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isolieren

English translation: insulate (protection) / isolate (separation)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:isolieren
English translation:insulate (protection) / isolate (separation)
Entered by: Ken Cox
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18:22 Jul 22, 2005
German to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Engineering (general)
German term or phrase: isolieren
"Sonde während des Schweißens der Hülse isolieren"

I know "isolieren" has come up plenty of times but from the answers, I am still confused as to when to use "isolate" and when to use "insulate". According to plenty of dictionaries, the terms "insulate" and "isolate" are synonymous - is this true in technical texts? Are there any techies out there who could clear up this grey area once and for all? Is "insulate" or "isolate" to be used in the sentence above (sorry there is no more context - this is just info on a graphic). Thanks in advance!
ciarrai
Local time: 21:07
insulate/isolate
Explanation:
'Insulate' means to protect something (or someone) against being (excessively) influenced by something (or someone) else, or to protect other objects or persons against being influenced by the object (such as high voltage or hot or cold objects). 'Isolate' means to prevent any sort of contact between or (mutual) interaction between the isolated object or person and other objects or persons (or the external world).

In technical contexts, the terms are certainly not synonymous. To take a couple of examples: a circuit can be electrically insulated, which means current cannot flow into or out of it except where it is supposed to (normally via its terminals or leads), or it can be electrically isolated, which means that no current can flow into or out of it anywhere. In the case of thermal effects, what you have in your house is insulation to reduce the amount of heat flowing through the walls, but if you're doing an experiment where you want to prevent external heat from affecting the sample, you would thermally isolate it.

Even in non-technical contexts, there is a difference. A person who is insulated from society is one who is allowed only controlled contact with others (for protection against 'undesirable' elements, for example), while a person who is isolated from society is one who has few if any contacts or dealings with other people.

To summarise the definitions in the Oxford dictionary, 'insulate' essentially involves the idea of protection, while 'isolate' essentially involves the idea of separation.

In the case of your example, my take would be 'insulate', for the reason that the sensor or probe presumably should be protected against excess heat from the welding. That means it should be insulated.
Selected response from:

Ken Cox
Local time: 21:07
Grading comment
Thanks to everyone for replying and helping me out. Kenneth, your answer really cleared things up for me so I am going to go with insulate.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4isolate
Yvonne Becker
4 +2insulate/isolateKen Cox
5insulate or even protectJohn Hayward


  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
isolate


Explanation:


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 mins (2005-07-22 18:36:24 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Insulate means to \"isolate\" the item from an external stimuli such as noise or heat. Isolate, means to place the item away from other items. I would put it that way.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 50 mins (2005-07-22 21:12:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I meant \"from isolated stimuli\" (without \"an\")

Yvonne Becker
Local time: 15:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: Spanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Arthur Allmendinger
1 hr
  -> Thanks

agree  vanessak
2 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Frosty
2 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Laurens Landkroon
3 hrs
  -> Thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
insulate/isolate


Explanation:
'Insulate' means to protect something (or someone) against being (excessively) influenced by something (or someone) else, or to protect other objects or persons against being influenced by the object (such as high voltage or hot or cold objects). 'Isolate' means to prevent any sort of contact between or (mutual) interaction between the isolated object or person and other objects or persons (or the external world).

In technical contexts, the terms are certainly not synonymous. To take a couple of examples: a circuit can be electrically insulated, which means current cannot flow into or out of it except where it is supposed to (normally via its terminals or leads), or it can be electrically isolated, which means that no current can flow into or out of it anywhere. In the case of thermal effects, what you have in your house is insulation to reduce the amount of heat flowing through the walls, but if you're doing an experiment where you want to prevent external heat from affecting the sample, you would thermally isolate it.

Even in non-technical contexts, there is a difference. A person who is insulated from society is one who is allowed only controlled contact with others (for protection against 'undesirable' elements, for example), while a person who is isolated from society is one who has few if any contacts or dealings with other people.

To summarise the definitions in the Oxford dictionary, 'insulate' essentially involves the idea of protection, while 'isolate' essentially involves the idea of separation.

In the case of your example, my take would be 'insulate', for the reason that the sensor or probe presumably should be protected against excess heat from the welding. That means it should be insulated.

Ken Cox
Local time: 21:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 414
Grading comment
Thanks to everyone for replying and helping me out. Kenneth, your answer really cleared things up for me so I am going to go with insulate.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman: Very lucid, Ken. Grey area cleared up once and for all !
2 hrs

agree  Cilian O'Tuama: nice, "protection versus separation"
4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
insulate or even protect


Explanation:
as this is all about welding = heat, either word could be used to convey the correct meaning

John Hayward
Germany
Local time: 21:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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