On Varying Sentence Length

Posted Posted in Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. This writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like struck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use the sentences of medium length. And […]

Translating content back to its original language – Notes from the Editor

Posted Posted in Editor Notes, Sentences, Translation_Tips

Notes from the Editor – January 2016 Could you be translating content back to its original language? When you are translating into English for a multinational company, make sure to check if the content was originally created in English. Because, without knowing it, you may be translating content back to its original language. In a globalized world, this is the case more often than not. The text you are translating into English could be about the products of the lighting […]

Branching – Editor Notes

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Notes from the Editor – May 2016 Branch to the right English is a subject–verb–object language. And it is considered a right-branching language. In right-branching sentences, the subject is described first, and is followed by modifiers that provide additional information about the subject. The prince raised the sword, clutching the hilt in both hands, grinning with madness. In left-branching sentences, however, modifiers are presented before the introduction of the subject and verb. We are kept in suspense. We get the […]

Sexism & Gender Neutrality – Editor Notes

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Notes from the Editor – April 2016 Using the singular “they” for gender neutrality English does not have a generic third-person pronoun, unlike, for instance, Turkish. This poses a problem when the person we refer to can be a male or a female. In the past, it was common to use pronouns he, him, and his when referring to persons of either sex. But “he” is no longer accepted as a generic pronoun; on the contrary, it is viewed as […]

Imperative Form – Editor Notes

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Notes from the Editor – March 2016 When to use the imperative form of a verb In some texts, for example, sets of instructions, web content, or advertising copy, it is more natural in English to address the reader directly using the imperative form of the verb. The source language of the text you are translating or editing may literally say that “you can” or “you may” do something in certain situations. However, it may not necessarily mean that you […]

Translating company names – Editor Notes

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Notes from the Editor – August 2015 Do not translate full company names Full company names are registered names of businesses in their country of incorporation and, therefore, should not be translated.* Canon Inc., for example, is the full company name of Canon in Japan. The company was incorporated in Japan as Canon Inc. So, if you come across Canon Inc. in the text you are translating, you should leave it as is. The same applies to Canon U.S.A., Inc. […]

A structural approach to translation quality

Posted 21 CommentsPosted in Language Technologies, translation, Translation_Tips

When I first started translating as a Turkish to English translator, my quality criteria was to understand the document, find the right terminology and send the translation on time. Seriously, it was a huge effort on my side to understand the text. I don’t know how many nights passed with little if any sleep to meet the next urgent job’s deadline. Judging by the posts of junior translators on Facebook, I think young colleagues are going through a similar path. […]

Fight the FOG – A Quick Guide by the European Commission

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Style, Translation_Tips, Uncategorized

A timeless resource by the EC. European Commission launched Fight the FOG campaign almost a decade ago. I remember the first time I saw it on the Internet. This document was one of the first inspirations for Dragoman to build internal style guides, client profiles, quick reference sheets. Summary: This manual condenses insightful information in only 12 pages. It starts with “putting the reader first.” Key suggestions include: – use verbs, not nouns – active verbs, not passive – be concrete, not abstract – […]