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22:36 Dec 15, 2010
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Other
Spanish to English translations [PRO] Tech/Engineering - Mining & Minerals / Gems
Spanish term or phrase:127.598 mil millones
si tengo 127.598 mil millones en inglés cómo sería?
I shouldn't have started this, and I certainly don't want to take it any further. I'm sorry if I've annoyed you by refusing to see reason, from your point of view. Let's agree that you're right. But I'm still going to leave my answer, because maybe someone will learn something from all this. Best of luck :)
To say that "mistakes like this could cost companies fortunes" is mere bluster. The only way that could happen is if they misunderstood what the real figure is. I defy you to show how it is possible to deduce the wrong figure from my answer. The most you might argue is that it is stylistically inelegant. I admit that with the comma as a thousands separator (standard in English), a Spanish speaker unfamiliar with English might think it was a decimal separator, but that is easily forestalled by not using the comma, as I said early on in my note. Conversely, you do not seem to have considered the possibility that Spanish-speaking reader could mistake the decimal point in your answer for a thousands separator, leading them understand a figure three orders of magnitude too high (127 thousand trillion instead of 127 trillion). With three figures after your decimal point this could happen. I’m not saying it’s likely, but just that you’re in no position to level the same charge at me.
Sorry, but I don't think I am wrong. I don't see why I should delete my answer. If others think I'm wrong, they will disagree with me and the asker will take note. I would hope that before doing so they would consider my arguments.
I have not been arguing that we should impose the rules of the source language (Spanish) on the target language (English). What I have been saying is that in both languages there is more than one way of doing it. The writer of this text certainly did use an alternative; miles de miles de millones instead of billones. English also offers alternatives of its own (trillion or thousand billion); you've used one and I've used the other. I am not saying that your answer is wrong. I am saying that you are wrong to say that my answer is wrong. As I have said before, it is simply not true that numbers over a trillion are never expressed as thousands of billions in English or that there is a risk of misunderstanding if they are. Nor, despite what you have just said, is there a risk of misunderstanding if we say "thousand million" instead of "billion" in English. Some people do. If you know that your client doesn't like it you don't do it.
Prevailing usage between English and Spanish is enormous. The writer of this text did not use an "alternative", he/she wrote in Spanish. When we translate into a language, we have to follow the rules of that target language, not of the source language. If not, we would be left writing "a thousand million" when we should say "billion" in an English translation. Mistakes like this could cost companies fortunes and cannot be left to criteria as vague as "let's agree to disagree". No, you are wrong and should delete your answer.
Yes, it is. And in Spanish it's a billón, no doubt either. And it would have been just as normal to say that as it is to say a trillion in English. But they didn't; they used the alternative. So why can't we do the same?
In short, I'm not saying you can't express this as trillions. I'm just saying you don't have to. In fact I actually think it's better not to in the circumstances. And that seems to be where we disagree. So I think we should agree to differ and let others decide what's best.
We've become used to talking in trillions when discussing the US economy, but it's not difficult to find large numbers of documents referring to numbers in the hundreds of thousands of billions instead of the hundreds of trillions, including sums of money. And conversely, "billones con b" has almost become a cliché in Spain. I don't think prevailing usage is different in the two languages in this respect, except of course that billón = trillion. So I repeat, I can't see a compelling reason to depart from the asker's usage.
OK, the number is 127,598,000,000,000. It's in the trillions, sure. In fact it's in the hundreds of trillions. All I'm saying is that the asker could have expressed this number in Spanish as 127 (y pico) billones, since a Spanish billón is what we call a trillion, but chose not to. Instead, they expressed it as 127-odd thousand billion. So I've done the same, that's all. I agree that we could express it as a number of trillions, and arguably that's the natural thing to do in English, though I'm sure you could find examples both ways. I just think it's more helpful to the asker to put it in the same format.
It's the same number. Though the asker could have said "127,598 billones", but didn't. I just hope they don't get the idea that the English for mil millones is a trillion... But my answer could cause confusion too if they don't get the message that the comma in English is a thousands separator and not a decimal separator. I'm going to add a note to mine.
I'm confused: do you mean a hundred and twenty-seven point five nine eight trillion, or a hundred and twenty-seven thousand five hundred and ninety-eight trillion?
Automatic update in 00:
32 mins confidence:
Explanation: this is one thousand thousand million, and not one thousand million...
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 1 hr (2010-12-16 00:13:31 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
In longhand, "one hundred and twenty-seven thousand five hundred and ninety-eight thousand million - One thousand x one million equals one billion in UK and US English. One thousand x one thousand x one million equals one trillion in UK and US English.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 10 hrs (2010-12-16 08:39:27 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
Edward Tully Local time: 14:38 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 49
Explanation: 1000 million = billion in both US and UK English; only very old-fashioned and pedantic British speakers insist on the old meaning of a billion as a million million.
Note comma rather than point at thousands separator, and billion not billions.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 1 hr (2010-12-16 00:32:47 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
Para evitar cualquier posible confusión, mi respuesta quiere decir 127598 billion o 127 598 billion. Es decir, "one hundred and twenty-seven thousand five hundred and ninety-eight billion".
mil millones (ES) = 10^9 = 1 billion (EN)
un billón (ES) = un millón de millones = 10^12 = 1 trillion (EN)
La coma = separador de decimales en ES y separador de millares en EN.
El punto = separador de millares en ES (según el uso habitual) y separador de decimales en EN.
Mucho ojo a esto último, que es la fuente de muchos errores, porque a menudo se copian y pegan los números al traducir, olvidándose de cambiar estos signos.
Nuestro número es 127 598 000 000 000
En español son:
127,598 billones o 127.598 mil millones
En inglés son:
127.598 trillion o 127,598 billion o 127,598,000 million.
El formato a emplear se determinará en función del estilo del documento.
Sobre el uso de la coma y el punto en expresiones numéricas en español, esto es lo que dice la RAE:
COMA: "4. En las expresiones numéricas escritas con cifras, la normativa internacional establece el uso de la coma para separar la parte entera de la parte decimal. La coma debe escribirse en la parte inferior del renglón, nunca en la parte superior: π = 3,1416. Pero también se acepta el uso anglosajón del punto, normal en algunos países hispanoamericanos (→ punto, 4.4): π = 3.1416."
PUNTO: "5.2. Aunque todavía es práctica común en los números escritos con cifras separar los millares, millones, etc., mediante un punto (o una coma, en los países en que se emplea el punto para separar la parte entera de la decimal), la norma internacional establece que se prescinda de él. Para facilitar la lectura de estos números, cuando constan de más de cuatro cifras se recomienda separar estas mediante espacios por grupos de tres, contando de derecha a izquierda: 52 345, 6 462 749. Esta recomendación no debe aplicarse en documentos contables ni en ningún tipo de escrito en que la separación arriesgue la seguridad [...]."
Diccionario panhispánico de dudas, http://buscon.rae.es/dpdI/SrvltConsulta?lema=coma
Charles Davis Spain Local time: 14:38 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 72