Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Spelling the names of British organisations in U.S. English document?
Thread poster: Mark Sanderson

Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 04:39
Chinese to English
Aug 2, 2016

Hello,

I’m currently working on a document which refers to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and uses the British English spelling of ‘centre’. However, the client has requested U.S. English. Does this mean that I need to change the name to ‘Center’ so that it is applicable to a U.S. audience? Or, do I leave it as it is because ‘centre’ is the official name which is used on the organisation’s website here: http://www.hkiac.org/about-us

Any help would be appreciated.

Many Thanks,

Mark


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:39
Chinese to English
Change it Aug 2, 2016

I looked at this a while ago, and it seems like standard practice is to change even proper names to suit the style of English you're writing in. Quick way to test and confirm: do a search on the NYT and other major US news outlets for British institutions with the word centre in the name.

Mark Sanderson wrote:

Hello,

I’m currently working on a document which refers to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and uses the British English spelling of ‘centre’. However, the client has requested U.S. English. Does this mean that I need to change the name to ‘Center’ so that it is applicable to a U.S. audience? Or, do I leave it as it is because ‘centre’ is the official name which is used on the organisation’s website here: http://www.hkiac.org/about-us

Any help would be appreciated.

Many Thanks,

Mark


 

Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
Chinese to English
RE Aug 2, 2016

Good suggestion by Phil. Only caveat I would add is that if by chance this is a document with legal effect (contract, LOU, etc.), I would not change spelling, as the center almost certainly only has one registered name with the HK authorities.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I work the opposite way Aug 2, 2016

I deal a lot with the names of academic institutions around the world and they often include the word Centre or Center. I always use the British variant as that's what my client wants. It's in an MBA education programme marketing context. Unfortunately, program is very occasionally correct in BrEng so I can't use a global replace on that one when I'm doing consistency checks. Americans have it easiericon_smile.gif.

 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Use the official name Aug 2, 2016

I would only ever use the official name, regardless of spelling variants. In my work I will often have World Health Organization (WHO) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in the same sentence.

 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:09
English to Hindi
+ ...
Use the spelling they themselves use Aug 2, 2016

It is like asking whether in another country should you change the spelling of your name to suit the speaking convenience of the host country people. The spelling of your name remains as it is wherever you go.

Same with names of organizations. They are spelt everywhere the same way, and that is the way the organizations themselves spell it.

I don't see why there should be any confusion about this in anyone's mind.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:39
Chinese to English
Results are in Aug 2, 2016

Thought I'd go and do the experiment I suggested, and the results are a mess. Your HKIAC is mentioned by both the NYT and CNN using both spellings of centre. In the UK, I found the BBC equally inconsistent, with references to the "Simon Wiesenthal Center" being anglicized half the time and left in the original -er form the other half.

I sense no clear answer to this question, so as always, ask the client!


 

jamespeel  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
There's only one correct answer Aug 2, 2016

The difference in answers - and indeed Phil's searches - show there is not one hard and fast rule to follow here. It seems to me that the only correct answer must therefore be to go back to the client and ask them what they want you to do!

 

Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 04:39
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all of the replies Aug 2, 2016

It looks like the consensus is to use the official spelling as used by the organisation itself when in a hurry, and consult the client when deadlines are still some way away.

I ended up using the official name as found on the organisation's website (centre) and the file hasn't come back (as of yet!)

Thanks,

Mark


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
That really isn't a rule Aug 2, 2016

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

It is like asking whether in another country should you change the spelling of your name to suit the speaking convenience of the host country people. The spelling of your name remains as it is wherever you go.

That's a simplistic view of what would be nice. It wasn't until I left the UK and began teaching adults in France that I learnt that, to them, Bach's first name is Jean rather than Johann, and Leonardo da Vinci is Léonard de Vince (if I've got that right).


 

Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:39
German to English
I keep proper nouns Aug 3, 2016

Decipherit wrote:

I would only ever use the official name, regardless of spelling variants. In my work I will often have World Health Organization (WHO) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in the same sentence.


I also leave them as is if the organization/institution has an official name.

Just as a note, though, Decipherit, it's the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. They follow Oxford-ish rules, as do many international organizations.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
In British English Aug 3, 2016

Kelly Neudorfer wrote:

Decipherit wrote:

I would only ever use the official name, regardless of spelling variants. In my work I will often have World Health Organization (WHO) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in the same sentence.


I also leave them as is if the organization/institution has an official name.

Just as a note, though, Decipherit, it's the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. They follow Oxford-ish rules, as do many international organizations.


In British English that would be the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.


 

Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:39
German to English
Official organiz(s)ation name Aug 3, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Kelly Neudorfer wrote:

Decipherit wrote:

I would only ever use the official name, regardless of spelling variants. In my work I will often have World Health Organization (WHO) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in the same sentence.


I also leave them as is if the organization/institution has an official name.

Just as a note, though, Decipherit, it's the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. They follow Oxford-ish rules, as do many international organizations.


In British English that would be the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.


Reading fail on my part. Sorry. I'm currently working on a project related to the OSCE and was fixated on that. Although it, by the way, is the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. As in organization with a z and not an s. Even in British English because it follows Oxford spelling.


[Edited at 2016-08-03 11:35 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:39
Member (2008)
French to English
Ask the client Aug 3, 2016

That's the only way. I have had my knuckles rapped both ways. I have one UK client who insists on "World Health Organization", the way the body itself spells it, and another who insists on "World Health Organisation", because "that's the way we spell it in the UK".

 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Different organisations Aug 3, 2016

I think you've realised you're talking about a different organisation. I'm talking about the OECD: http://www.oecd.org/unitedkingdom/

In any case, I would never translate the name of an organisation unless it has an officially and well-established translation, e.g. World Health Organization becomes Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS). The Simon Wiesenthal Center is in the U.S. and that spelling never changes.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Spelling the names of British organisations in U.S. English document?

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search