How to translate the names of universities, schools and other similar institutions
Thread poster: Uriama de Menezes

Uriama de Menezes  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Oct 18, 2011

A colleague of mine has just asked me how I would translate the names of Brazilian universities into English and I realized I had no clear answer for her. So, I decided to check what my colleagues from ProZ would answer.

Some examples to get people started:

Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie

Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP)

Universidade Paulista (UNIP)

Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE)

Escola Paulista de Medicina / Universidade Federal de São Paulo (EPM / UNIFESP)

Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas da Universidade de São Paulo (FFLCH-USP)

Thanks in advance for contributions.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:35
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
In brackets Oct 18, 2011

Most of these can be translated with he original name in brackets after the translation.

In the last example, the part "Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas" should certainly be translated because it is not part of the university name (and does not need to be repeated in brackets).


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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:35
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Websites Oct 18, 2011

I agree with Tina. However, you should also check the websites of the institutions concerned, as they may well have their own translation of their name and you should use that as the authorised version.

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Uriama de Menezes  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks so far... Oct 18, 2011

Thanks for the answers so far.

@Tina:

The "Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas" part is not the name of the university, but it is the name of the institute (unit, branch, "college"... oh, my, I see another question appearing on the horizon). I'm not sure about other universities in Brazil, but USP is structured in a way that each institute/branch is fairly autonomous. Thus, having been a student both at IP (Instituto de Psicologia) and at FFLCH (the one mentioned earlier), it comes naturally for me to make the distinction clear. The institute's name has its own weight, it seems. Saying someone studied at FFLCH gives some information about the person's education and engenders some preconceptions which largely differ from the those related to Escola Politécnica, for example.

How important this distinction is for the translation depends, it seems, on the translation's purpose. What do you think?

Cheers.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not necessary Oct 19, 2011

Just don't bother. Especially if it's on a letter or parcel, because if you translate the name of the institution it might not reach its destination.

For example, Valencia Polytecthnic University (Spain, Europe) has just issued the edict that as of now its name is to remain inviolate in translated academic papers citing it.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
With a pinch of of salt Oct 19, 2011

B D Finch wrote:

However, you should also check the websites of the institutions concerned, as they may well have their own translation of their name ...


Yes they may indeed. However, I'd proceed with caution.. not all websites are trustworthy or well translated, I've seen some real howlers.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:35
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
.... Oct 19, 2011

[quote]

"The institute's name has its own weight, it seems. Saying someone studied at FFLCH gives some information about the person's education and engenders some preconceptions which largely differ from the those related to Escola Politécnica, for example."

I didn't mean you shouldn't translate it but you don't need to consider it part of the name OR you could just use the acronym FFLCH. You go by what you know to be situation in Brazil but sometimes it may not be possible to represent these fine distinctions (whether or not it is an independent unit and whether there is prestige attached to having studied there) in the target language and country.


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