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Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten

French translation: be consistent

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17:47 Feb 18, 2008
English to French translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting / academic article regarding astronomy in painting
English term or phrase: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten
Throughout this academic article about painter Van Eyk and his extremely scientific/accurate renderings of the moon, place/museum names are provided either in English or in their original language (as is the case for the particular term I'm asking about). In general, I'm not sure whether to translate these into French in the text, following it with the original text in parenthesis, whether to translate content of the parentheses into French, or whether to leave the name untranslated within the parentheses. Please help! The entire paragraph is below for more context:

In addition to the three other Eyckian examples of lunar depictions discussed by Leonardi, in paintings in Berlin, Turin et Paris (voir Leonardi figs. 7-11), Montgomery had identified another three: the waning gibbous Moon in the Knights of Christ panel on the left interior wing of the Ghent Altarpiece (Gand, St-Baafskathedraal); the Moon in late crescent phase with earthshine in the unfinished St. Barbara in Anvers (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten); and the three-quarter Moon, with the maria faintly visible, seen above the distant hill in the Baptism of Christ, the bas-de-page of the Birth of St. John the Baptist page in the Turin-Milan Book of Hours (Turin, Museo Civico). This makes a total of seven lunar paintings by Jan van Eyck and his followers, with possibly some contribution(s) by Hubert van Eyck, depending on how one attributes the Berlin et Gand paintings.
Carolingua
United States
Local time: 04:41
French translation:be consistent
Explanation:
In answer to the wider question (see Carolingua's 'asker note' above), I suggest that the most important thing is to be consistent and logical (even if the author of the English was neither...).

I would:
- translate the names of the works of art into French (using 'official translations', where available);
- use the 'native language' names of the institutions (after all, that's what visitors will see written over the door... and what they will need to search for on the Web);
- use the conventional names in French for the towns/cities and other geographical names, where they exist; otherwise use the 'native language' name.

That means, for example:

- translating 'alterpiece' into French
- keeping Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, St-Baafskathedraal and Museo Civico;
- using the French city names: Gand, Anvers (where the correct English is G(h)ent and Antwerp and the Flemish is Ghent and Antwerpen) Milan and Turin (same in English, the Italian being Milano and Torino).

I suspect the source text author was trying to follow this convention, but assumed (wrongly) that Antwerp and G(h)ent are in French-speaking Belgium (so used the official French names) when in fact they are both in the Flemish-speaking region.
Selected response from:

Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 08:41
Grading comment
Thank you for the advice; I found this very helpful and it resonated with my own instinct of what I needed to do with this text.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts
Philippe Maillard
4 +2be consistent
Robin Levey
4 +2Keep in original language, explain if nec.
Tony M


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
koninklijk museum voor schone kunsten
Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts


Explanation:
Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts
La collection du Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts d’Anvers donne une bonne idée de la production artistique dans nos contrées depuis le XIVe siècle. ...
www.antwerpen.be/eCache/BFR/4/363.html - 10k - En cache - Pages similaires

Philippe Maillard
Brazil
Local time: 08:41
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: http://www.vlaamsekunstcollectie.be/index.aspx?local=fr&p=an...
24 mins
  -> Merci writeaway : des répondants, seuls vous et moi sommes Belges :-)))

agree  Marie Perrin
18 hrs
  -> Merci Marie
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Keep in original language, explain if nec.


Explanation:
Perosnally, I'd leave it in the original language, and if really necessary (depending on the importantce of understanding it, and the intellectual level of the readership) and a translation into FR in brackets after it.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 mins (2008-02-18 17:54:31 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

But it really all depends on the intended readership, and how much it actually matters if they understand every word.

For example, if readers were going to have to visit this place, or write to it, they would need only to know its name in the original language — signposts wouldn't list it in FR, and a letter addressed in FR might not get there.

On the other hand, if there was something especially significant about the actual meaning of the words, then translation might be the best bet.

Of course, in your particular case, Belgium being a bi-lingual country, the issue is perhaps less clear! Whatever, if you DO end up translating it, in that case for goodness' sake make sure you use the 'official' translation, as given by Philippe!

Tony M
France
Local time: 13:41
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Adrien Esparron: Je suis de cet avis.
7 mins
  -> Merci, Olivier !

neutral  writeaway: it's Belgium so French IS one of the official languages
23 mins
  -> Yes, I have to confess, I had answered on the general principle, before I noticed that Anvers is in Belgium! But I think my answer holds for all other countries where the target isn't one of the official languages

agree  Christine Cooreman: Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec cette approche ! Si l'auteur ne se décide pas, ce n'est pas au traducteur de le faire... Et puis, entrer dans les bagarres linguistiques belges...aïe, aïe, aïe... :)
3 hrs
  -> Merci, Christine !
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
koninklijk museum voor schone kunsten
be consistent


Explanation:
In answer to the wider question (see Carolingua's 'asker note' above), I suggest that the most important thing is to be consistent and logical (even if the author of the English was neither...).

I would:
- translate the names of the works of art into French (using 'official translations', where available);
- use the 'native language' names of the institutions (after all, that's what visitors will see written over the door... and what they will need to search for on the Web);
- use the conventional names in French for the towns/cities and other geographical names, where they exist; otherwise use the 'native language' name.

That means, for example:

- translating 'alterpiece' into French
- keeping Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, St-Baafskathedraal and Museo Civico;
- using the French city names: Gand, Anvers (where the correct English is G(h)ent and Antwerp and the Flemish is Ghent and Antwerpen) Milan and Turin (same in English, the Italian being Milano and Torino).

I suspect the source text author was trying to follow this convention, but assumed (wrongly) that Antwerp and G(h)ent are in French-speaking Belgium (so used the official French names) when in fact they are both in the Flemish-speaking region.

Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 08:41
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Thank you for the advice; I found this very helpful and it resonated with my own instinct of what I needed to do with this text.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M: Very good advice!
2 hrs

agree  Audrey Langlasse: I totally agree with you
4 hrs

neutral  writeaway: agree that local Flemish churches etc should keep their Dutch names, but for national museums, like the Fine Arts Museum in Antwerp, it's best for the French name to be used for English readership.
13 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Mar 4, 2009 - Changes made by M.A.B.:
Field (specific)Astronomy & Space » Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting


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