What to do with a text full of initials
Thread poster: teju
teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 29, 2004

Dear Prozians,
I've got a long technical text to translate from English into Spanish that's full of initials (RF, GUI, WMS, TMS).
What do you suggest is the best way to handle this? Should I first include the English initials with their meaning in parenthesis and then translate? I'm afraid that if I substitute these English initials for Spanish initials, the reader won't know what the are.

I appreciate any suggestions.

Here's a copy of some of the text.



WMS Processes

WMS1. Signing on to an RF
WMS2. Log off on the RF
WMS3. Signing on to a GUI
WMS4. Log off on the GUI
WMS5. Using the Lookup on the GUI
WMS6. Using the Lookup on the RF
WMS7. Inventory Display on a GUI


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Sarah Brenchley  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Use Spanish abbreviations if possible Dec 29, 2004

I would use the Spanish equivalent if there is one. In the case of GUI, which corresponds to Interfaz Gráfica del Usuario, the acronym IGU is used. Generally speaking, I would use the term in full with the abbreviation in brackets, the first time it appears and then continue using the abbreviation/acronym.
Best wishes,
Sarah.

http://personal.telefonica.terra.es/web/karmentxu/glosario/glosa-i.html


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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sarah Dec 29, 2004

Thank you for your prompt reply and for your suggestions. The website you gave me is good to have for future reference.

I'm wondering if anyone out there knows of another website that would have a glossary that could help me with these initials from hell. The text has to do with shipping and storing merchandise.

Some of these initials are TL, LTL, RF, WMS.

Thanks to all.
teju


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:47
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
acronyms Dec 29, 2004

I agree with Sarah. I also give the equivalent of the acronym in the target language (unless it doesn't exist), and the first time it appears in my text I also write it explicitly in parenthesis.
Maria


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Anil Goyal  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 23:17
English to Hindi
+ ...
Not always true for technical documents... Dec 30, 2004

Maria Karra wrote:

...the first time it appears in my text I also write it explicitly in parenthesis.
Maria


This could be a good strategy for a continuous document. However, for a technical document, like for GUI of a software, you can't predict which one will appear first.


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:47
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
which one appears first Dec 30, 2004

Anil Goyal wrote:

This could be a good strategy for a continuous document. However, for a technical document, like for GUI of a software, you can't predict which one will appear first.


Hi Anil. What do you mean by "which one will appear first"? What I meant was that the first time you encounter the acronym in the text (assuming you are translating the text from the beginning, and not just part of it), you can write it also explicitly in parenthesis. This applies also to software documentation, again assuming that you are translating it in the order in which the customer will read it.
Maria


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 14:47
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Translating.... Dec 30, 2004

acronyms is risky. I would have never translated GUI for example (IGU means nothing to me nor to any programmer I know - I'd much rather explain it in brackets if necessary at all). Noone would translate FTP, IRC, ASCII and so on... however, if the acronym is not widely know, the text can be rendered unreadable with this approach. It depends mostly of the target audience.

One solution (if your text has too many of these) can be to leave them in English but adjoin a glossary explaining the acronym in full (in Spanish and English). Those who are familiar with the acronyms will be grateful, and those who don't now have a fast way to understand and learn them (which would have happened in the end if the text is so repetitive).

BTW, a good comprehensive source for acronyms is Acronymfinder.

[Edited at 2004-12-30 13:11]


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E.LA
Spanish to German
+ ...
glossary Dec 31, 2004

I do the same as Rossana mentions. Just two weeks ago, I had a tecnical translation and added a glossary at the end. It's especially helpful if the target language is Spanish, because people from Spain prefers Spanish words, but some nations from Latin America prefer the English terms and are used to it.

But there is another problem: to search the meaning and do the glossary, you spend a lot of time! At the end, the payment per word is not okay.
I encourage every body who gets a text with a lot of abreviations, to add a specific amount for this extra work.


Rossana Triaca wrote:

acronyms is risky. I would have never translated GUI for example (IGU means nothing to me nor to any programmer I know - I'd much rather explain it in brackets if necessary at all). Noone would translate FTP, IRC, ASCII and so on... however, if the acronym is not widely know, the text can be rendered unreadable with this approach. It depends mostly of the target audience.

One solution (if your text has too many of these) can be to leave them in English but adjoin a glossary explaining the acronym in full (in Spanish and English). Those who are familiar with the acronyms will be grateful, and those who don't now have a fast way to understand and learn them (which would have happened in the end if the text is so repetitive).

BTW, a good comprehensive source for acronyms is Acronymfinder.

[Edited at 2004-12-30 13:11]


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