Translation of tourist information
Thread poster: Katrien De Clercq

Katrien De Clercq  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:02
Member (2006)
French to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 17, 2008


I don't know if this topic has already been discussed or not, but I didn't have the time to look it up. I'm struggling with a problem for quite some time now about tourist translations. I'm updating a tourist brochure on Ireland (a brochure that I translated myself a while ago). What do you do with names of festivals, places, centres, etc.? Do you translate them or do you leave them in the source language? Sometimes you find an equivalent in your language, sometimes not. For example, the name of one of the centres in Ireland is "Nathan Kingerlee Outdoor Training Centre". I left it like this in Dutch, but on the other hand you have "Killarney Riding Stables" which can be translated, but which I didn't do. But is it wise to do this? I find it confusing. Thank you for your tips!


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Local time: 02:02
Spanish to English
Considerations Dec 17, 2008

Think about it from the point of view of a potential foreign tourist. What reaction would he receive if he asked a taxi to take him to the (foreign translation of) "Killarney Riding Stables"? Wouldn't he have better luck trying various pronunciations of the original "Killarney Riding Stables"?
You can always put an explanation in parenthesis of the site, assuming there is no relevant description in the tourist guide.
There was an extensive discussion last week on this theme as related to churches, etc., and the general consensus was to leave the oroginal alone.

[Edited at 2008-12-17 13:57 GMT]

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:02
English to Dutch
+ ...
Depends... Dec 17, 2008

If these are names the tourists actually need to get to that place, if it is likely that they will be written like this on road signs for instance, I usually leave the original and put a translation between brackets or a small explanation after the name (but only the first time they appear in the text, or it will become unreadable).
For instance: ....Outdoor Training Centre (center for outdoor sports).... or ...Outdoor Training Center, where outdoor sports are the main activity,.... etc. Never mind the exact meaning, you get the idea.

If it does not matter, just translate them. But keep in mind that with tourist brochures, the text is not just supposed to be attractive (and probably commercial), but also practical and useful.

Good luck!

P.S. Like Richard said, basically

[Edited at 2008-12-17 13:28 GMT]

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:02
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Both Dec 18, 2008

Most tourists coming to Ireland will have a basic knowledge of English, so Riding Stable and Outdoor Training Center will not make problems. But generally? If you get a brochure of some place in China and all the names are in Chinese - does not sound very useful. Even German or French brochures need to be translated fully, with the original names mentioned at the first appearance. The readability of the text suffers if there are too many foreign words which have no meaning to the reader.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:02
French to English
Both II Dec 18, 2008

Just to add, not only will people need the "local" name when they get there to find a place, etc. as has been said already, they may also fancy a quick scout around the internet, for example, before they go, to see if it really is worth visiting. You'll need the local name for that, even if you just want to find some pictures.

And yes, some kind of translation to let people reading the brochure know roughly what an attraction is.

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Translation of tourist information

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