping process.

www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2096928/Google-Earth-removes-gridlike-pattern-sparked-lost-city-Atlantis-rumours-map.html

Perhaps the source text is an imperfect translation from an original English text?


 


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