Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Translation into Global English
Thread poster: staviano

staviano  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:56
English to Italian
+ ...
Feb 19, 2009

Some translation agencies are starting to offer translations into Global English, a supposedly simplified international form of English. I am doing a research to understand whether this is actually happening and would like to hear from anyone who has been specifically asked to translate into Global/International English and how he/she tackled the job.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Globalish Feb 19, 2009

Do you mean global AE or global BE?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

staviano  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:56
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Global English, that's it Feb 19, 2009

Global English or international English or English as a Lingua Franca is an international form of English, which is supposed to have no cultural connotations, so it's neither British nor American. But maybe you are referring to something I am not aware of.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:56
Swedish to English
+ ...
So where did it come from? Mars? Feb 19, 2009

staviano wrote:

so it's neither British nor American


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:56
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
It's simple nonsense Feb 19, 2009

So tell me: in your global English, is it a wrench or a spanner? A hood or a bonnet? Do you table a motion or do you table a motion, and what do you mean by that? Show me your standard conventions for spelling and punctuation.

Or just be kind enough to offer me some of what you're smoking.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:56
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
There is really no such thing and never has been Feb 19, 2009

I am often asked to translate for conferences and trade fairs, or tourist guides where I know there will be a mixed audience or target group, probably including non-native speakers. I avoid very specific metaphors and idioms. (Carrying coals to Newcastle and suchlike.) Where I do use figurative expressions - and I often do - I try to use universal ones. Biblical metaphors are not as controversial as you would think - not everyone knows that these very common expressions originated from the Bible, but they are international and immediately understood in many languages.

Only today I was talking to a client who wants me to translate some statements about art work for an exhibition in the US, which may possibly go to Europe later. I have not seen the final text yet, but I have worked for him before, so I have an idea of what to expect.

Firstly, the client emphasised that it is in the form of a friendly, spoken interview. So that sets the register. Then I watch out for expressions that I know strike me as US, and any that I know are particularly British.

'I go get me a piece of wood in the back yard,' as opposed to 'I fetch a piece of wood from the garden'. I have to make a decision about how to phrase that kind of thing. Maybe 'I find a piece of wood in the garden.'

But in fact most of what I write will be unaffected by global considerations. Being an artist, he may talk about color/colour, but I guess (expect) he will mention blue and perhaps green and brown, and clear glass.

I will check up on terminology - expressions like 'dish' and 'vessel' crop up. These are the same wherever you go.

Finally, I will run the text through the US spell checker! If it finds anything more than variants like colour/color, I may consider rephrasing, but it depends what comes up.

Normally, however, I tell people firmly: I write British English, because I can't fool anyone for long. With a lot of texts it simply does not work, and people can hear my 'plummy' British accent however hard I try!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

staviano  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:56
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
There is a lot of research done on Global/International English Feb 20, 2009

Kevin, Madeleine
This is serious, I'm not joking nor smoking anything.
A lot of research has been done on the fact that the number of non native speakers of English is now higher than the number of native speakers and that English as the language of international communication is changing considerably. On the one hand there is a reduced, simplified form of English, which has been defined as a "McLanguage", addressed at an international audience and on the other hand there are many varities of English, defined as World Englishes, such as Indian English, Japanese English, etc.

Here are some references, in case you are interested.

Graddol, David 2001. English in the Future. In Analysing English in a Global Context. A Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 26-37.
Jenkins, Jennifer 2003. World Englishes. A Resource Book for Students. London and New York: Routledge.
Schaffner, Christina 2000 (ed.). Translation in the Global Village. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

This has serious implications for the translation profession, for example translation into a second language is becoming more and more common. Moreover, I was intrigued by the fact that some translation agencies offer translation into Global English, as in the case of a US company called Trusted Translations. This is whay they say:

Our English translation team can create a translation for a particular audience, or translate your project into Global English, the standardized, international form of the language. Global English has become the lingua franca of the twenty-first century, and is employed in international business and diplomacy.
(you can check this for yourself on their website: Trustedtranslations.com/English-translation.asp)

I presume that your reaction stems from the fact that as translators you think that translating into an international form of English is highly questionable and I agree, but the fact remains that English is now used as a means of communication for a global audience, which includes native as well as non native speakers, and one possibility might be, as Christine says (thank you Christine), to avoid specific cultural references and idioms. I hope my reply makes clear what it is that I am trying to assess.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Leonardo La Malfa  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:56
English to Italian
+ ...
Science, fiction, ads, and linguistic evolution Feb 20, 2009

staviano wrote:

This has serious implications for the translation profession, for example translation into a second language is becoming more and more common. Moreover, I was intrigued by the fact that some translation agencies offer translation into Global English, as in the case of a US company called Trusted Translations. This is whay they say:

Our English translation team can create a translation for a particular audience, or translate your project into Global English, the standardized, international form of the language. Global English has become the lingua franca of the twenty-first century, and is employed in international business and diplomacy.
(you can check this for yourself on their website: Trustedtranslations.com/English-translation.asp)


Problem is "standardisation" would at least entail a "standardised" artificial process driven by human intervention on the basis of a set of norms systematically applied to homogenise all the (pre)existing linguistic variants of English, thus supposedly resulting in a new form of globalised language - which, however, must have been mutually agreed upon, rather than being a natural outcome of linguistic evolution.

If this is the case, it would be extremely interesting to know what the aforementioned set of norms are (inclusionary and exclusionary procedures included), who decided them and who appointed these persons, or who gave whom power to appoint these persons, as well as who appointed who appointed these persons (ad lib.) and on what basis (geopolitical, economic, cultural, religious, you name it), and whether this (scientific?) procedure would finally lead to a spic-and-span new language, or rather to a normal process of adaptation which has been always naturally applied to any translation process, and which has been flawlessly exemplified by Christine.

Indeed, I cannot see any serious implication for the translation profession, here. In my view, what they are referring to in the above quote is a plain marketing effort to sell a product in the wider, global market, which can be easily reduced to linguistic localisation and/or globalisation, according to the culture being targeted and the economic interests at stake. That is, nothing new under the sun.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:56
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
international english - or simply 2nd language English? Feb 20, 2009

Is it really another language or simply a mix of literally translated additions from their mothertongue to 2nd grade English they learnt in school?

I will see it through the fingers (I will let is pass)
I fock horces (I breed horces)
Give our thanks to the cock (Compliments to the cook)
(to name a few Dutch expressions)

We had a Swedish boss making comments about new manager still having to grow in their pants or coat or something, which I suspect is a valid Swedish expression.

I'm just saying it will be a "simplification" (school 2nd language English) with possibly some funky expression thrown in... (like chuddies)

http://samachaar.in/International/Of_South_Asian_contribution_and_'chuddies'_at_Windsor_Castle_11740/

Also the difference between "to learn" and "to teach" generally disappears.

Another view on the subject:
http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2004/1129/039.html

Languages are disappearing, evolving, and in the end we will probabaly learn to use simple images, pictures and mind reading...
: )
Ed


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not all that crazy an idea Feb 20, 2009

You know, the idea of neutral/international English isn't all that strange. There is a neutral/generic/international/whatever-you-want-to-call-it version of Spanish.

I've noticed some overlap in understanding. For example, I've noticed that native speakers from Latin America understand if I call a car a 'coche,' although that word is used in Spain. I don't know about native speakers from Spain and how well they would understand words that are used in Latin America......when I talk to a native Spanish speaker, he or she is usually from Latin America.

I wonder about other languages and how much overlap there is.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:56
German to English
+ ...
Perhaps simply a matter of avoiding idioms and slang? Feb 20, 2009

It seems to me that, if one avoids using idioms and slang, most of English is--aside from minor differences in spelling--already "universal," albeit quite boring.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 05:56
Japanese to English
Two pronged approach here Feb 20, 2009

Subtly fight it, and subtly adapt to it :->

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:56
German to English
+ ...
Warning: Hyperbole Feb 21, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:


So tell me: in your global English, is it a wrench or a spanner? A hood or a bonnet? Do you table a motion or do you table a motion, and what do you mean by that? Show me your standard conventions for spelling and punctuation.

Or just be kind enough to offer me some of what you're smoking.


Perhaps we should just let Google decide...

I recently had an interesting discussion with a British lecturer I have teach some English classes in my program. During this discussion I mentioned a student, who could not see the "forest for the trees," to which my British colleague replied, "It's 'woods for the trees.'"

I alleged that my phrase was more common; and that I had heard the phrase "wood for the trees" before, but not "woods for the trees." Either way, I admitted that my anecdotal evidence obviously did not prove or disprove anything.

I suggested, more or less to have a laugh, that we check Google (he does not participate in KudoZ, so I admit that I had one up on him).

Searching for "woods for the trees" ( http://www.google.de/search?hl=de&q="woods%20for%20the%20trees"&btnG=Suche&meta= ) returned 29,400 hits;
whereas "wood for the trees" ( http://www.google.de/search?hl=de&q="wood%20for%20the%20trees"&btnG=Suche&meta= ) returned 251,000 hits;
finally "forest for the trees ( http://www.google.de/search?hl=de&q="forest%20for%20the%20trees"&btnG=Suche&meta= ) returned 723,000 hits.

Would I (or anyone else) have had trouble understanding any of the three forms? No.

By the way, between "wrench" and "spanner," the former wins: 13,200,000 to 3,330,000.




[Edited at 2009-02-21 01:04 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:56
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Marketing hot air Feb 21, 2009

Leonardo La Malfa wrote:
Indeed, I cannot see any serious implication for the translation profession, here. In my view, what they are referring to in the above quote is a plain marketing effort to sell a product in the wider, global market....


The problem, if there is one, is simply the ridiculous claim that "global English" is in any way a standardized language. Do you know what the word "standardized" means? This is pure marketing hype, which we are all welcome to engage in if we please. But anyone who actually believes the hype has an interesting view of reality.

It's certainly nothing new that people run around the EU parliament, international conferences and business meetings speaking English which is broken to varying degrees, and once in a while someone will come up with the silly notion that something new has been invented here, because surely this is the first time that a language has been spoken by so many for whom it is not the first language. (Latin, anyone?)

Of course when writing for international audiences, one is supposed to avoid idiom generally and try to avoid complex sentence constructions, sophisticated humor, etc. If I am translating an aircraft repair manual to be used by Russians, Filipinos, Italians and who-knows-what, that's exactly what I'll do for safety reasons. But it's generally a loser of an approach for something like marketing, and you still come back to the basic question of which spelling and punctuation rules will be selected. The usual choices are US or UK English, though there are a few other legitimate, defined variants. But I invite you once again to show me these rules for this phantom "global English". The academics can publish as many papers as they like about the "phenomenon" (gotta keep on that tenure track), but it doesn't make it any more real.

When I'm not bound by ethical obligations of product safety and the like, I do, of course, cheerfully violate every rule of "global English" - quite deliberately. Someone referred to it the other day as "reclaiming the language"; I prefer to think of it as offering the second language users a harmless opportunity to explore a few new levels. They will inevitably encounter these other levels if they translate out of English, so it's good to stretch those mental muscles when there isn't a deadline or an issue of safety or security at stake.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:56
English to German
+ ...
Uhm, Christine Feb 21, 2009

Christine Andersen wrote:

Then I watch out for expressions that I know strike me as US, and any that I know are particularly British.

'I go get me a piece of wood in the back yard,' as opposed to 'I fetch a piece of wood from the garden'.



Why exactly does "I got me a piece..." strike you as American English? Because it sounds like being uttered by someone who will never make it past third grade?

Or because it sounds like a line from a movie involving slaves?



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Translation into Global English

Advanced search






Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs