The Possibility of a Translation
By Geertjan on Sep 07, 2008
The above sentence encapsulates the wonderfulness of the German language! What I absolutely love about it is the fact that its VERB is "registriert". :-) I.e., the very last word in that whole long sentence. (And the fact that about 5 separate facts are transmitted, and need to be digested, before one gets to that point! The reader's had a lot to chew on at that stage, having gained an unlikely wealth of knowledge before being permitted to draw breath again.) I also like the word "Damit" which is a firm start to a sentence (like "Now" at the start of Richard III), even though it meanders (albeit very strongly and declaratively, like a purposeful guide in a jungle slashing a path resolutely off the beaten track, heading towards a goal that those under his care can do no more than guess at), only to return to its original path right at the end. Translated more or less directly, the above means the below:
"In order for a service provider to be added dynamically and flexibly to an application, even when the application has already been released, and in order for it to be loaded only when it is actually needed, the service provider is registered declaratively, that is, by means of configuration data."
Bear in mind that I cheated quite a bit in the above translation and that I went out of my way to put everything into a single sentence. Had I been 'honest', I would have translated "diese" to "it", instead of "the service provider". It's cool how dangling participles are not a problem in German, apparently. But the above sounds, despite my overcompensations, quite unnatural in English, and having "in order for" twice (even once) in a sentence is clunky and the sentence as a whole misses the modern American-style friendliness common to just about everything nowadays. So maybe it should be translated as follows instead:
"You register service providers declaratively, that is, using configuration data. One advantage of this approach is that you can add service providers dynamically, even after you've distributed the application to your users. Another advantage is that the service provider will only be loaded once your users actually need to make use of it."
The human actors, missing from the original, have been injected back into the sequence of events. The sentence has been broken into manageable chunks. (Even a contraction, to show we're all nice and down to earth!) The reader, the ever-smiling "you" is present again (calmly reading by the fire, a comforting whisky at hand, echoing the rational lord of the manor down the ages, the glow of a laptop screen replacing the hearth, a grubby t-shirt instead of a double-breasted suit). However, the emphasis of the original is lost. But, then again, I'm not sure whether the German original had an emphasis to begin with. Perhaps the original emphasis was the declarative nature of the registration, while my translation above emphasizes the advantages of declarative registration. The latter, though, is what I believe to be the more important point. That, in turn, brings one into the ethical issues relating to translation. Should one try to improve the original? And who is to say that your personal preferences are improvements at all?