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What would you say is more idiomatic in these situations?
Thread poster: Sonia Dorais

Sonia Dorais
Canada
Local time: 01:03
French to English
+ ...
Oct 4, 2006

Hi! I'm not sure I'm posting in the right forum, but I sure hope I can get some answers from native English speakers. I posted this in the off-topic forum a few days ago but it didnt get accepted. Maybe it's a system thing? Anyhow, I hope someone can help me.

I've come across a few things here at my full-time job and I want most English speakers use (please feel free to add comments as to why).

Pick between A's or B's or both for the following:

A. I want to read this book
B. I wish to read this book

A. Click on the button you wish
B. Click on the button you want

A. Click on Cancel
B. Click Cancel

(for 'notez' in French)
A. Make a note of the section number
B. Notice the section number

A. Posting is done every night.
B. Posting is done each night.

A. Choose the type of invoice you wish to use
B. Choose the type of invoice you want to use

A. Click Search
B. Click on Search

A. Prepare a draft bill using the DRAFT format closest to what you want
B. Prepare a draft bill using the DRAFT format closest to what you desire

A. If the bill appears, it has been posted.
B. If the bill shows, it has been posted.


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trab
Local time: 01:03
Spanish to English
A few comments Oct 4, 2006

Sonia-Catherine wrote:

Hi! I'm not sure I'm posting in the right forum, but I sure hope I can get some answers from native English speakers. I posted this in the off-topic forum a few days ago but it didnt get accepted. Maybe it's a system thing? Anyhow, I hope someone can help me.

I've come across a few things here at my full-time job and I want most English speakers use (please feel free to add comments as to why).

Pick between A's or B's or both for the following:

A. I want to read this book
B. I wish to read this book
---
I'd use 'want' here. "Wish" in American english tends to be more for dreams as in the old jingle "Oh I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner"
---

A. Click on the button you wish
B. Click on the button you want
---
"Want" is definitely better here, but neither phrase is particularly standard for websites. "Click on the desired button/option" I think is more standard.


A. Click on Cancel
B. Click Cancel
---
B
---

(for 'notez' in French)
A. Make a note of the section number
B. Notice the section number
---
"A" assuming you mean that you want the person to remember the section number. Option B can be understood as "Look at the section number" which would be appropriate if you were making a comment about the numbering of sections.
---

A. Posting is done every night.
B. Posting is done each night.
---
Either is fine
---

A. Choose the type of invoice you wish to use
B. Choose the type of invoice you want to use
---
See first comment re: "wish" vs "want" but I'd probably drop the "to use" in any case. It's rather redundant.
---
A. Click Search
B. Click on Search
---
See "cancel" comment above
---
A. Prepare a draft bill using the DRAFT format closest to what you want
B. Prepare a draft bill using the DRAFT format closest to what you desire
---
"Desire" as an active verb in American English practically has a sexual connotation. As a noun, less so. Personally, I've never had much desire for a bill.
---

A. If the bill appears, it has been posted.
B. If the bill shows, it has been posted.
---
B. But I'm not sure that either sentence is all that euphonious.


Hope that helps.
Trab


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 01:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
From a GB English native ... Oct 4, 2006

A. I want to read this book
B. I wish to read this book

A or B depending on context. A is a simple statement of fact. B might be used for example if you go to the public library with the title of a book on a scrap of paper and ask the assistant if it's available. 'wish' is more likely to get you the assistant's help - the assistant might think 'want' is rude.

B. Click on the button you want

B. Click Cancel

(for 'notez' in French)
A. Make a note of the section number
Option B 'Notice' means 'remarquer'

A. Posting is done every night.
B. Posting is done each night.

A or B depending on context. A implies posting is done 7 nights a week. B might imply that posting is done on each of a selection nights that have previously been mentioned. e.g. Bills are finalized on Mondays and Tuesdays and posting is done each night. (i.e. posting is done on Monday and Tuesday nights).

A. Choose the type of invoice you wish to use
B. Choose the type of invoice you want to use

Either. Some might think wish is more highfalutin.

B. Click on Search
Can't tell you why 'Click Cancel' and 'Click ON Search' - that's just how I 'feel' it.

A. Prepare a draft bill using the DRAFT format closest to what you want
'desire' is too pompous in this sentence, which is clearly targetted at a system user.

A. If the bill appears, it has been posted.

HTH!
MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2006-10-04 22:01]


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Sonia Dorais
Canada
Local time: 01:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much! Oct 5, 2006

I really appreciate your replies. I work as a full-time translator for a French Canadian law firm. The IT department asked me to proofread something and didnt change anything... I didnt want to say what I put and what they put because I didnt want anyone to take my side over theirs or vice-versa.

They use 'wish' for want in everything even if I tell them it isnt idiomatic (and has become my new pet peeve word). For example, they'll send out a memorandum about the Avian Flu and I quote: 'If you wish to get more information' (and I will tell them you dont 'wish to' you 'wish for' and it should be WANT, they still dont change it.) It is a law firm and I'm the only translator and I'm rather new. I hold my ground and prove it to them, but they think, because I'm so young (24) they have more credibility (even if they dont really speak English).

Thank you so much for your replies. I was beginning to doubt myself. I was actually starting to believe 'wish' could in fact be used and that you can 'notice' a bill (it's really an invoice actually). I would put 'note' the section number. And I was beginning to think I was wrong and that you an 'desire' an invoice (it has a sexual connatation in Canadian English too).

Living in Mtl, many English speakers (even native speakers) will make those common 'mistakes' because of the prevalence of French (and many other languages - Italian, Greek, Arabic, etc.). I begin to doubt myself.

For example, my Italian friend (who is an A student in English literature here in Canada) will say that he 'did' his bed this morning (like, 'faire mon lit' or 'fare la lette' in Italian)... I, personally, make my bed...



Anyhow, you were both very helpful in your replies. Thank you!! Thank you very very much!


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Refugio
Local time: 22:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Be careful what you suggest Oct 5, 2006

"If you wish to get more information" is perfectly correct and idiomatic.

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:03
Italian to English
Register inflation Oct 5, 2006

Ruth Henderson wrote:

"If you wish to get more information" is perfectly correct and idiomatic.


I agree with Ruth that this is idiomatic for US English but, as MediaMatrix notes and depending on the context, "wish" might sound/look a little pompous to UK users of English.

Actually, "want/wish" - like "house/home", "see/visit with" and many other UK/US pairs - is really a sort of transatlantic "register inflation". What was originally perceived as a polite version - in this case "wish" - has become more or less the norm in one dialect (US) but is much less frequently used in the other (UK), where it generally retains its nuance of formality.

Note that in your example, "If you would like more information" is both shorter and functional in all dialects, including Canadian. It also avoids "get", which in UK - but AFAIK not US - English can have an informal connotation and tends to be substituted if at all possible in written language by old fuddy-duddies like me.

FWIW

Giles

[Edited at 2006-10-05 06:27]


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trab
Local time: 01:03
Spanish to English
If Wishes were horses.... Oct 5, 2006

"Wish" certainly is grammatically correct, but in terms of a request, "would like" is more common at least in the US (or the Northeast where I live).

I am reminded of the scene in the Philadelphia Story where Jimmy Stewart is in the library (Main Line Quaker) and is asked by the librarian, "What is thy wish?" A very archaic usage from a very archaic librarian .

HTH
Trab


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:03
French to English
I mostly agree with mediamatrix.... Oct 5, 2006

....as a fellow UK English-speaker.

However, I personally see no real difference between "click" and "click on" in either case you've given

When I translate such on-screen instructions, I tend to use "would like" in the places where you currently have wish/want, as others have suggested.

Finally, as regards the "draft bill" sentence, if I were writing from scratch in English, I would probably use "...which most closely matches your needs". However, I appreciate that this perhaps does not exactly "translate" what the French probably says, so perhaps this comment is not very helpful (So, failing that, I would use the "want" option!)

I jus thought I would support what the other people posting here have already said, just as further back-up.
Good luck
Charlie


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Anne Koth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:03
German to English
Doing the posting? Oct 5, 2006

A. Posting is done every night.
B. Posting is done each night.

I wouldn't use either, but instead something like "Bills are posted every evening" or "We post our bills every evening", if that is what posting means. "Night" sounds rather late, and I wouldn't say "I did the posting" or "have you done the posting?", but "Have you posted the bills?" or "I posted the bills yesterday".


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---

Local time: 13:03
English to Chinese
+ ...
Omit subject Oct 5, 2006

Ruth Henderson wrote:

"If you wish to get more information" is perfectly correct and idiomatic.


Correct me if I'm wrong but to convey a message more firmly, isn't it better to omit the subject "you"?

Personally I would say : For more information...

Please advise.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 01:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wish & Want Oct 5, 2006

As Charlie mentioned, the sentence Prepare a draft bill using the DRAFT format closest to what you want/desire could be rendered as "...which most closely matches your needs".

The same applies to the sentence Choose the type of invoice you wish/want to use, where the use of "need" can eliminate the problem.

This rather suggests that the choice between want and wish (assuming you have a desire (sorry!) to retain one or other of those words), can be clarified by asking "is this expressing a need or a would like situation?"

In the above-mentioned contexts, the choice of draft format or type of invoice is presumably governed by a functional necessity; you 'need' to use the items in the appropriate language, for example, and it doesn't matter how much you might 'wish' to do it differently.

The sentence If you (XX) wish to get more information... suggests that XX will make up his/her own mind later as to the 'necessity' or 'desirability' of obtaining more information (and XX will use 'want' or 'wish' when actually asking for it, as appropriate); in the sentence as stated that choice is as yet undefined and so the want/wish choice is governed by primarily considerations of register.

MediaMatrix


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Can Altinbay  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:03
Japanese to English
+ ...
Click [on] Oct 5, 2006

I'm amazed and pleased that "on" has been rejected by several responders. "Click on" is commonly used. I don't like the way it sounds. But more to the point, Microsoft's user interface guide (apparently no longer being updated as a book) prescribes that "on" not be used. I'm not a big MS fan, but they really did it right with that book.

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Sonia Dorais
Canada
Local time: 01:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you for your replies Oct 5, 2006

I thank every single one of you for your replies. Please know that I was not correcting/proofreading a translation. I was proofreading an text written in English by a French-speaker who speaks very little English and who was following a French written outline.

I agree that using 'wish' is grammatically correct, but it sounds strange to me (which is why I wanted to see what English speaking people most COMMONLY use and what is more idomatic rather than what is right or wrong). Here in Montreal, I was taught at school to try to be as idiomatic as possible and to try to use what is most common since other languages have an influence on the English that is spoken here. (Do you 'do' your bed?)

Wish, for some odd reason, is not a word I use very often (unless for wishing). If I had written the doc from scratch I would have likely written 'would like' (it sounds more llike something I would say).

The other two things that sounded extremely strange to me was 'if the bill shows' (and this really means if it pops up on the screen or if you can see it sort of thing). Is that 'grammatically' correct?

Also, would you 'desire' an invoice? I know it is 'grammatically' correct to use that, I guess, but would you say it is idiomatic? If you have written that from scratch, would you have chosen that word?


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Sonia Dorais
Canada
Local time: 01:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
response on 'on' Oct 5, 2006

Hi Can,

I was removing all the 'on's from the text till I got to 'click on the right button'. Would you put 'click the right button'? That is where I began to doubt it somehow and didnt end up changing that part of the text and left all the on's... But I added them to my list cause I was curious why I had questioned it in the first place.

P.S. thanks again everyone for your help and interest.


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Sonia Dorais
Canada
Local time: 01:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Another sentence Oct 5, 2006

If you have time, of course, what do all of you think of these sentences:

1. It is imperative to advise Records Management Services and any timekeeper involved in the client of the changes made.

2. Select the time entry you wish to split.

3. Make sure the email address that appears if the assistant's who is preparing the bill.


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