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Problem with footnotes: advice needed
Thread poster: Eva Blanar

Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 05:07
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Sep 24, 2003

I translated a couple of EU documents (from French into Hungarian), with lots of footnotes. In order to ensure a better flow of the words in Hungarian and make it sound normal, in a few sentences, I had to change the order of the footnotes: say, #6 became #5 and vice versa. The references behind are correct, of course, but at the bottom of the page, the order is different: say, in the French version, #5 refers to a directive from the year 2001 and #6 refers to 2003, but in the Hungarian sentence, 2003 goes first.

I wonder if you have had similar problems and I am particularly interested in any experiences with EU documents. Is there a rule about this?

My dilemma is: shall I change the wording to fit the order of the footnotes and risk that it won't sound good Hungarian or shall I leave the Hungarian version as it is?

Your thoughts will be highly appreciated, thanks is advance.

Eva


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
English to German
+ ...
Hello, Eva Sep 24, 2003

I don't know the rules of the EU (if any), but, IMO, you should follow the Hungarian text as it sounds best to you and not pay attention that the order of the footnotes will change in comparison to the original.

Unfortunately, I don't have any reliable or official source on this. It just seems reasonable to me.

Isn't it the normal case that word order might change from one language to another, and that you are just enforced to adjust the order of footnotes accordingly?

[Edited at 2003-09-24 20:13]


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Ariadna Castillo González  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 11:07
English to Catalan
+ ...
Interinstitutional style guide Sep 24, 2003

Dear Eva,

Here's the link to the Interinstitutional style guide. Under letter F they mention a few things to be considered regarding footnotes. I hope you can find the answer to your question.

http://eur-op.eu.int/code/en/en-6000000.htm

Best regards,
Ariadna

As far as I see here, the order should be the same in all languages:

8.2. Order of footnotes
Other elements can feature at the bottom of a page: asterisk, NB, source(s).

The order is identical in all the language versions:



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(*) Interim Commission decision.
(1) These prices are the result of applying a maximum reduction.
(2) For the current marketing year, this price is increased by a special premium.

NB: Provisional figures.
Source: European Commission, Agriculture DG.

NB:
Numbered notes, including a note introduced by the asterisk, are separated from the following notes by a thin line space.

http://eur-op.eu.int/code/en/en-380200.htm

Ariadna






[Edited at 2003-09-24 20:43]


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
English to Polish
+ ...
Check the accession treaties Sep 25, 2003

Sorry that I don't have the time now to find them for you, but they are definitely on the web.

Find the EU accession treaty in Hungarian and compare it with the English (or any other) version.
The answer will be within.

The ISG is invaluable, but as far as I know it only covers one language.

HTH
Pawel Skalinski


[Edited at 2003-09-25 08:12]


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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 05:07
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your help and here is what I've found out Oct 1, 2003

First of all: thank you for your thoughts, it was a good feeling to know you care.

I think I owe you to tell about the outcome: I asked for advice from the local EU terminology team as well and they said there is an understanding with the EU institutions that, due to the specificities of the Hungarian language, this is "allowable practice".

As much as I could, I kept the original structure of the sentences, hence, the order of the footnotes, but in some of the sentences (strangely enough, not in the most complicated ones), I simply had to change the order (otherwise, it could have looked like machine translation).

So, thanks again,

Eva


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Ariadna Castillo González  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 11:07
English to Catalan
+ ...
Hi Oct 1, 2003

Hi Eva,

Thanks for taking the time to let us know about your decision. I must admit I was curious

Regards,
Ariadna


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Mario Marcolin  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:07
Member (2003)
English to Swedish
+ ...
ordering compromise Oct 3, 2003

Dear Eva,
In some cases there is another option.
Keep the footnotes numbered as in the original , but let them appear in the text in whichever order of phrases that is the most natural.

I know some don't like this - but it fulfills two requirements:
- the same footnote is referred to by the same number irrespective of language
- the main text is easier to read.

Allt the best,

Mario


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