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personalisierbar

English translation: personalizable

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:personalisierbar
English translation:personalizable
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16:40 Nov 21, 2000
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial
German term or phrase: personalisierbar
I guess this question is as much about English as German. I could translate it a personalizable, but what a horrible word. The German is as follows: "Unternehmen brauchen einzeln auf den Mitarbeiter personalisierbare "wireless portals."
I could re-write it to use personalize (verb) which isn't quite as bad, but does anyone know of an adjective that is used in IT-speak?
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 17:51
personalisable
Explanation:
Since you ask for IT-speak, (and as we all know, ITers are shameless abusers of any and all languages), this is what they use (really!). 'Customizable' is wrong on two counts: first it is not what is used, and second it means something else. What is meant here is that the portals can be configured to recognise particular individuals. Note also that 'personalise' and 'personalisation' are used for the operations that add personal information to credit cards and Smart Cards.
Selected response from:

Ken Cox
Local time: 00:51
Grading comment
Thank you Ken. I just needed to be reassured that there wasn't a more commonly used English expression for this concept.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nanothing new, only research statisticsDan McCrosky
nause the verb, not the adjective
Tom Funke
napersonalizableUlrike Lieder
napersonalisableKen Cox
nacustomizableliinaj


  

Answers


21 mins
customizable


Explanation:
I would use 'customizable' although it is a rather long word as well, but nevertheless sounds a bit better... and there are customizable interfaces, customizable message boards, sites, etc.

and: another spelling would be customisable...

liinaj
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1 hr
personalisable


Explanation:
Since you ask for IT-speak, (and as we all know, ITers are shameless abusers of any and all languages), this is what they use (really!). 'Customizable' is wrong on two counts: first it is not what is used, and second it means something else. What is meant here is that the portals can be configured to recognise particular individuals. Note also that 'personalise' and 'personalisation' are used for the operations that add personal information to credit cards and Smart Cards.


    Reference: http://www.fco.gov.uk/personalise.asp
    Reference: http://networker.optus.net.au/personalise/
Ken Cox
Local time: 00:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 5905
Grading comment
Thank you Ken. I just needed to be reassured that there wasn't a more commonly used English expression for this concept.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Mats Wiman
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1 hr
personalizable


Explanation:
Well, like it or not, it looks like the horrid word is being used, rather widely so. See below some 3 examples from about 2,500 or so hits for a Google search.

When I first saw your query, the German struck me immediately as a direct translation from the English (unlike customized which is often rendered as anwenderspezifisch, benutzerspezifisch, benutzerdefiniert, etc.). You and I might not like it, but I would suggest using it.
And I'm not sure that I'd use "customize" or any variant thereof in this context, it just carries a slightly different connotation.

See the following:
What would happen if you left your PC and your cordless phone on a desk overnight, and they managed to breed? The result would probably resemble a device from Frontpath that's designed as a personal, personalizable Internet access device.
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article.asp?aid=18536

... Personalizable and Flexible Groupware. ...
www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/projects/grouplab/papers/1993/93-OpenP... -

Personalizable Toolbars Library. ...
mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-announce-list/1999-August/msg00020.html


Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 15:51
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 3525
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2 hrs
use the verb, not the adjective


Explanation:
use the verb, not the adjective

_personalizable_ may not be exactly rare, and it serves a purpose when there’s no way to avoid it. But it’s uncommon relative the verb (personalize) and a whole lot klutzier. You certainly don’t have to use it when there’s a smoother alternative.
In good copy you want to keep it simple and avoid technospeak inasmuch as practical.

In general when translating German into English it’s often better to transpose nouns and certain adjectives into verb form, which makes for better English, easer reading and greater clarity. So you might try something like:
>>Companies need wireless portals that can be personalized to the individual employee.<<
AltaVista (English) 297,578 pages found word count: personalisable: 273; personalizable: 3044; personalise: 35375; personalize: 687671



    relevant copywriting and translating experience
Tom Funke
Local time: 18:51
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 2419

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Dan McCrosky

Randi Stenstrop

Chris Koenig
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8 hrs
nothing new, only research statistics


Explanation:
My personal feeling is that Tom's idea is the best because both the adjective forms of customiz(s)able and personaliz(s)able were not even listed as real words way back when in 1998 when NODE last updated their dictionary. Of course, in the IT world, two years is a lifetime. Everyone involved in this question knows more about IT-Speak than I do and everybody so far is apparently right. All I do know a little bit about is research.

Whether customiz(s)able or personaliz(s)able, whether verb or adjective, NODE had already succumbed to the North American "z" by 1998 when their latest edition came out. They only offer the "s" spelling as a second choice for BOTH British English AND American English. My AE spellchecker even shows the "s" spelling as wrong although the BE spellchecker still accepts both spellings. Internet usage in all languages under Google, AltaVista and Northern Light backs this up by 7.8 to 1 for "personalizable" over "personalisable" and by 11.2 to 1 for "customizable" over "customisable". So, whatever stem you pick, whether verb or adjective, the "z" spelling, as you wrote it, is clearly more widely used and accepted.

Next point:

Total usage on all three search engines, for both spellings of customiz(s)able or personaliz(s)able, shows an amazing 64.4 to 1 preference for customiz(s)able over personaliz(s)able. I am ashamed to say that I did not take the time to check through the over 950,000 hits to see how many were extraneous, but nearly all of the hits for "customiz(s)able" on the first pages of the hit lists were NOT EXTRANEOUS.

As an IT-dummy who manages to keep several IT customers happy, the above statistics might lead me to chose "customizable" but on the other hand, it is easier to sell your own particular customer an English word that looks like the "Deulisch" word he used.

- HTH - Dan


Dan McCrosky
Local time: 00:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1541
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