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Off topic: Nagging tricky words
Thread poster: Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington

Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 27, 2009

There are words that keep appearing in our work and that we can never find a satisfactory answer.
Have you ever used the translation you felt was best but after you finished the job it kept popping in your mind, leaving you with the sensation that you could have done better?
I find the Spanish words "gestión" and "trámite" and their derivations very often and I must confess that sometimes I find them difficult to translate smoothly. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.


 

Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:08
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
words that you look up a dozen times and they still don't sink in Jan 28, 2009

One of the worst for me is plantear. I know what it *means*, but there are dozens of different ways of rendering it, and my brain always tries to reach for "plant," which is never, ever the right alternative.

I also found myself having to repeatedly look up "gnosologico" in the course of working on a book-length translation in the field of philosophy. I'd work on the project for a week or two, then set it aside for a while, and in every intervening lapse I would forget that for an English-speaking audience, "epistemological" is better, as "gnosological" is quite obscure.


 

JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 05:08
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Definitely, gestiones and trámites! Jan 28, 2009

Also precisamente and previa, in most contexts. And in English, accountability and empowerment.

 

Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:08
French to Spanish
+ ...
Compadre. ¡A huevo! Jan 28, 2009

Yes, I never can translate the very mexican "Compadre" and "¡A huevo!" into French.
It's so... mexican.
Any suggestion?


 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:08
Italian to English
CAT tool concordance function/text search tool Jan 28, 2009

Every translator must have his or her pet hates, which is where the concordance function of your CAT - or even just a plain vanilla text search tool - can be so useful.

They let you sift through your past work to see how you solved the crux when you were at your most brilliant , and also let you see the context.

Giles


 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:08
Spanish to English
Oh Yes Jan 28, 2009

"Gestión" and "trámite", I think I have looked them up at least a thousand times each, and just when I think I have solved the problem, I have to start all over again.

 

Jon O (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:08
Dutch to English
+ ...
in Dutch Jan 28, 2009

two that immediately spring to mind are certain uses of the words 'invulling' and 'inhoudelijk'....I'm sure more will come up...

 

RichardDeegan
Local time: 04:08
Spanish to English
Yes Jan 28, 2009

Gestion/gestiones for Span-Eng usually makes me check numerouis options, but my fave is "desarrollar/desarrollo" (I once had 15 different English variants within a document of less than 1,000 word).
The one I'm still never fully satisfied with is "cercamiento" (including one yesterday).


 

Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
gestión and trámite Jan 28, 2009

It´s reassuring to see that I am not the only one having problems with these particular words.
Like Giles said, every translator must have his/her particular hates. Perhaps we can tell each other which they are, and what solutions we have found.


 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
English > Arabic Jan 28, 2009

I once started a similar thread in the Arabic forum, and we came up with a number of words that just never translate perfectly in Arabic.
Some of my top words were
Business (very often it has to be translated into Arabic as "commercial", which just isn't satisfactory),
Access (translated as "reaching" or "possibility of reaching" or "entry"),
Community (translated as "society" or "local society" - again, not the same thing)
Online (translated as "on the internet")
Approach (translated as "method" or "way of approaching")

As a colleague pointed out, the real challenge is when you get these nicely compact compound expressions in English, such as "community access", "business approach", "online community", etc....


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:08
German to Serbian
+ ...
tenses and structure issues Jan 29, 2009

I often find myself dealing with incompatibility of English vs Serbian sentence structure.. Some structures never translate perfectly into Serbian, e.g.

verbless clauses, idioms, some highly anglophone structures, then phrases with cultural references where I have to use descriptive translation, etc..


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:08
German to English
+ ...
German > English Jan 29, 2009

I was thinking about this yesterday. For me, a couple are "qualifiziert," which seems to be used in all sorts of ways now, "sinnvoll," "aussagekräftig" (I once found the translation "substantive" and keep that in a list because I always forget it), and the ever-hated "dabei."

 

Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:08
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
pet hates! Jan 30, 2009

French:
métier, pôle, anything beginning with "mise en...", contradictoire, statuant en référés

Spanish:
autos, TRAMITE!!!!!!!!!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
The problem with "desarrollo" Jan 30, 2009

RichardDeegan wrote:
... but my fave is "desarrollar/desarrollo" (I once had 15 different English variants within a document of less than 1,000 word).


The thing is, in Spain they tend to use "desarrollar" wrongly nowadays, when the correct expression would be "llevar a cabo/ efectuar/realizar ... or simply "hacer". This is typical of "funcionario-speak"; I believe they think it sounds more active and dynamic.

My biggest problem nowadays is translating from Mexican for a long-standing client who has recently entered the market there. Their (European) Spanish staff are often baffled too by some of the words and turns of phrase that come up.


 

JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 05:08
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Gaaaah! Just hit another one. Jan 31, 2009

I just ran into another of those impossible sentences with "ubicar." Such a lovely Spanish word, but except for those rare occasions when I can get by with "place" or "locate," I almost always have to reorganize the entire sentence.

May I write "ubicate" this time? Pretty please?


And don't even talk to me about "plasmar."

[Edited at 2009-01-31 03:50 GMT]


 
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