Translating U.S. payroll - how to deal with U.S.-specific terms ?
Thread poster: Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Local time: 12:10
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Dec 18, 2011

I am translating a U.S. payroll into German and would like to know how you would deal with U.S.-specific terms, like those referring to health care.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:10
English to Spanish
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Notes Dec 18, 2011

It would helpful if you could provide some examples of what you refer to, but as a generic answer I would recommend the use of translator's notes to explain any specific terms, acronyms, etc. that do not lend themselves to direct translation.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:10
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Payroll terms Dec 18, 2011

I cannot give a specific answer because I do not translate into German.

However, if I were translating into English (and I have translated pay stubs from Spanish and Italian into English), I would do the following:

Where the term is written out in words, I would add the name of the country in order to make it clear that this particular system is a foreign one (and something that the reader of the translation should research if they need more information about it) and maybe include some kind of description in your "translation":
Fictitious examples: German National Health Care Insurance Contribution Fund (abbreviation/acronym in German if applicable) / Italian Employer Monthly Profit-Sharing Investment Program (not necessarily the direct translation, but it gives the reader an idea of what the deduction/payment of this line item is for).

Whatever information/modification is necessary in order to inform the reader 1) this term refers to a foreign system/plan/program and 2) this is the terminology you would need in order to find out more information about the details of this system/plan/program.

Where there is an abbreviation or acronym used (that will not fit into the often small space allotted on the form), you can use the original abbreviation or the translated abbreviation (depending on the case) and add a footnote (or use *, **, ***, etc.)
Fictitious examples: GNHCICF*, IMUF**

At the bottom of the page:
*German National Health Care Insurance Contribution Fund (German abbreviation)
**Italian Metalworkers Union Fees (Italian abbreviation)
or the other way around: German abbreviation*, Italian abbreviation**
*German National Health Care Insurance Contribution Fund (GNHCICF)
**Italian Metalworkers Union Fees (IMUF)

[Edited at 2011-12-18 21:56 GMT]

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Translating U.S. payroll - how to deal with U.S.-specific terms ?

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