Placing “Only” Correctly

Posted Posted in Word Usage

Only is often misplaced in a sentence. We must be careful about its usage to avoid confusing our readers. Learning correct usage of grammatical modifiers is a hard work and it is worth all the effort. Only should go right before the word or phrase it modifies. “Only I said I cannot attend the party” means that I was the only one to decline the invitation. “I only said I cannot attend the party” means that I said nothing but […]

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 […]

Starting a Sentence With a Number

Posted Posted in Sentences, Style, Translation_Tips

Never begin a sentence with a numeral. There is one exception: a numeral that identifies a calendar year. When translating press releases or annual reports, we occasionally come across situations where we have to place the percentage at the beginning of the sentence. E.g.: Twenty-eight percent of the participants passed the test last year. Although this sentence is correct, it looks odd. Where possible, recast the sentence so that the numbers are expressed in figures. Better: Last year, 28 percent […]

Style Guide for Annual Reports

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Style, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

General Rules An annual report contains a company’s achievements and financial figures and is provided to shareholders, stakeholders and potential investors. The report uses several styles of writing: descriptive, corporate, advertising, financial, and legal. Previous reports are good benchmarks. Research is key to successfully translate an annual report. Search not only on client’s website but also on other related websites for benchmarking purposes. Try to find sources in written in the target language, not translations of local corporations. Internet is […]

Eliminating redundancy

Posted Posted in Editor Notes, Sentences, translation, Word Usage

Eliminating redundancy is one of the key skills to fluency, but what is redundancy or a redundant word/phrase? If you can remove a word from a sentence without changing its core meaning, that word is redundant or unnecessary. Not every redundancy is a flaw, sometimes it is helpful to add variety to your sentences. The safest way to get rid of redundant phrase is to hire a professional copy-editor. Check out the following example, it is not only redundant but […]

Order in a Sentence

Posted Posted in Style, Transcreation

Dragoman translators prefer ordering elements of series in a sentence from short to long in order to make them easier to read. McKinsey has offices in 120+ cities in 60+ countries including the Czech Republic, Greece, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Better:   McKinsey has offices in 120+ cities in 60+ countries including Qatar, Greece, the Czech Republic and the United Arab Emirates. Goldman Sachs offers services in investment management, securities, asset management, prime brokerage, and securities underwriting. Better:   Goldman Sachs […]

Cutting the Fat: Avoid Superfluous Nouns

Posted Posted in Style, Word Usage

Dragoman prefers to translate ideas as succinctly as possible. This means cutting superfluous nouns that add nothing to what we are trying to communicate to our readers. Translation Example 1: Many studies in the field of economics highlight the importance of transaction costs. Better:  Many studies in economics highlight the importance of transaction costs.   Translation Example 2: Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate over the weekend. Better:  Weather is expected to deteriorate over the weekend.   You can further explore how […]

Using However Correctly

Posted Posted in Literature, Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

We must always insert a semi-colon before and a comma after however to connect two independent clauses. Incorrect:    Japan was an expanding giant however it could not generate enough capital to support its rapid industrial development. Correct:       Japan was an expanding giant; however, it could not generate enough capital to support its rapid industrial development. Using however instead of ‘but’ or in the meaning of ‘no matter how’ or ‘not matter how’ may or may not require a comma. You can […]

Consist Of vs. Consist In

Posted Posted in Sentences, Word Usage

Consist in something and consist of something have entirely different meanings. Consist in means to be based on or depend on something. Incorrect:   Patriotism does not consist of blind obedience of the ruled to their rulers. Correct:      Patriotism does not consist in blind obedience of the ruled to their rulers. Consist of means to be formed from two or more things or people. Incorrect:   The students consisted in private school graduates. Correct:      The students consisted of private school graduates. You can […]

a.m. and p.m.

Posted Posted in Style, Translation_Tips

Dragoman and AP Stylebook differs slightly in expressing time. Although both styles prefer lowercase a.m. and p.m. for ante meridiem and post meridiem, Dragoman prefers the 24-hour representation of time, while AP Style prefers the 12-hour representation of time and Incorrect:  The meeting will start at 9:45 A.M. and end at 13:00 P.M. Correct:     The meeting will start at 9:45 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. You can further explore the topic by watching a YouTube video featuring Mignon Fogarty, […]