KudoZ home » Russian to English » Bus/Financial

Head или Cheif?

English translation: head or chief as context requires

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
05:47 Oct 24, 2002
Russian to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial
Russian term or phrase: Head или Cheif?
Могут ли в одной компании разные должности со словом "Главный" переводиться по-разному: то Head, то Chief? Мне кажется, что это не корректно, но вот Chief Design Engineer, к примеру, звучит, по-моему, лучше, чем Head Design Engineer, потому что Head - значит, возглавляющий отдел, а должность звучит просто как "Главный конструктор", при этом в других должностях часто встречается что-нибудь вроде "Начальник такого-то отдела", что переводится как Head. Как же быть?
Oyra
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:29
English translation:head or chief as context requires
Explanation:
After all 'chief' is from Latin caput via French chef, meaning 'head' anyway.

However, common usage often requires one collocation rather than the other.

You are correct in saying that 'chief design engineer' is better than 'head design engineer', which no English speaker would use. It is simply that 'design engineer' is properly (or more usually) collocated with 'chief' and not 'head.' Similarly chief director etc. Generally speaking, 'head' works better as a description (Mr. Smith, head of the U.K.'s biggest bank) and 'chief' as an actual job title (Chief Medical Officer Joe Bloggs), but this is not a hard and fast rule.

You will not be thrown out of the translators' union for using the wrong collocation.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-24 06:34:21 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I am quite pleased with that sentence \"It is simply that \'design engineer\' is properly (or more usually) collocated with \'chief\' and not \'head.\'\" This is a very grand way of saying \'because it just is, that\'s why.\' :)
Selected response from:

Clive Wilshin
Local time: 01:29
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +5head or chief as context requiresClive Wilshin
4Head = noun; chief = adjectiveTeresa Pearce


  

Answers


16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
head or chief as context requires


Explanation:
After all 'chief' is from Latin caput via French chef, meaning 'head' anyway.

However, common usage often requires one collocation rather than the other.

You are correct in saying that 'chief design engineer' is better than 'head design engineer', which no English speaker would use. It is simply that 'design engineer' is properly (or more usually) collocated with 'chief' and not 'head.' Similarly chief director etc. Generally speaking, 'head' works better as a description (Mr. Smith, head of the U.K.'s biggest bank) and 'chief' as an actual job title (Chief Medical Officer Joe Bloggs), but this is not a hard and fast rule.

You will not be thrown out of the translators' union for using the wrong collocation.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-24 06:34:21 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I am quite pleased with that sentence \"It is simply that \'design engineer\' is properly (or more usually) collocated with \'chief\' and not \'head.\'\" This is a very grand way of saying \'because it just is, that\'s why.\' :)

Clive Wilshin
Local time: 01:29
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 126
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Irene Chernenko: Yes, it is simply a matter of восприятие на слух.
2 mins

agree  zmejka
1 hr

agree  David Knowles: head master/mistress/teacher and head chef are the only ones I can think of where head is used attributively,
3 hrs

agree  marfus
9 hrs

agree  RuthYang
19 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Head = noun; chief = adjective


Explanation:
This is off the top of my head so I'm not saying this is a rule (and would be interested to hear of any exceptions people can think of)... but I've always thought that when it comes to job titles, "chief" is only used as an adjective (Chief Something), and so "Chief of Department" is impossible, whereas "Head of such-and-such a department" is a perfectly acceptable job title. So I think your instincts are right.

Clive makes a good point about the words both meaning "head" anyway, and it's strange how these collocations become set in stone by usage over time.

Teresa Pearce
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 32
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search