Poll: How often do you come across abbreviations while translating?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:25
SITE STAFF
Mar 16, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you come across abbreviations while translating?".

This poll was originally submitted by Anatolian. View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anatolian  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 18:25
Member (2013)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Acronyms Mar 16, 2016

The question can also be regarded as "how often do you come across acronyms while translating?".

Thanks.

[Değişiklik saati 2016-03-16 08:22 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:25
Member (2006)
German to English
Other - Frequently Mar 16, 2016

And if I do not know what they should be, I ask or leave it as it is and inform the customer when delivering as unfortunately, many differnt customers (or at least their well paid engineers) live in a world of their own which leads to them creatig quite ammusing abbreviations.
And it gets even more funny when "Dr." or "Prof." is at the front of the title☺


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very frequently Mar 16, 2016

That's why I have been building an abbreviations/acronyms glossary for 20 years, which by now is 280 pages long...

[Edited at 2016-03-16 10:23 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Mar 16, 2016

The problem is when they are undefined, so I usually insist that clients using them must also define them, otherwise they get left untouched in the translation. It saves me loads of time and frustration.

My collaboration condition number 6 reads something like this: "The accurate translation of abbreviations and/or acronyms that have not been defined in the original text cannot be guaranteed, except for the most common (NATO, IBM, KPI, etc)."


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Acronyms are not the same as abbreviations Mar 16, 2016

I answered usually, after hovering over 'always'.

The pedant in me insists that acronyms are words formed from the initial letters of others.
Such as AIDS/SIDA, radar - from ra(dio) d(etection) a(nd) r(anging) - and laser, which are hardly regarded as abbreviations these days.

It depends what you mean by abbreviations, too. Simply titles like Dr, Mr, Mrs, or PhD, MSc and so on are strictly abbreviations, not to mention the bl. a. (= among other things) which some Danish writers seem to use as a kind of extended comma. Far from all, to be fair! Just as some English writers pepper their texts with etc. or even worse, ect.

While acronyms are often easy to find and translate or not, as appropriate, some abbreviations are a real challenge.
Like the recent spgl. in Danish to English KudoZ, which nobody found an answer to. It was not for lack of trying on my part!

I too collect lists of abbreviations and buy or subscribe to other people's. The medical abbreviations list is 'only' five or six pages long, and a lot of the entries are gleaned from colleagues here who have contributed to KudoZ.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
All the time Mar 16, 2016

I'm a tech translator and technology, especially information technology, is probably the area that is changing the most and most difficult to keep up with. As a result, I am constantly coming up against new acronyms. Entire sentences can be littered with 'em.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
@ Anatolian Mar 16, 2016

Anatolian wrote:

The question can also be regarded as "how often do you come across acronyms while translating?".

Thanks.

[Değişiklik saati 2016-03-16 08:22 GMT]


The correct term is 'abbreviations' - acronyms are abbreviations that can be pronounced and represent a subset of all abbreviations.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
All the time Mar 16, 2016

I have hardly ever had a document that didn't contain a bunch of abbreviations, and I've been translating for more than 40 years.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:25
Member
English to French
Always Mar 16, 2016

Just confirmed that two different abbreviations in the same doc. can mean the same thing. Or not.
A PITA, AFAIC.

Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 17:25
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
@Philippe Mar 16, 2016

Never been moved to use this one before, but your post made me LOL. Thank you!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:25
Member (2006)
German to English
Question Mar 16, 2016

Julian Holmes wrote:

I'm a tech translator and technology, especially information technology, is probably the area that is changing the most and most difficult to keep up with. As a result, I am constantly coming up against new acronyms. Entire sentences can be littered with 'em.


Hi Julian, how are things over there? What does an abbreviation look like in Japanese?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:25
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
To Christine Mar 16, 2016

Hello,

Could it be possible that spgl stands for Spanglish?

Such as suggestion.

Greeting to everyone!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Answer Mar 17, 2016

Michael Harris wrote:

...

Hi Julian, how are things over there? What does an abbreviation look like in Japanese?


Hmm, could be a lot better. A customer canceled a 1.2 million yen job the other day - you do the math.

In answer to your question

Japanese engineers will indiscriminately use English abbreviations and acronyms to show they 'understand' English, when in fact they misuse them in a lot of cases or interpret them in their own way.

If 4 Kanji characters are used for place names or dept. names in an in-document, they are shortened by taking the 1st and 3rd characters or the 2nd and 4th characters so you have to rack your brains to figure out what it means. They conveniently forget that it's people outside the company who have to do the translation and more often than not they do not provide a list of 'local' terms.

Otherwise,
Words like 'speed controller' will get contracted to 'speecon'. You either know it or not.
And, they coin new terms to make them sound like English - these are called 'Japanese English' which, at first glance, 'sounds' like English but when you really think about it, it really makes no sense at all. So, you have to treat each text with suspicion.
I had the misfortune to bump into one yesterday. A component called a 'drain up mecha.' 'mecha' is a contracted form for 'mechanism' but it still doesn't help you understand, does it.
I sent it back to the customer since the term is accepted in the Japanese market for a component in a heat exchange unit in an air conditioning system. I'm still scratching my head after even after doing an extensive search on the web. All hits are for Japanese manufacturers so, once again, this is Japanese English. There probably is a 'real ' English term out there somewhere but you can't even begin to guess what it is by looking at the coined Japanese English term.

HTH


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:25
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Always and many Mar 17, 2016

Technical/engineering documents represent the largest slice of my jobs. And let me tell you: these people just love abbreviations. They are all over the documents.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

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

Poll: How often do you come across abbreviations while translating?

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 »
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