en-UK en-US translation - or conversion?
Thread poster: Renate Reinartz

Renate Reinartz  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
English to German
Apr 20, 2007

I'm wondering how you do british english to american english, and vice versa jobs?

Do you have a term database? Or a translation memory? Or do you use conversion tools?



Qudsia Lone  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:14
Member (2007)
Urdu to English
+ ...
UK English to US English Apr 20, 2007

There is an easy way to change UK English to US English on the lowest level, i.e. word spellings, by simply choosing the language of choice in the word check feature of say MSWord to US or UK English, whichever the target language maybe. All the words spelt incorrectly in the target language will be underlined red.

I don't have the other tools for langauge coparison/translation yet, so hopefully someone with familiarity in those can address the bigger question of phrasology etc.


Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
French to English
+ ...
terms and tone Apr 20, 2007

Beyond spelling issues, there are of course those of terminology and tone/style/rhythm.

For both, I read a lot, in the areas in which I work most. That way, I build up US/UK glossaries per field, and, perhaps more importantly, tune my franco-yankee ear to issues of style, rhythm, patterns. Just one small example, "listen" (by reading aloud), the difference in rhythm and presentation between an article in the WSJ and the same topic dealt with in an article in The Economist....

It takes time, one shouldn't just wing it...




David Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
Spanish to English
Conversion or translation Apr 20, 2007

Very good question, but I think it is beyond me and put it down to knowledge and experience. Here are a couple of websites that look at this topic



Salam Alrawi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
UK and US Apr 21, 2007

I have worked with both british and American companies and the nice part was that :

I was standing near by an american guy then a british guy came in and they started to talk to each other for about 15 minutes, the british guy left then the american guy turn his face to me and said : (I didn't understand anything of what he said) lol,

Yes there are lots of differences in between them in the pronounciation, spelling, the way they talk, one of the noticable difference is that : when the british people talk they use lots of known polite words that give impression that they are so polite and professional in using the words while when the american talk they talk directly (direct words and conversation) that many people think they are offending or non polite while in fact they are but it is just their way of being direct in conversation and in using the words, add to the slang.

I studied english in the british way but in the medical college I read both (American and british) books and I can understand them both and I can notice the differences between them,
My advice for you is : watch an american movie and a british movie and listen well to them, bilieve me you will feel the difference between them,

beside you still didn't ask about the english in Australia !!, lol.

Thank you very much,
Best regards,


Natalia Eklund  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
UK vs US Apr 25, 2007

As an American...
You can learn typical phrases, pronunciation and spelling, but at some point you have to admit that you're not going to give the client an actual UK English document. It's US dressed up to look UK; and most of the time it doesn't matter, because they don't see the difference.

Anyway this is not a real problem now, because more and more often when I ask "in UK English or US?", they answer "European English" or "International English". This basically means, 'keep out all culturally referenced idioms and espressions'.

Recently I did a translation, that HAD to be in UK, so I contacted a fellow British Prozian and asked her if she could proof it. This reassured the client.

I expected only a change here and there, but I was fascinated by all the tiny differences she made.
There really are a lot of minute differences which make up our 'dialects'. And I say 'Hat's off!' to those 'chaps' who can master it!


Renate Reinartz  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
English to German
Thank you all! Work-Flow seems do be different Apr 30, 2007

Thank you very much for your input.

I understand that you have a different work-flow for this kind of work.

I thought you might do a multiple search and replace on the terms that are different between the two countries. Or use a tool that does it for you.

And after that you start with proof-reading, and sort out the other differences.

Background is, that I'm wondering if such a tool is somewhere on the market. And if so, is it useful, or is it more effort than it saves?

Best regards


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