Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Translating names of streets, paintings
Thread poster: Josephine Cassar

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:16
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
May 9, 2013

Hi all, I am finding difficulty about whether to translate names of places, streets, paintings. The problem is that some can be translated but some cannot. For example, Palazzo X can be translated but then the street no, or other streets cannot, also the names of some paintings, even people's names- some can be translated but some cannot, so I think it is better that you leave them as in original text, but would like your opinions. I know that names of paintings have to italicized. They are all part of a text, not headings, thank you.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Boban Stevanovski
Local time: 13:16
German to Macedonian
+ ...
Translating names of streets, paintings May 9, 2013

In my practic I leave them usualy as in original or rarely translate and original put in parentheses. It could to be funny if you try to translate (some) foreign name, especially name of street, people, cities, etc.

Regards,


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Depends on tradition May 9, 2013

Well, this is exactly part of what our work is all about: finding out what to translate and what not.

In my language pairs (several languages into Spanish), translating an element or not very much depends on history, tradition and popular usage, so indeed it requires some research, and if you have a CAT tool, keeping a detailed record for future instances of the same term.

In Spanish we translate many names of places and other geographical names (rivers, mountain ranges and hills, passes, lakes...) if they historically have been related to our country or culture, and the same happens with international royal names, names of popes, names of historical people, etc.

It all really depends and you will have to research each instance. I do not speak Maltese, but my instinct is that there would be no general rule...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:16
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Ask the client May 9, 2013

Yes, it's a tricky problem. Some cities have regularly used names in other languages - Firenze = Florence, Bordeaux = Burdeos, and so on. So do some well-known buildings, paintings, sculptures and people. But not all.
I once translated a book about Rembrandt and had to do a lot of (interesting) research about the names of his paintings and I recently translated an essay about the works of Rodin. The client said he wanted me to retain their French names rather than their well-known English names (e.g. Le Penseur, not The Thinker, Le Baiser, not The Kiss).
I think the best thing would be to ask the client how he would like you to deal with this.
Best wishes,
Jenny


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 15:16
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Do Not Translate May 9, 2013

I think you should not translate names of places, streets, paintings. You should leave them as they are. However, the only part that can be translated is the part that says street, avenue, square, lake, etc. As an example, suppose we have a street name such as "Brick Street" and I want to translate that into Turkish. I would write the translation as "Brick Caddesi" where Caddesi means Street in Turkish. Notice that I do not translate the word "Brick" at all. That should be left as it is.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
One interesting point in Portuguese May 9, 2013

An American PM was quite interested in discovering the rules used in Portuguese for country names gender, since we often have to precede them (or not) with an article.

To illustrate, a few genders (and numbers) for countries in Portuguese:

Feminine: England, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Danmark, Belgium, Greece, Russia, Croatia, Italy, Romania, South Africa, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea (both), Thailand, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina...

Masculine: Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Panama, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Canada, Japan, Ecuador, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Vatican, Morocco...

Masculine plural: USA, UAE...

Feminine plural: Philippines, Bahamas, BVI...

"Genderless" (i.e. no article is used): Portugal, Cuba, Mozambique, Ghana, Israel, Malta, Cyprus...

There is absolutely no rule, however any Brazilian child will intuitively know them all by age 10 or so (though they might not know yet that many of these countries exist).


On a side issue, one funny thing happens between PTxEN regarding Peru and Turkey.

A turkey (the bird) in PT is "peru". The country, Peru, remains unchanged.
Meanwhile Turkey (the country) in PT is Turquia.
Therefore, "a turkey from Peru" in PT would be "um peru do Peru".
Meanwhile "um peru da Turquia" in EN would be "a turkey from Turkey".


Direct link Reply with quote
 

NataliaAnne  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:16
Portuguese to English
@ José May 9, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

On a side issue, one funny thing happens between PTxEN regarding Peru and Turkey.

A turkey (the bird) in PT is "peru". The country, Peru, remains unchanged.
Meanwhile Turkey (the country) in PT is Turquia.
Therefore, "a turkey from Peru" in PT would be "um peru do Peru".
Meanwhile "um peru da Turquia" in EN would be "a turkey from Turkey".



Finally someone else thinks this is funny – I’ve been telling people for years and no-one has ever been amused!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 13:16
German to English
+ ...
Depends May 9, 2013

There are some place names that have an "official"translation - "Red Square" being one that comes to mind, while most others don't (e.g. Place de la Concorde). Street names I wold say don't translate, squares sometimes do. If there is no official translation I wouldn't do it myself unless the meaning of the place name was important for otehr reasons.

Paintings I think is less clear. There is clearly a tradition of translating some painting names into English (Klimt's The Kiss, David's Death of Marat) but others not (e.g. Déjeuner sur l'herbe). I think non-translation is the exception, so I would (and do) translate the names of paintings.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Stephen Reader
Local time: 13:16
German to English
W/ Tomás, Jenny, David ... and... May 9, 2013

... and, in the case of (as yet) *not* internationally known works of art, my tendency is to leave them in the orig. lang. (in my case German; different issue with non-Roman script in the orig., say Cyrillic, Indian langs., Chinese...) but - from essay to essay - add an *approximation* (Option: in inverted commas; but not distinguished as title in italics etc., even where a trans. could work as one) in Eng. in brackets, especially if an understanding of the title is central to understanding the work. Another exception: artists often publish their work abroad with an Eng. title (I don't mean where the only title is Eng.), so it can be useful to confer with them.
Consistency in translating titles can become ridiculous, though, when in catalogues, an abstract title like XY +15 is given in one type in the source lang. and after an oblique, in another type (e.g. grey or italic) in the target lang. 'Consistency' would dictate you duplicate a German artist's English-only title too...

As for addresses, names of houses, etc., you other contributors here have said it all. Tian-an-Men, Heavenly Peace... Le Michelange...
And then there are publishers' respective style guides...

Best
Stephen


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:16
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The beat way May 9, 2013

Boban Stevanovski wrote:

In my practic I leave them usualy as in original or rarely translate and original put in parentheses. It could to be funny if you try to translate (some) foreign name, especially name of street, people, cities, etc.

Regards,


I do the same.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Speak for your target languages only... May 9, 2013

Boban Stevanovski wrote:
In my practic I leave them usualy as in original or rarely translate and original put in parentheses. It could to be funny if you try to translate (some) foreign name, especially name of street, people, cities, etc.

While this could work for your target languages, it would be completely outrageous in my language not to translate names that have always had a name in Spanish. It would be really funny if we started to use names of places in foreign languages within our Spanish text and someone tried not to translate them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Are you sure? May 9, 2013

Yaotl Altan wrote:
Boban Stevanovski wrote:
In my practic I leave them usualy as in original or rarely translate and original put in parentheses. It could to be funny if you try to translate (some) foreign name, especially name of street, people, cities, etc.

I do the same.

So you write like this? "Después de nuestro periplo europeo (Hamburg, Milano, Praha, Wien y Salzburg), volamos a London y paseamos a orillas del Thames. Bella ciudad, residencia de la reina Elizabeth. Al día siguiente tomamos el ferrocarril a Wales y allá el barco que nos llevaría a New York, haciendo escala en Dublin." Sorry, I can't believe that.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Definitely! May 9, 2013

Boban Stevanovski wrote:
It could to be funny if you try to translate (some) foreign name, especially name of street, people, cities, etc.


Worse, if someone back-translated those names.

Two places in California, USA:
Escondido = means "hidden" in both PT and ES
Las Pulgas = means "the fleas" in ES (in PT it would be "As Pulgas", close enough)

A friend once spent his vacation in a well-known city in the hinterland of the Sao Paulo state, Brazil, named Sao Jose do Rio Preto. To make it sound fancier, he translated its name into DE: "Heilige Joseph Von Schwarze Fluße", so everybody would think he went skiing at some Swiss resort. Yet NO postal worker would ever recognize it after translation.

This situation tends to depend on the language pair.

For instance, while Paris remains unchanged in PT/EN and others, it becomes "Parigi" in IT. While Roma remains unchanged in PT, it becomes Rome in EN/FR. London becomes Londres in PT/FR, but Londra in IT. So it's a whole mess.

In Brazil we avoid translating all US cities with saints' names to avoid confusion. So San Francisco remains unchanged, as our Sao Francisco river runs by 5 states. San Jose too, as we have countless (?) cities named Sao José of something. St. Louis is another one, as Sao Luís is the capital of the Brazilian state of Maranhao. (I'm avoiding tildes here, as Proz servers don't handle them well.)

Meanwhile New York has three spellings widely used in Brazil: unchanged, Nova York, and Nova Iorque. Same for New Jersey: unchanged, Nova Jersey, Nova Jérsei, and rarely Nova Jérsia. New Hampshire is usually Nova Hampshire (f.), but sometimes found as Novo Hampshire (m.).

This could go on and on; no rules other than common usage.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:16
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ask the client May 10, 2013

Thank you all for your contribution. I asked the client who had not replied by the time the work was due to be submitted, so I left every name as it was as I could not translate 1 and not the others, as there would have been no consistency. But it has been a most interesting discussion, with many points of view that make sense too. The text included names of books too, in a foreign language, so I left them as they were, as I did not see sense in translating names of books or articles too, a real mix-up, it would have been.
Thank you.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:16
English to Polish
+ ...
I translate May 11, 2013

I translate until I meet violent opposition, and then some. Mostly have fun annoying people who don't believe in translating geographical names (and pretend established old translations don't exist), though.

[Edited at 2013-05-11 01:26 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Translating names of streets, paintings

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



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