Translators - Do we edit as we translate?
I am a translator out of the United States. I have been trying to translate various journals from the women in the Democratic Republic of Congo and have run into difficulty.
I realize that the women writing these journals are writing in their third language of French. So it's not perfect and there are plenty of spelling and grammar mistakes. But sometimes the French is so poor, or the spelling is so off, that it is impossible to comprehend what the author is trying to communicate. When this happens I feel I have three options:
1) I could literally translate the phrase word by word, which could be incomprehensible in English
2) I could try to make sense of the phrase, which runs the risk of over interpreting or changing the original meaning intended by the author
3) I could leave the entire phrase out and insert a small asterisk leading to a note at the bottom explaining that there were incomprehensible errors in the original text that led me to omit the phrase.
Have any of you run into this problem? What was your solution?
Thank you for taking the time to reply!