Localisation and style?
Thread poster: Mark Sanderson

Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 02:11
Chinese to English
Jul 15, 2015

Localisation and style?

I recently completed a localisation project for a small piece of software and its associated user guide. I was given an Excel document which contained the software commands and a PDF version of the user guide.

When I was going through the files I wasn’t sure if I should change the style to improve the localisation, or just stick to the format that they used. For instance, the source documents always used quotation marks around the names of buttons on the device, e.g. “press the ‘confirm’ button to…” which I thought would be better without the quotation marks, e.g. “press the confirm button to…”.

Should I have taken these quotation marks out, or just stuck to the job of translating? Is this kind of styling the job of a localiser or will someone come in after me to polish it all up?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 01:11
English to Indonesian
+ ...
It's more than translating Jul 15, 2015

Mark Sanderson wrote:
Should I have taken these quotation marks out


Yes. And you should use the appropriate capital letters:

Press the Confirm button

Cheers,

Hans


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:11
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Hmm Jul 15, 2015

Meta Arkadia wrote:
Mark Sanderson wrote:
Should I have taken these quotation marks out

Yes. And you should use the appropriate capital letters:
Press the Confirm button


It depends on the language, but yes, the most commonly used style in English software is to use title case for menu items and button text.

However, unless you have authorisation from the client to change the style, I don't think you should change it. If you are certain that you will be able to edit all of the text in that software and/or help files and that your translations will replace those in the client's TM, then you can fix the style. But if the file you're working on is just one portion of a larger text, then your style will be inconsistent with the rest of the text, which will make the client's product look bad. Or, if your changes are added to a TM that uses the other style, then future translators will struggle to know whether to follow the TM match or to make the translation more consistent.

There is nothing wrong with using quotes, though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 01:11
English to Indonesian
+ ...
IT stylesheets Jul 15, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:
It depends on the language, but yes, the most commonly used style in English software is to use title case for menu items and button text.


It looks very much like Mark translates from Chinese to English. As far as I know, there are no capital letters in Chinese. According to all IT stylesheets I've seen, you don't use quotation marks in this case. The only conclusion I can draw, is to localise Mark's example as I've done.

Cheers,

Hans

[Edited at 2015-07-15 08:32 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sharon Toh, MITI MCIL
Singapore
Local time: 02:11
Member (2009)
Chinese to English
+ ...
If translating from Chinese Jul 17, 2015

Meta Arkadia wrote:

It looks very much like Mark translates from Chinese to English. As far as I know, there are no capital letters in Chinese.


Indeed, and he said, "the source documents always used quotation marks around the names of buttons on the device, e.g. “press the ‘confirm’ button to…”..."

If "the source documents" are Chinese documents, then sure, the names of buttons, menus, etc. would have been within quotation marks. In Chinese, there are indeed no capital letters, and anything that is usually capitalised in English is, more often than not, placed within quotation marks in Chinese. When translating from Chinese into English, I don't always reproduce the quotation marks. I do that only if it is necessary in English or if the style guide or whatever other instructions that I need to follow say so. Likewise, when translating from English into Chinese, I almost always add quotation marks in such circumstances as the names of buttons, etc.

That said, I agree with Samuel that style consistency with the rest of the text is important.


[Edited at 2015-07-17 11:38 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

Localisation and style?

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
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 »



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