The importance of style

The importance of style

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I think I have written about this briefly before. I really do believe that in order to be a good translator you need to be a good writer. You need to have a fluent writing style and you need to be conscious that anything you translate is likely to be read as if it were an original piece of writing in its own right.

There are some great books out there that can help you with your English writing style.  English grammar books can also be a great help and there are some really easy to read and non boring ones out there. I will recommend some in a future post. Meanwhile I would like to leave you with George Orwell’s ‘six elementary rules’ which are taken from his book:  Politics and the English Language, 1946:

i. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are not used to seeing in print.

ii. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

iii. If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.

iv. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

v. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

vi. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

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