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Declining (r) and (tm) names - do you do it when it is not expressly forbidden?
Thread poster: Adam Podstawczynski

Adam Podstawczynski  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:27
Polish to English
+ ...
Jul 28, 2004

When translating into languages with noun declension, do you decline company names, trademarks, etc.? I'm not asking about companies which expressly forbid declining their names and products in official translations (e.g. Microsoft in Poland), but about those which do not have any policies on the matter. For me, declining almost always sounds better than not declining (and better than the usual substitute: putting a declined descriptive noun before the name, and not declining the proper noun, e.g. in Polish "firma Microsoft", "firmy Microsoft", "firmie Microsoft", etc.

And what about (r) and (tm) characters - can they be put after a declined name?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-07-28 14:37]


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 04:27
English to Czech
+ ...
Never decline Jul 28, 2004

I never decline company or product names, I use a descriptive noun. Declining company names etc. is considered a mistake in Czech.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:27
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
of course Jul 28, 2004

Never heard, that someone could forbid this. Microsoftin, microsoftista, Microsoftilla etc. in Finnish. With acronyms there is a ":" between: AEG:n, IBM:llä. The difficulty is, that one has to know, if to choose ä or a, depending on the preceding name or letter. Siemensillä, but Nokialla.
And was it Latvian or Lithuanian, where everyone's name must have "S" in the end?


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 05:27
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
In Latvia Jul 28, 2004

the Terminology Commission (Terminoloìijas komisija) is crazy to begin with- we have to translate all kinds of, say, computer memories-conventional memory, expanded memory, extended memory, flash memory, high memory, low memory, main memory, non-volatile memory, Random-Access Memory, Read-Only Memory, virtual memory, volatile memory- with crazy translations of their liking, as the result, if there's not original text available, no local computer geek is able to understand what is meant in the translation. The joke goes that a body, which cannot translate/Latvianize its own name, takes upon itself the task to Latvianize all computer (and not only that) terminology. It would be a nice joke if we had not to live with it daily. Not so long ago they finally awarded Latvian name to floppy- "mîkstais dzinis" (soft drive). It would be funny, weren't the circumstances such, that my son (17 now, has his own computer since 9) has not seen a real 5"14 (or whatever, I too, do not remember) inch floppy in his lifetime.

But as to back to our sheep, i.e., Microsoft- It can be used both as "Microsoft" and "Maikrosofts" in Latvian.

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

And was it Latvian or Lithuanian, where everyone's name must have "S" in the end?


It is worse in Lithuanian, we in Latvia have to add only one letter to "Raegan"- "Reigans" (but have to adjust the spelling to pronunciation), whereas Lithuanians have to add two- "Reiganas"


Uldis

[Edited at 2004-07-28 21:55]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:27
German to English
+ ...
Only the male names Jul 31, 2004

Heinrich, only Latvian male names end in "s". Female names mostly end in "-a" and "-e".

See this site for more about Latvian names!
http://www.daily-tangents.com/Kalendars/ievads/


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:27
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I guess it depends on the language Aug 2, 2004

Adam Podstawczynski wrote:
When translating into languages with noun declension, do you decline company names, trademarks, etc.? ... And what about (r) and (tm) characters - can they be put after a declined name?


Well, AFAIK English has no noun declension, but it certainly does have similar issues. Think for example of "microsoftonian", "microsoft-like", "anti-microsoft", "microsoftization" etc. No-one can tell a user that it is forbidden to do this to the company's name (except in company documents and when the client says so, of course). And "TM" or "R"? Well, I'll only add them to the company's name when it refers to the company itself. Hence, "Microsoft(R)" but "anti-Microsoft" and "Microsoftonian" (upper or lower case is up to you).


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:57
English to Tamil
+ ...
We cannot decline to decline in German it seems Aug 2, 2004

Deutsche Bank seems to take on "der Deutschen Bank" and at times there is just "der Deutsche Bank" in the same text, which I am translating into English just now. I told myself that a native German can take liberties with his mother tongue, whereas I dare not do it when translating into German (which I do for my Indian clients).

Which reminds me of the time when a German was referred to by my boss as Herr Mueller and the sentence read "with Herr Mueller" I hastened to correct it to with Herrn Mueller and feel virtuous about it. The boss was not amused but then I told him that he can say "with Mr. Mueller" but Herr becomes Herrn in this case.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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