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translating proper names and monuments
Thread poster: Comunican
Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:20
Oct 22, 2007

I am interested to know what the convention is on translating proper names and monuments such as churches etc...

Take the following sentence: "Contiene muchos vestigios de la antigua Barcino romana, así como muchos monumentos medievales; en este último grupo destacan la Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia o la iglesia de Santa Maria del Pi."

Do I translate all or any of "Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia" or "la iglesia de Santa Maria del Pi."?

Do I put the original and the translation in brackets - which seems cumbersome?

Do I say "cathedral of Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia" and "the church of Santa Maria del Pi", which loses some of its charm?

Or do I just leave it as it is on the assumption that most people would know what "catedral" and "iglesia" mean...?

I'd be interested in knowing what others think...
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Thanks


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Michaela Bordessoule
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:20
English to Czech
+ ...
"Translation Theory and Practice Oct 22, 2007

Hi

my sugestions are:

1. the name of the place, town, thing etc. have videly spread, accepted and understand equivalent in target language
2. if not applicable point 1. then translate as any similar matching equivalent in the target language and put original in to brackets. This is version with explanation.It is OK when the readers need to know the original name (for Web serch etc.) but not good for literary translation...

So decide according your target readers. Do they need to know and distinguish that one is catedral and other one church?


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:20
English to German
+ ...
depends Oct 22, 2007

Names of churches that are named for saints are often translated, as well as very old or famous ones (St Peter's). Just as places (London - Londres) monuments may take on a different name in a different language if well known. Some churches, monuments etc. are better know by their original name (Sagrada Familia, Manneken Pis). If unsure I test the occurrence of several variations of a church name on google in the target language/country:
1. Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia
2. cathedral of Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia
3. Holy Cross and St Eulalia Cathedral
etc. and then I select the most frequent one. You could expect an English reader to understand "catedral" but not "iglesia".


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Laurence Bourel
Local time: 23:20
English to French
+ ...
Invest in a translation method Oct 22, 2007

I advise you to read A Textbook of Translation by P. Newmark, which gives useful hints with many examples. It helped me a lot

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Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:20
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Oct 22, 2007

Olaf Knechten wrote:

Names of churches that are named for saints are often translated, as well as very old or famous ones (St Peter's). Just as places (London - Londres) monuments may take on a different name in a different language if well known. Some churches, monuments etc. are better know by their original name (Sagrada Familia, Manneken Pis). If unsure I test the occurrence of several variations of a church name on google in the target language/country:
1. Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia
2. cathedral of Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia
3. Holy Cross and St Eulalia Cathedral
etc. and then I select the most frequent one. You could expect an English reader to understand "catedral" but not "iglesia".


Thanks, Olaf - that's really helpful.


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Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:20
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Oct 22, 2007

thanks Laurence, I'll look into that.

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Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:20
TOPIC STARTER
English in brackets? Oct 22, 2007

Thanks, Michaela
Thanks for the advice about putting the original in brackets... is it also OK to put the English in brackets and then continue to use the original (Catalan in this case) in the rest of the text?


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:20
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Translation of Place Names and the like Oct 25, 2007

The procedure I normally use is to translate names of institutions, etc. For example: Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT)

My translation: Brazilian Technican Standards Association (ABNT) - although if the client may not have heard of the institution I would explain the translation: Brazilian Technical Standards Association (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas - ABNT). The same would apply to political parties, for example.

As for addresses, I often translate "Rua", "Avenida" and the like and people's titles in street names, but not the name itself.

Examples:

Praça Castro Alves = Castro Alves Square

Rodovia Presidente Dutra = President Dutra Motorway

Rua da Balsa = Da Balsa Street (not "Ferry Street")

I usually translate city names when the translation is commonly used, such as London = Londres, Brussels = Bruxelas.

In the case of churches and monuments, my normal practice is to translate the name, so:

Igreja de Santa Eulália = St. Eulália's Church

Items such as "conjunto", "andar" and so on, I usually translate.

Avenida Paulista, 1111 - 13o andar =
1111 Paulista Avenue - 13th Floor

I hope this sheds some light on the matter.


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