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Should I translate the titles of referenced documents?
Thread poster: Ben Hickman

Ben Hickman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 23:38
Dutch to English
Dec 9, 2004

I am translating an academic article from Dutch to English for publication in an American professional journal. The references are documented in APA style. My question is whether, and how, I should provide a translation of the titles of documents that have only been published in Dutch.

Here is an example of an entry in the list of referenced literature:
Simons, R.J. (2002). Digitale didactiek: hoe (kunnen) academici leren ICT te gebruiken in het onderwijs. Utrecht: Universiteit van Utrecht.

In this example, I also wonder whether I should translate "Universiteit van Utrecht."

All comments are appreciated!


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giogi
Local time: 22:38
Hi... Dec 9, 2004

I usually don't translate titles.
I just leave the title in its original lnguage with the translation in brackets if it's not possible to put it in a footnote.
But I would translate "Universiteit van Utrecht" as it has nothing to do with the titles.
Hope this helps
Giovanna


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Doru Voin  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 00:38
English to Romanian
+ ...
What does your client say? Dec 9, 2004

Ben Hickman wrote:

My question is whether, and how, I should provide a translation of the titles of documents that have only been published in Dutch.


Assuming no indications are available from your client:

1/ I would keep the original article titles and provide the translation as well, using parantheses;

2/ How about Utrecht University? See www.uu.nl/uupublish/homeuu/homeenglish/1757main.html

Regards,
Doru Voin


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Azra Obalı (Akifgil)
Local time: 00:38
Turkish to English
+ ...
No need to translate Dec 9, 2004

University/Institution names could be translated, but i do not suggest you to do so, as some databases may need the whole entry to find a referenced work/paper.

HTH


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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:38
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Unless a translation is available in English... Dec 9, 2004

of the document referred to, one does not normally translate the titles of such materials into English. Quotes from such documents can be translated, as long as you make it clear that it is a translation and not the original text. If you translate the title, it gives the English reader the idea that a translation already exists, which, if it doesn't, is misleading.
Of course, it does depend on what your client wants as well, but not translating the titles of reference/quoted materials is the normal practice in English academic texts (at least in the UK).
You can translate the names of places (e.g. University of Amsterdam, University of Uppsala, etc.) but there is no need to.
Hope that helps,
Aisha


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
translation in brackets Dec 9, 2004

1.) It will help the reader to understand the topic
2.) We may be lucky that someone gets interested in the content and issues a translation order somewhere..


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Rochelle Altman
Local time: 00:38
French to English
+ ...
No, do not translate titles and publishers Dec 10, 2004

Ben Hickman wrote:

I am translating an academic article from Dutch to English for publication in an American professional journal. The references are documented in APA style. My question is whether, and how, I should provide a translation of the titles of documents that have only been published in Dutch.

Here is an example of an entry in the list of referenced literature:
Simons, R.J. (2002). Digitale didactiek: hoe (kunnen) academici leren ICT te gebruiken in het onderwijs. Utrecht: Universiteit van Utrecht.

In this example, I also wonder whether I should translate "Universiteit van Utrecht."

All comments are appreciated!

==============
Simple answer: Never.

As a free lance translator and academic, the rule is:

If a document has been translated, give the title
(and be sure to included Trans. by xxx or xxx, trans.
list the author, translated title, trans. info.
publication info of translated version. Then, give
the info on the original, including all publication
data and enclose in square brackets.

If a document has not been translated, just give the
original information as it is listed. Never, ever
translate such information if it has not been published
in translation... and that goes for Universiteit van
Utrecht.

Dr. Rochelle


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:38
Member
English to Turkish
UU is the publisher here Dec 10, 2004

Hi Ben,

I agree with the other colleagues that you should leave the titles in their original, but I also think that you shouldn't render English the "Universiteit van Utrecht" part, either, because it is the name of the publisher here, so should be left in its original.


Best of luck...


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Ben Hickman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 23:38
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all of you for your advice! Dec 12, 2004

Thank you all very much for the information. I dicussed this with the client, who also seemed unsure about the proper protocol, but after having looked at several other translated articles he agreed with the general concensus here: Don't translate the titles unless the document has been translated in publication, and don't translate the name of the publisher either. His co-author and another colleague are going to review my translation, and if their opinions differ from his (and ours), I will post another message to let you know. Thanks again!

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Leonid Gornik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:38
Member (2005)
Russian to English
+ ...
Translate only the paper title and bibliographic data Jan 5, 2005

Usually the customer needs to have the paper title (or the event like conference) translated. The paper title has to be transliterated if the original is, e.g., in cyrillic. This is necessary for the customer to send a request for the original paper using a normal keyboard.

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