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the?

English translation: Either way is fine

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:use of the
English translation:Either way is fine
Entered by: Kim Metzger
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13:56 Aug 26, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary / use of "the" in titles
English term or phrase: the?
I'm translating a description for a new washing machine. The sections are currently called "The Drum", "The Porthole", "The Controls", "The Washing", "The Project", etc.

However, I've been told that the "The" in every title doesn't look good, and it would be better if we could just keep it as "Drum", "Porthole", "Washing", "Project"... but, somehow, this doesn't really sound right to me. :( Please advise whether it would look/sound English to you if I ommited the "the's" in such titles? -- "Controls" sound fine to me without "the", but "Porthole" or "Project" don't. :(
zmejka
Local time: 00:54
Either way is fine
Explanation:
Although I'd want to see the whole text to make a firm decision, on the face of it, it seems that your headings could be written either with or without the definite article.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-26 14:19:14 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

On second thought, if I were writing the headings, I\'d leave out the definite articles.
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 16:54
Grading comment
Thank you for your help. And thank you all for your opinions! :))
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +6Omitt definite articleRasmus
4 +3Either way is fine
Kim Metzger
5 +1Instinct (and propriety) versus common contemporary practiceFuad Yahya
5The
Claudia Andreani
5When in doubt...
Marion Burns
4As I sense it...
Arthur Borges


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Either way is fine


Explanation:
Although I'd want to see the whole text to make a firm decision, on the face of it, it seems that your headings could be written either with or without the definite article.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-26 14:19:14 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

On second thought, if I were writing the headings, I\'d leave out the definite articles.

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 16:54
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249
Grading comment
Thank you for your help. And thank you all for your opinions! :))

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
1 hr

agree  jerrie
1 hr

agree  Yelena.
2 hrs
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
The


Explanation:
I would use "The" as part of the whole section. I would even add the word "section" at the end, like "The Drum Section (or Part)"
If you are talking about a tangible part, I would take out the "The", and I would live it if the section talks about a process, like "The Washing".

How is that?

Claudia Andreani
Local time: 17:54
Native speaker of: Spanish
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34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
Omitt definite article


Explanation:
It's a recommendation, not a rule, to omit the definite article in a situation as you described.

As an example we can look a Microsoft's Windows(tm). The control panel is not referred to as "THE control panel", but rather "Control panel". I know it's not the best example ever, but it was the first one I could find ;)

Rasmus
Local time: 23:54

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Irene Chernenko: I vote to omit.
10 mins

agree  luskie: two votes
1 hr

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
1 hr

agree  Yelena.
1 hr

agree  cillegio: omit it
1 hr

agree  xxxcmwilliams
1 hr
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48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Instinct (and propriety) versus common contemporary practice


Explanation:
My instinct, which is not infallible, is to use the definite article. However, the contrary practice is pretty common. The following page is an example:

http://www.repairclinic.com/0088_11_3.asp

I am sorry to say that in similar material, I have found the omission too common to ignore. It would be too easy to dismiss it as non-normative writing by mechanical engineers compelled to put on a writer's hat. The truth is probably a bit more complicated than that. All contemorary English-language writing that is not literary in nature and does not presume to accomplish anything other than convey dry information is plagued with a severe economy that turns language into a mere code rather than as a human expression.

Should you be swept into this current? I would not be -- but that is my instinct.


Fuad

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Anette Herbert: Totally, a product description with definite articles feels so much safer to follow that one withougt as well. Good argument, keep the language alive!
3 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
When in doubt...


Explanation:
leave 'em out!

English often favors leaving out articles, especially in the concise, minimalist style used in this type of writing.

Marion Burns
United States
Local time: 17:54
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 18
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
As I sense it...


Explanation:
...either way is indeed fine: Americans would sooner skip it while Brits wouldn't.
If your boss likes it without, then it's bit like being the art of being a good husband: your wife is right even when she's wrong.

Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 05:54
PRO pts in pair: 23
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