Do "faux amis" cause you problems in translation?
Thread poster: xxxmpt_21
xxxmpt_21
Local time: 08:50
French to English
Aug 3, 2006

I am doing my Master's dissertation in translation on "faux amis" and would be very grateful if you would answer this short questionnaire:

1) How frequently do you encounter "faux amis" in your translations? (Please state your source and target languages).

2) Do "faux amis" cause you problems in translation?

3) Do you feel that "faux amis" present more of a problem when translating medical and pharmaceutical text? Please give examples, if possible.

4) Do you think there is sufficient up to date publicised material available on medical/pharmaceutical "faux amis"?

5) As a translator do you keep a glossary of faux-amis?

6) How useful would a corpus or glossary of medical and pharmaceutical faux amis be to you as a translator?

Many thanks for your assistance.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:50
Member
English to French
Faux-amis can be tamed Aug 3, 2006

From my little experience in medical translations (mainly cardiology and clinical trials [ie statistics rather than medicine])

1) very often (EN>FR) control to name but one: régulation, contrôle, commande, maîtrise... These are not synonyms in French
2) Yes, but they can be solved
3) No; whatever the field, one need to know about faux-amis. tender is a faux-ami I like very much
4) a good reference:
http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/1999/v44/n2/003249ar.html
5) No. A faux-ami is something you never forget (as well as enemies)
6) Joker.

Have a nice evening,
Philippe


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xxxmpt_21
Local time: 08:50
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much, Philippe Aug 3, 2006

Philippe Etienne wrote:

From my little experience in medical translations (mainly cardiology and clinical trials [ie statistics rather than medicine])

1) very often (EN>FR) control to name but one: régulation, contrôle, commande, maîtrise... These are not synonyms in French
2) Yes, but they can be solved
3) No; whatever the field, one need to know about faux-amis. tender is a faux-ami I like very much
4) a good reference:
http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/1999/v44/n2/003249ar.html
5) No. A faux-ami is something you never forget (as well as enemies)
6) Joker.

Have a nice evening,
Philippe



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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
If I didn't know them Aug 4, 2006

I doubt that any translator who has problems with false friends knows it. Once we have mastered a particular false friend and become aware of it, then it is no longer a problem, as Philippe suggests in his point #5. The translator who is ignorant of a particular false friend will not be aware of his or her problem with it.

1) Impossible to say. It's not something one keeps track of. ES>EN.

2) See discussion above.

3) Not at all. In fact, I find I am most aware of their presence in general texts that contain little or no specialized terminology, but I can't say if that means that they're more prevalent in such texts (see #1).

4) Not qualified to judge.

5) No, but I keep a glossary and it no doubt contains some false friends.

6) A general glossary of terms in the field would be more useful; the purpose would be served by having some remark or flag that marks the false friends within it. Then one would not have to consult a separate and distinct glossary for false friends; after all if one does not know the correct translation of the term, one is not aware that it is a false friend.

[Edited at 2006-08-04 18:26]


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:50
German to English
False English a problem Aug 4, 2006

One of the problems German to English translators encounter is the coining of phrases in "English" which are meaningless or at best misleading in English. I recall seeing a Kudoz query regarding the "near food" industry. The term had to do with cosmetics or some similar product.

I once translated an owner's manual for a luxury car. The vehicle offered a "Carjacking" mode. My query to the client was whether this were some sort of alarm. No ... it was a means of adjusting the suspension so that one wheel could be raised from the road surface so that it could be changed. Fortunately that client had the good sense to come up with a better term.

Not everyone has a reasonable client ...

A colleague was confronted with a company motto that was in incomprehensible English. When he contacted the company to find out what German concept they were attempting to express, they were enraged and said that next time they'd find a translator who understood English.


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