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Poll: To find a word when specific knowledge and research isn’t enough, I fall back on:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:35
SITE STAFF
Jun 8, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "To find a word when specific knowledge and research isn’t enough, I fall back on:".

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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:35
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Answer choices Jun 8, 2013

If "intuition" and "guessing" were grouped together
and
"logic" and "common sense" were also grouped together

then there would be room for the missing options:
- ask the client
- ask a subject expert / ask on a terminology forum


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:35
French to English
+ ...
Quite! Jun 8, 2013

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

If "intuition" and "guessing" were grouped together
and
"logic" and "common sense" were also grouped together

then there would be room for the missing options:
- ask the client
- ask a subject expert / ask on a terminology forum




My thoughts entirely....


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:35
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other! Jun 8, 2013

Depends on the subject, but simply "guessing" should not be an option! As Emma says,

- ask the client
- ask a subject expert
- ask on a terminology forum

if all this fails (or I am not convinced), as a very last resource, I have, fortunately, access to a group of terminologists...


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:35
Hebrew to English
Logic Jun 8, 2013

It's the Vulcan way. Live long and prosper folks!

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:35
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
I go with Emma and Claire Jun 8, 2013

...because whose logic?

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:35
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Admit you're baffled Jun 8, 2013

Agree with Emma, but if all the suggested methods fail, you may just have to put something like "[untraced word]" plus a translator's note with your thoughts about it. Absolutely the last resort, of course.

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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely Jun 8, 2013

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

If "intuition" and "guessing" were grouped together
and
"logic" and "common sense" were also grouped together

then there would be room for the missing options:
- ask the client
- ask a subject expert / ask on a terminology forum




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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:35
French to English
Other Jun 8, 2013

I mean, isn't that what ProZ is for, by the way? If it's a field I know about (which it should be, it generally is, otherwise I have no business translating a text on the subject), then I generally also have people I can contact in the field. In that case I put the question to them and we talk about it. There is the obvious "ask the client" reflex too.

However, the above are not always possible, and sometimes a text in a field we are familiar with has a passage here or there about something new to me. Thank goodness that happens actually, otherwise I'd stagnate! So, when all else fails, I throw it into the ProZ ballpark and see what brainstorming it here can come up with.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:35
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other -- Talk to the author Jun 8, 2013

If I have the chance.

If I have exhausted all my other channels and resources. I will tell the customer what I think it should be under the circumstances and let them sort it out.

Even with 20+ years experience in some fields, I am flummoxed sometimes.

@Ty
Yes. if all else fails, try Vulcan mind melds and get to grips with the source of the problem.

Small edits

[Edited at 2013-06-08 14:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-06-08 14:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-06-09 00:55 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other: weigh the context Jun 8, 2013

We don't translate words but meanings, which can only be given by context, not just individual words or morphemes.

Consider this example: ESD-preventive wristband. In Spanish it's known simply as antistatic wristband, no acronym or additional words.

Many texts in English, especially written by software engineers and technical writers in the IT industry, are obstreperously redundant. There's always a client who cries wolf or hits the ceiling when the translator “forgot” to translate a word.

Whoever posted this poll question is not thinking like a translator.


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Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Intuition... Jun 8, 2013

that's the one thing I trust the most.



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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Unfortunately guessing plays a huge role on Kudoz Jun 8, 2013

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

However, the above are not always possible, and sometimes a text in a field we are familiar with has a passage here or there about something new to me. Thank goodness that happens actually, otherwise I'd stagnate! So, when all else fails, I throw it into the ProZ ballpark and see what brainstorming it here can come up with.


Using Kudoz is (or was in any case) a good idea, but nowadays, posting a term on Kudoz is often a matter of simply allowing others to do your guessing for you. People strut and bluff, post 100% confidence and try every trick in the book to 'sell' their answer, even if it's completely wrong and they are answering in a field and/or language they don't master. What's worse, in a couple of my language pairs, the newest trend is to agree with anything posted by a pal, right or wrong.

Before I ask people I trust and know they won't just pull an answer out of the air, I read as much as possible about the term in the source language and try to see if I can come up with a logical translation in English. If that doesn't work out, then I ask reliable translators. And if they too are stumped, then I ask the client or if it's one of those 'don't bother me' agencies, I leave a translator's note.

[Edited at 2013-06-08 15:16 GMT]


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Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:35
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
Logic Jun 8, 2013

Logic, of course... I'm a philosopher, that's what I've been trained to do

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:35
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Logic before research Jun 8, 2013

I use logic before research: what does logic tells me it may mean and can I find that or a related term in the target language. And when all else fails I post a Kudoz question. I know whose answers I can trust.

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