translation of reference material
Thread poster: Patricia Rosas

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 2, 2009

Hi, friends, and HAPPY 2009!

I've noticed that this question comes up every now and again in my KudoZ pair (Spanish to English) and sometimes here in the fora. Now, the Chicago Manual of Style (which is the style guide that my clients want me to use) has given a good answer -- or at least, to my mind, its good since it reflects what I usually aim for

So, I thought I'd share:

Q. When using foreign-language archival sources, what parts of the citation should be translated into English and what parts should be left in the original language? The name of the organization where the archive is kept (Indonesian Ministry of Culture)? The name of the archive (Dutch East India Company Archive) or the section of the archive (Police Reports)? The descriptive title of the document (“report on the reorganization of the regional police force by Chief of Police S. L. Scheepmaker, chapter 2”)? In all these cases, the original language can make it easier for other researchers to find the document if they wish. But including the translation makes it easier for readers to understand the nature of the source.

A. Exactly—so you have to decide what your readers need and provide it. In other words, it’s something for the writer and editor to work out. (It almost goes without saying that you should not attempt translation unless you’re certain you’re doing it correctly.)


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:58
English to Polish
+ ...
:) Jan 2, 2009

Hi Patricia,
happy New Year and thank you for sharing. I have plenty of them in my scientific texts. And it seems that the above guideline reflects also my own approach
regards, Ewa

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