How to deal with acronyms and abbreviations in Diptrans Exam
Thread poster: Rebecca Newall

Rebecca Newall  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:15
French to English
+ ...
Nov 25, 2010

I will be sitting the IOL diptrans French-English in January and would like some advice on how to deal with acronyms and abbreviations (which the French seem to use in abundance!) If there is not an English equivalent what should be done?

For example if I were to come across this in a paper:

"... l'Association francaise des biotechnologies vegetales (AFBV)..."

So the obvious translation would be "the French association of vegetable biotechnologies..." but what should I do about the AFVB? Keep the original, or make a new abbreviation: FAVB?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you.


Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
My approach Nov 25, 2010

In a real life situation I would look on the Internet to see whether it is a public or private body. If it is public then I translate its name. If it is private then I don't, unless they themselves have translated their name on their website. If it is possible to provide a clue I do so, e.g. with the bank Banco Popular. But in the case at hand the title provides important information but is also long, so I would translate it into English, all lower case (except for French), and maintain the French acronym. I would probably even put (AFBV, the French acronym) the first time. This is what I was taught at uni.

I don't know what you should do in an exam situation though.


JaneAlison  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:15
French to English
Keep the acronym but explicate in brackets Nov 25, 2010

I don't whether its the 'official' way to do it for DipTrans but if its a proper name you should never translate it, so if its in full in the source text then you keep it in French in the translation but with either an explication or a translation in brackets (careful because végétales in this context would more likely be translated as plant than vegetable). Similarly if its an acronym in the source text then again keep the acronym but explicate in brackets or with a footnote.

Hope that helps


Elizabeth Faracini  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
Member (2010)
Italian to English
+ ...
Translator's note Nov 26, 2010

Hi Rebecca,

I think that you can use a translator's note in this case. I took the IT>EN exam last January, and I remember there was a book title in one article. I was not sure if there was a standard equivalent to this title in English, so I translated the title, but made a translator's note that if I had access to the proper resources, I would check for the standard English translation. I passed the exam, so I suppose they accepted my note! You could use a similar method.

This is an excerpt from page 12 of the DipTrans handbook:

"Translator’s notes may be used when a needed equivalent cannot be traced, given the
resources available at the time. The translator / candidate then needs to indicate the
specific sources that could be consulted in order to solve the problem (a particular
online dictionary; a website; a specialist etc). A generic translator’s note such as: ‘If I
had access to the Internet, I could find…’ would be deemed inappropriate."

I hope this is useful, and good luck.



Rebecca Newall  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:15
French to English
+ ...
Thank you Dec 14, 2010

Thanks for your help with this, that has made things clearer.

One more thing though, if I am keeping the French and doing a gloss/footnote, should I put the French into italics or not?

Thanks (again!)


xxxStella Conso
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:15
English to Portuguese
Do we translate the title also? May 17, 2015

In the diptrans exam, do we translate the titles of each paper also?
And when the paper has bullet points? Do we need to put bullet points when translating?

Thanks a lot


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How to deal with acronyms and abbreviations in Diptrans Exam

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