Sometimes it's because there's never enough context, sometimes they're too generic, sometimes they don't exist in the target language, sometimes they can mean a thousand different things, sometimes the structure of one language makes them hard to be transferred into the target language, sometimes they just can't be translated and the whole paragraph needs to be rephrased. Whatever the reason, the thing is that sometimes it feels that certain words/terms/expressions exist just to torture us (and by 'us' I mean 'me'); and that some technical writers love to rejoice at our pain.
Of course, the degree of oh-my-God-not-this-*bleep*-word-again varies depending on the languages. Things can get much more complicated, I assume, for an English-to-Japanese translator rather than a Spanish-to-Italian translator. Nonetheless, those terms do exist and they won't go away.
Some of my "favorite" terms are:
- plug - no need to explain why, this word is pure evil.
- to provide/supply - or as I call them, 'the twins from hell' (just a few synonyms: accommodate, add, administer, afford, arrange, bestow, bring, care, cater, contribute, dispense, equip, favor, feather*, feed, fit, fit out, fix up, furnish, give, grant, hand over, heel, impart, implement, indulge, keep, lend, line, look after, maintain, minister, outfit, prepare, present, procure, produce, proffer, provision, ration, ready, render, replenish, serve, stake, stock, stock up, store, supply, support, sustain, transfer, turn out, yield, apply, apportion, authorize, bring, contribute, deal, deliver, disburse, distribute, dole, execute, extend, furnish, give, impose, inflict, issue, measure out, mete out, offer, perform, portion, proffer, provide, regulate, serve, supply, tender, furnish, lend, loan, pay, bestow, furnish, grant, impart, offer, provide, render, supply, yield, accouter, appoint, array, deck, equalize, fortify, furnish, gear, gird, guard, heel*, heel up*, issue, load, load up, lug iron*, make ready, mobilize, outfit, pack, prepare, prime, protect, provide, rig, rod up*, strengthen, tote, suppose) And those are just SOME synonyms. The word 'context' never means so much to me as when I see these two.
- see above - **looking up** where? It seems such an innocent term, almost like a hurt puppy ... until you try to translate it. (at least in Spanish)
- in/out/input/output: no need to explain these either.
- connection/selection - It's pretty much anything that ends in -ction because I can never tell right away how to spell it in Spanish. Is it -xión or -cción?
- appropriate - I can't never find the appropriate way of translating this word.
I'll think of (read:run across) more words later.
Sorry for the rant, I needed to let it out
What are your dreaded words?
[Edited at 2007-12-26 18:09]
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