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|German to English translations [PRO]|
|German term or phrase: sein Beruf|
|This is a style question. I'm doing a translation of a human resources document and can see it coming that I'll be faced with dozens of he/she must ..., his/her profession, etc. I'm terribly old-fashioned in this regard. I hate to destroy good prose with this kind of thing. I would like to propose to the client that we add a footnote to the effect that he, his, etc. always refers to both sexes. Can someone recommend standard phrasing to this effect?|
|some additional possibilities|
As mentioned above they/their/theirs is a good solution, supposedly even in combination with singular pronouns like "anyone" i.e. "If anyone can tell me the answer to this question they will win $100". I am so old that I don't like such sentences but they avoid the problem you mention and have come into general acceptance.
Another possibility to mix into your translation are the words "one" and "one's".
And a third is the use of general terms like "the worker/the worker's", "a clerk/a clerk's", "an employee/an employee's", etc.
Although there is not much that can be done with "her/him" or "hers/his", "she/he" can often also be shortened to "s/he" (over 400,000 Google hits) nowadays, especially in HR documents, which can rarely be classified as "good prose".
The last point is, as Mats probably meant, is that one has to be careful with "profession", "job" and "occupation" as translations for "Beruf". Roughly 90% of German "Berufe" are "occupations", "trades" or "vocations" in English, maybe 10% are "professions" and none are "jobs".
Selected response from:
Local time: 21:14
|Everybody agreed that the plural pronoun, etc. is the solution, and I guess I'll just have to go with the flow. Thanks Dan for the other suggestions to get around the problem. The customer must be satisfied!|
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12 mins peer agreement (net): +3