Info for New Translations
Dear translator, Thank you for translating the Declaration of Animal Rights! This is an important and honorable undertaking, as once your text is finalized and used publically, it will become part of history and will be used for eternity! Here are several important points to keep in mind when translating:
- The words/sentences highlighted in yellow are especially important. For example, the words CONSIDERING, WE HEREBY PROCLAIM THAT, and IN WITNESS THEREOF are typical language of legal contracts and official declarations, so we want to keep it that way.
- The translation should to be as accurate, and as true to the original English text, as possible. It should convey the meaning of each sentence, but also keep the way the sentence is worded and structured, as much as possible. While not every language has equivalent words for English words, or similar sentence structures, it is very important that you try to stick to the same words and sentences of the original text, as much as you can. For example, the highlighted sentence in article 4: “All animals are to be free from hunger, thirst…” could be translated as: “We should not let any animal be hungry, thirsty,…”. But this would be a somewhat loose translation, that is not 100% true to the original text.
- The highlighted word “Humans” in articles 6, 7, 8 is deliberately general, to include both male and female human-beings. We mention this because in the first draft of the Declaration, the word that was used here was “Man” (for example: “Animals are not the property or commodity of man”). But even though “man” in this case was a ‘generic noun’ that meant both men and women, we eventually chose, for the sake of equality, to use the more inclusive term “Humans”, instead.
- The highlighted sentence “CONSIDERING that all living beings, as known to humankind, are sentient beings…” (the 4th “CONSIDERING”), deserves a special attention. “As known to humankind” in this case means: “all living beings, as far as the humankind knows, are sentient beings” and not: “all living beings that are known to humankind, are sentient beings”. And the term “sentient beings” is a rather complicated term that can mean several things. in our case (as it is common in the animal rights movement), we want to translate it as: “beings who can FEEL (feelings, pleasure, pain). If there is an equivalent term that is used in the animal rights movement in your country, please use it. And if there isn’t, please choose a term that is closest in meaning to “beings who can feel”, rather than “beings who can think” or “beings who have awareness”.
- Since we treat animals as individuals and not objects, we refer to them in articles 7 and 8 with the word “who”, as we would refer to people (for example: “Any animal who is dependent on a human…”), instead of the words “that” or “which”, which several languages use when referring to animals, or objects. So if possible, please keep it this way.
- Finally, and most importantly, the highlighted article 1 is a paraphrase of the famous sentence in the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence).