Resources for those writing in English
Thread poster: RHELLER
RHELLER
United States
Local time: 05:49
French to English
+ ...
Dec 23, 2004

There have been some interesting questions recently in the English kudoz section dealing with grammar, usage, and style.

In addition to differences among English-speaking countries, there are also stylistic differences which may vary quite a bit. That adds to the "spice" of language and gives writers more possibilities.

Sometimes, there is no "correct" answer, just preferences. Below is just one point of view on the matter.

--------------------------------------------
From the Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch.

House Style.
Some questions have no "true" answers, only competing standards used in different places. There are of course differences in spelling and punctuation in various countries, but "house style" refers to the choices about (mostly minor) matters that each publishing house sets on its own. Newspaper publishers, for instance, often use different rules than book publishers do. It's not a question of which is "right" or "wrong"; learn to suit your mechanics to the forum for which you're writing. See Apostrophe, Capitalization, Citation, Commas, Dash, Ellipses, Italics, Numbers, and Punctuation and Spaces.

http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/h.html#house

more resources:

http://www.libraryspot.com/grammarstyle.htm


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:49
German to English
Resources for writers Dec 23, 2004

Rita Heller wrote:
Sometimes, there is no "correct" answer, just preferences. Below is just one point of view on the matter.

--------------------------------------------
From the Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch.

House Style.
Some questions have no "true" answers, only competing standards used in different places. There are of course differences in spelling and punctuation in various countries, but "house style" refers to the choices about (mostly minor) matters that each publishing house sets on its own.
It's not a question of which is "right" or "wrong"; learn to suit your mechanics to the forum for which you're writing.



Hi Rita, thanks for bringing up one of my favorite topics!

It reminds me that a translator is first and foremost a writer, and that a good translator is a perfectionist when it comes to writing in his or her target language. A writer is highly sensitive to the nuances, grammar, style and mechanics of the language she writes in.

As to your point about a writer's personal preferences, it is of course true that house style varies from one publication to another. The New Yorker (a very well-written magazine and highly recommended reading for translators wishing to keep their language skills fresh) prefers "coöperate" to cooperate or co-operate. It is the house style preference. So, I agree that "some" questions have no "true" answers. As your reference rightly points out, 'house style' refers to the choices about (mostly minor) matters.

But let's say someone is translating a scientific study about infants into American English. The translator would want to know what the standards are for scientific studies. The ideal resource for questions about mechanics might be:

"The American Medical Association Manual of Style" (which)"provides instructions for authors and editors preparing research papers for review and publication (AMA Manual at Amazon.com). The Writer's Guide to AMA Style applies AMA style as it appears in published papers in medical journals. The result is a research style that readers familiar with medical publications will find eminently appropriate and correct in research papers."


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 05:49
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
context(ual) discussions Dec 23, 2004

Hi Kim!
You are so right...
Context is the most important thing for translators ...but lively discussions make it so much more fun

and let me take advantage of this forum to wish you and all of my colleagues a great holiday and New Year. I am an eternal optimist (probably too naive) and still pray for peace on earth!

p.s. should I have written naïve?))


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Monique Laville  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:49
Italian to French
+ ...
favourite topic Dec 27, 2004

I generally refer to the Book of english usage. The Economist brief style guide is interesting too and easier to transport!:

http://www.economist.com/research/StyleGuide/


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