translating names of institutions?
Thread poster: Rachel Vanarsdall
What is the rule on this? I am translating a doctor\'s CV from Canadian French to English. I\'ve looked up the web sites of some of the Quebec hospitals mentioned to see if they have an \"official\" English translation (it\'s pretty obvious what the translation should be, of course). On the sites that I have checked, even when there is an English-language page, the name of the hospital is written in French. On the other hand, it\'s very easy to find references in English to \"Laval Hospital\" \"Hotel-Dieu Hospital\" etc.
| the best way || Jan 26, 2003 |
The best way is to give them a call and ask what name do they use for their institution.
| | Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC
English to French
| Here's some info which may be helpful || Jan 26, 2003 |
I\'m online (working) and I checked in the \"Chronique de la langue\" in Termium to see if there was anything in there about it.
I found a few rules in relations to the names of Universities on using capital letters, as well as whether or not to translate the names.
I would say that these rules (in regards to translating the names of universities) would also apply to hospitals.
I have copied below a short extract of the information I found:
(The information is in French only btw)
\"... l\'Université de Paris côtoie l\'Université de Grenade et l\'Université de Helsinki. En fait, l\'usage nous permet de constater deux choses :
1) le générique université s\'écrit avec la majuscule initiale;
2) les noms d\'universités se traduisent.
En effet, l\'idée ne viendrait à personne de dire l\'Universidad de Granada, alors que la page Web en français de cette institution parle bel et bien de l\'Université de Grenade... Et que penser de la Helsingin Yliopisto? L\'écrire dans un texte serait vraiment jouer au fin Finnois avec ses lecteurs...
Donc les noms d\'universités se traduisent quand ils sont formés avec un générique et un nom de lieu.
Mais les chemins de la connaissance sont parsemés d\'embûches... Qu\'en est-il des appellations plus compliquées?
L\'Institut de technologie du Massachusetts, vous connaissez? Et l\'École des sciences économiques de Londres? Ces traductions ne sont pas mauvaises en soi, mais force est de constater que l\'usage ne les a pas retenues. Le MIT et la London School of Economics sont connus partout dans le monde sous leur appellation anglaise.
Le langagier doit respecter cet usage...\"
| || || |
| I woundn't push it as far as "Hotel God Hospital" || Jan 26, 2003 |
e.g. University of Paris, of Algiers (not Alger) or Pasteur Institute but check for an official translation.
Sometimes I fudge certain bodies by using the acronym and frontloading it with a adjective or two. If Renault can get away with it why shouldn\'t others work the trick too?
P.S. Sweden has this famous hospital called the Karolinska Institutet which some folks up there insist on translating as the Caroline Institute, which is um, fine I guess, but the morphology is just different enough to make it look like two different institutions.
| | xxxPaulaMac
French to English
I mostly translate for the Canadian government - the rule generally followed is
a) first find out if the institution has an official translation of its name. Usually you can do this by visiting their website. If so, use it. If their website has an English version and uses the French name of the institution, use the French name (NEVER translate it), in italics.
b) if you cannot find a website for the institution, enter it as a Google search term, in quotations, followed by a space and then site:gc.ca. Google will search only Canadian federal government website, and any hits, French or English will give you some clues, e.g., if you find the name of the institution, in French, in an English text on a Canadian government site, you can pretty well assume that they have already checked and the use of the French name is correct.
Just a few hints!!
| It's probably more helpful to the end user ... || Jan 27, 2003 |
... to leave the name in French, and give a translation in brackets if the institution is not well known. The point is that anyone who wants to check up on the institution or write a letter to it will need to know its exact name.
It\'s like book references (in footnotes and so on) which we tend to leave in the original language for similar reasons.
| thanks for the input, all || Jan 27, 2003 |
Thank you all for your responses. I wound up asking the client how she handles this (she is another freelance translator) - she prefers the English translations, just to make it easier for the end user. When I translate for insurance companies, I usually keep the French names, French addresses, etc. - because, as someone pointed out above, they may actually try to contact these institutions.
I especially appreciate the tip about searching names with gc.ca - what I saw from the English-language pages was that the names are generally translated, even when the official Eng. site for the hospital keeps them in French.
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translating names of institutions?
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