Using of technical terms on specific translation project.
Thread poster: Judy Almodovar

Judy Almodovar
Italy
Local time: 21:01
English to Tagalog
+ ...
Mar 19, 2007

I would like to know some Translators' and/ or Outsourcers' point of view about the Translator's usage or application of technical terms in translating a specific project from target language to (UK/US) English rather than plain translation and/or word per word while depicting the original information.

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Kira Laudy
Netherlands
Local time: 21:01
Member
Dutch to Italian
+ ...
??? Mar 19, 2007

Dear Judy,
Can you explain more what you mean? I am not sure to get the point.
ciao
Kira


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Nisreen Barakat  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 22:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
Technical Translation Mar 19, 2007

It is very very important when translating a technical text to be sure of using the right technical term in the target language. It's really not hard to translate a technical text once you have the equivalent of the technical terms in the target language. The rest of the text is generally easy to do, I don't want to say that it's basically word to word translation but there is really no "creativity" in translating a technical text.
It usually needs a lot of research (depending on the subject) in order to find the equivalent of technical terms. It can help to read articles in the target language about the same subject you want to translate, this way you get familiar with the terms used. And ofcourse you can refer to technical dictionnaries.


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Rosie Shaddock  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends on your client's target audience Mar 19, 2007

Hi Judy,

I would ask the client to clarify if the translation is to be used in a technical context or if it's only for a more general readership.

Briefings from clients are paramount as that is the only way to find out what the target audience will be and the register to use to target that particular audience.

In this article you will find very useful tips regarding this (mainly 6 &7):

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/534/1/My-golden-rules-for-quality-assurance/print/534

Hope that helps..
Rosie


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Judy Almodovar
Italy
Local time: 21:01
English to Tagalog
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Technical term usage Mar 19, 2007

Kira Laudy wrote:

Dear Judy,
Can you explain more what you mean? I am not sure to get the point.
ciao
Kira



Hi Kira,

Thanks for the interest to read this topic.

I'm referring about the ''point of view'' of each Outsourcers and/or other translators and as well as of the readers about the translators' usage or application of technical terms of their specified translation project while depicting the original information or complete thought of the document rather than translating word per word.


Judy

[Edited at 2007-03-19 15:57]


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Judy Almodovar
Italy
Local time: 21:01
English to Tagalog
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Informative Mar 19, 2007

Rosie Shaddock wrote:

Hi Judy,

I would ask the client to clarify if the translation is to be used in a technical context or if it's only for a more general readership.

Briefings from clients are paramount as that is the only way to find out what the target audience will be and the register to use to target that particular audience.

In this article you will find very useful tips regarding this (mainly 6 &7):

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/534/1/My-golden-rules-for-quality-assurance/print/534

Hope that helps..
Rosie



Hi Rosie,

Thanks for the idea and link, it is very informative.


Sincerely,
Judy


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:01
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Ask the client who the audience will be Mar 19, 2007

That way you'll know how 'technical' the words in the text should be. Some technical texts are written for a general audience (I am thinking about a manual or operating instructions for a piece of equipment to be used by a layman) and may need simpler words so that the user can understand the use or procedure.

Others are intended for engineers and technicians and should be translated with the proper technical terms, not the watered-down version.

You usually also need to know where the text is going to be used - UK or US or Australia, etc. There would at times be different terminology. All these things yu need to know before you start the work.

Ask the client BEFORE you start the job.

Good luck!
Lucinda


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Judy Almodovar
Italy
Local time: 21:01
English to Tagalog
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. Mar 20, 2007

Nisreen Barakat wrote:

It is very very important when translating a technical text to be sure of using the right technical term in the target language. It's really not hard to translate a technical text once you have the equivalent of the technical terms in the target language. The rest of the text is generally easy to do, I don't want to say that it's basically word to word translation but there is really no "creativity" in translating a technical text.
It usually needs a lot of research (depending on the subject) in order to find the equivalent of technical terms. It can help to read articles in the target language about the same subject you want to translate, this way you get familiar with the terms used. And ofcourse you can refer to technical dictionnaries.



Hi Nisreen,

Thank you, hope to share these ideas of yours to other co-translators and serve as a reminder and not to disregard the application of technical terms.


Sincerely,
Judy


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Judy Almodovar
Italy
Local time: 21:01
English to Tagalog
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hope we could share to other co-translators these idea and link. Mar 20, 2007

Judy Almodovar wrote:

Rosie Shaddock wrote:

Hi Judy,

I would ask the client to clarify if the translation is to be used in a technical context or if it's only for a more general readership.

Briefings from clients are paramount as that is the only way to find out what the target audience will be and the register to use to target that particular audience.

In this article you will find very useful tips regarding this (mainly 6 &7):

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/534/1/My-golden-rules-for-quality-assurance/print/534

Hope that helps..
Rosie



Hi Rosie,

Thanks for the idea and link, it is very informative. Hope to share these ideas to other co-translators and serve as a reminder and not to disregard the usage of technical terms.


Sincerely,
Judy


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Terms and specialized languages Mar 20, 2007

First of all, it is important to clarify that a term is a lexical unit that transmits specialized knowledge. A term is the tool used by specialists to comunicate. A term is not "just any word". Thus, when you translate a term, you cannot translate it in the same way you would translate any other word in a text. When translating a term, you have to find the equivalent term in the target language.

A term refers to a certain concept. There might be different terms (synonyms, language levels, etc.) to express the same concept, but therse would basically be the only variations you can use.

When translating a text, your original text will give you the lead as to what level of language you should use in the target language. Of course, sometimes you will have more options or variations in one language than in the other: this is where the translator must decide which variation is the most appropriate for the type of text being translated.

For example, in an Anatomy text in Spanish, even one for children, you would find the terms "rótula", "esternón", "clavícula". In English, you could have the choice of using "knee cap", "breastbone-sternum", "collar bone-clavicle", etc. and the translator must decide which term is more appropriate according to the text.

But that is the limit as to how much choice a translator has regarding how to translate terms in a technical text. You should not "overtranslate" or explain or paraphrase the term you have in the original text. (In my opinion, the only time the translator might explain a term which has not been explained in the original text is when the author is coining a term that has no equivalent in the target language, so you might write a note to let the reader know that you have coined its equivalent.)

If your text is using terms, you must find the equivalent term in the target language. Even if the text repeats the same term and the style sounds "clumsy", it doesn't matter: that is how the term is being used. If your text is explaining the terms, you must translate the explanation. Even if your text is for a general audience, if it is including the technical term, you must find the equivalent term. After all, if using a term is what is happening in the original text, that is what needs to happen in the translation!!!



[Edited at 2007-03-20 00:14]


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Judy Almodovar
Italy
Local time: 21:01
English to Tagalog
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 20, 2007

Lucinda wrote:

That way you'll know how 'technical' the words in the text should be. Some technical texts are written for a general audience (I am thinking about a manual or operating instructions for a piece of equipment to be used by a layman) and may need simpler words so that the user can understand the use or procedure.

Others are intended for engineers and technicians and should be translated with the proper technical terms, not the watered-down version.

You usually also need to know where the text is going to be used - UK or US or Australia, etc. There would at times be different terminology. All these things yu need to know before you start the work.

Ask the client BEFORE you start the job.

Good luck!
Lucinda



Hi Lucinda,

Thanks for the idea, hope that the rest (co-translators) may have the same point of view in handling their project regarding to technical term application.

Sincerely,
Judy


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Judy Almodovar
Italy
Local time: 21:01
English to Tagalog
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the idea. Mar 20, 2007

Heidi C wrote:

First of all, it is important to clarify that a term is a lexical unit that transmits specialized knowledge. A term is the tool used by specialists to comunicate. A term is not "just any word". Thus, when you translate a term, you cannot translate it in the same way you would translate any other word in a text. When translating a term, you have to find the equivalent term in the target language.

A term refers to a certain concept. There might be different terms (synonyms, language levels, etc.) to express the same concept, but therse would basically be the only variations you can use.

When translating a text, your original text will give you the lead as to what level of language you should use in the target language. Of course, sometimes you will have more options or variations in one language than in the other: this is where the translator must decide which variation is the most appropriate for the type of text being translated.

For example, in an Anatomy text in Spanish, even one for children, you would find the terms "rótula", "esternón", "clavícula". In English, you could have the choice of using "knee cap", "breastbone-sternum", "collar bone-clavicle", etc. and the translator must decide which term is more appropriate according to the text.

But that is the limit as to how much choice a translator has regarding how to translate terms in a technical text. You should not "overtranslate" or explain or paraphrase the term you have in the original text. (In my opinion, the only time the translator might explain a term which has not been explained in the original text is when the author is coining a term that has no equivalent in the target language, so you might write a note to let the reader know that you have coined its equivalent.)

If your text is using terms, you must find the equivalent term in the target language. Even if the text repeats the same term and the style sounds "clumsy", it doesn't matter: that is how the term is being used. If your text is explaining the terms, you must translate the explanation. Even if your text is for a general audience, if it is including the technical term, you must find the equivalent term. After all, if using a term is what is happening in the original text, that is what needs to happen in the translation!!!



[Edited at 2007-03-20 00:14]




Dear Ms. Heidi,

Well I'm talking about the point of view regarding technical usage of translators and I'm not talking alone for my self, so you dont need to use your '' '' and !!!, at this corner we are just having a ''forum'' and not a ''debate''
Anyway, thanks for sharing your idea.

Judy


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