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client wants to remove the article "the"
Thread poster: French Foodie

French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:43
French to English
+ ...
Jan 10, 2007

In a recent French to English translation I did for a school of visual communication called ECV (Ecole Communication Visuelle), the client took all the articles out in front of the name of the school. His reasoning behing this is that the name of the school is like a "brand". But it sounds odd to me, especially since the article "le" has been left in French. My ear says I should put them all back in, but then I realize that when we talk about NYU, for example, we don't use the article (we would never say "I go to the NYU", but we would say "I go to the London School of Economics).
I would really apprepriate the opinions of professionals, especially since my client would like an answer ASAP.

Here is an example :

L’ecv... est avant tout une ambition partagée par tous ceux qui, de près ou de loin, participent à son dessein : préparer et former avec succès des étudiants aux métiers de la création artistique.
Les qualités d’une école s’évaluent au regard du devenir de ses jeunes diplômés ; ces qualités se jugent aussi par le niveau du diplôme décerné : le titre délivré par l’ecv est inscrit au niveau II sur le répertoire de la CNCP * .
Engagée dans les échanges européens d’Erasmus et membre de Cumulus, réseau international de grandes écoles d’art, l’ecv offre à ses étudiants une approche élargie de la création et une formation sans frontières. Un avenir professionnel se construit aujourd’hui à l’échelle de l’international.

"(The) ecv is above all an ambition shared by all those, near and far, who contribute to its purpose: to successfully prepare and train students for a career in artistic creation.
A school’s abilities are evaluated on the potential opportunities afforded to its young graduates, as well as the level of respect its diploma commands. The diploma delivered by (the) ecv is registered at level II on the CNCP* repertoire.
A participant in European Erasmus exchanges and member of Cumulus, an international association of universities and colleges of art, design and media, (the) ecv provides its students with a broad approach to creation and an education without limitations. The ecv experience today helps its students build a professional future on an international scale.


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Alan R King
Local time: 11:43
Basque to English
+ ...
Let the client decide on this one Jan 10, 2007

Hi Mara,

As you have pointed out with your NYU example, English is not totally averse to the no-article usage pattern. So if this were my translation, I think I would probably give the client the benefit of the doubt on this one. To protect your professional dignity/authority, you might want to point out (trying not to sound like you're on the defensive) that in fact both solutions are correct in English (I believe they are), and say that you will therefore do it the way the client prefers. As I say, that's what I would do in order to get myself off the hook, please the client, and avoid giving myself more work!

Good luck,
Alan


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
No article Jan 10, 2007

Hi Mara,

You answered your own question. Visit the website of the London School of Economics:
http://www.lse.ac.uk/

When they write it in full, they use the article but when they use the abbreviation, they do not:

Unrestricted funding is crucial for LSE as it allows the School to direct funds to areas of greatest need.

For more information on how your donations improve the lives of everyone at LSE


LSE offers a unique opportunity to study the social sciences

The School offers courses not only in economics and political science, but also in a wide range of social science subjects, taught within 19 departments and a number of interdisciplinary institutes.


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:43
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan 10, 2007

Thanks Marijke, I think I started second-guessing myself in the pre-delivery panic
Your LSE ref is great and just the thing I need to show my client when the article is appropriate and when it isn't.


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:43
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
You could have used KudoZ Jan 10, 2007

Hi Mara,

Your issue would have been a good KudoZ question for either the French to English or English monolingual section.

Regards,
Steffen


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:43
French to English
Place names?? Jan 10, 2007

Just thinking out loud really....

Seems to me that when the name of the institution includes a place name as the first word - London School of Economics, MIT, Birmingham University, East Grinstead Girls' School or whatever - then you could probably be justified in either including "the" or leaving it out, depending on euphony (if that's the word) of the sentence or, indeed, the client's preference. Both sound OK to me, anyhow.

I would hazard a guess that this is because the place name makes it pretty clear which institution you're talking about, assuming there aren't two such institutions of the same type in the same place.

Whereas, when it's just the/a School of Visual Communication, you have to know which one you mean. Fair enough if there is only one, and fair enough if the client is trying to promote SVC with no article as a brand, but in fairness to you, notwithstanding those comments, I think most EMT speakers would be inclined to use an article in front of any structure of [no place name] + [institution type] + [subject area].

Just some thoughts...


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sarahjeanne
Brazil
Local time: 06:43
Portuguese to English
+ ...
the University of... Jan 10, 2007

it's true that you don't say "i go to the NYU" but you ALWAYS say "i go to the U of M or i go to the University of Minnesota" in the same way i don't think it sounds natural to say "I go to School of Business" (sounds a bit cave-manish) i go to THE School...

I think it depends on whether you're using the noun first or an adjective.


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Monika Silea  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 12:43
English to Romanian
+ ...
No article Jan 10, 2007

I agree with the customer, if the "title" of their establishment is settled to SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS. As I have learnt in school, there are certain place names that are always accompanied by definite article : THE US, THE CONGO, but one would never say THE LONDON. Usually, acronyms are preceeded by the article. If the context uses just the term "School" to refer to the entity, then it should use the article, because it shows that the concept is known to the speaker (i.e. "The School" - instead of School of Visual Arts).

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topdate
Local time: 12:43
English to Turkish
depends Jan 10, 2007

You don' use "the" with abbreviations but when you write the full name you use "the".That is the shortse answer to ben given.
Ex: The United Nations launched a new programme
UN launched a new programme


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
There is a RULE and the client is right (sorry!) Jan 10, 2007

Here in the US, there is a rule (at least for those of us in publishing who following the highly regarded Chicago Manual of Style):

Acronyms are read as words and, except when used adjectivally, are rarely preceded by a, an, or the (“member nations of NATO”).

The reason for Sarah's confusion is that ECU and NYU are acronyms, each read as a single word, but U of Mich is not.

I also agree with the poster who said to let the client decide. Having told someone how to handle a grammatical point (preferably with supporting documentation), if the person chooses to do it a different way, it's best to let it go.

[Edited at 2007-01-10 14:46]


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:43
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No need to be sorry, Patricia Jan 10, 2007

This is exactly the kind of professional input I was asking for.
Thanks to you and all the others who responded so quickly to this question. I was confidently able to correct the text without using the article and thus please the client, except of course where the article was necessary grammatically (e.g. when used adjectivally) - the problem was the client had removed them *everywhere*.
Thanks again.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:43
Italian to English
Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations and the Chicago Manual of Style Jan 10, 2007

Patricia Rosas wrote:

Here in the US, there is a rule (at least for those of us in publishing who following the highly regarded Chicago Manual of Style):

Acronyms are read as words and, except when used adjectivally, are rarely preceded by a, an, or the (“member nations of NATO”).

The reason for Sarah's confusion is that ECU and NYU are acronyms, each read as a single word, but U of Mich is not.



[Edited at 2007-01-10 14:46]


It's a little more complicated than that, Patricia.

The Chicago Manual distinguishes acronyms (read as a word: e.g. NATO) from initialisms (letters read separately: e.g. BBC) and abbreviations (these include the first and last letter of the word: e.g. Mr.).

The section that you quote (15.9) continues:
>
"Initialisms are read as a series of letters and are often preceded by an article ("member nations of the EU").
>

According to this definition, NYU ("en-ooay-yoo") is an initialism and therefore may - not "must", "may" - be preceded by a definite article, as can LSE for that matter.

ECV is difficult to pronounce as an acronym in English and would normally be read as an initialism ("ee-see-vee"), which therefore may or may not take a definite article. If the customer prefers it without, so much the better: it relieves Mara of a tricky judgement call.

I suspect that there is an element of UK vs US here. Like Mara, I tend by and large to use a definite article with initialisms. And my cousin certainly refers to his degree in economics from "the" LSE, whatever that institution's web site usage may be.

FWIW

Giles


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:43
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not quite Jan 10, 2007

topdate wrote:

You don' use "the" with abbreviations but when you write the full name you use "the".That is the shortse answer to ben given.
Ex: The United Nations launched a new programme
UN launched a new programme


But topdate, you *would* in fact write "The UN launched a new programme".
I think Giles is right that it a bit more complicated than that.
Again, I appreciate the input that everyone has given this topic.

[Edited at 2007-01-10 15:37]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:43
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Capitals Jan 10, 2007

In addition to all of the above, an acronym should be in capitals: ECV rather than ecv.

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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:43
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not in this case Jan 11, 2007

Tina Vonhof wrote:

In addition to all of the above, an acronym should be in capitals: ECV rather than ecv.


Thanks Tina. In this case, however, the school has specified that they wish to keep the name in lowercase. That is how it appears, with a special typeface, in all of their communications - more of a "graphic design" look I guess


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