Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Client with keen grasp of the essentials

Sometimes clients commission a translation job without really knowing what is involved. This was certainly not the case with this job which appeared on an internet forum:
Buenas tarde, andaba buscando alguien que me pudiera ayudar a traducir las descripciones de [...], a ingles. la traduccion consiste en expresar en ingles exactamente lo que dice la descripcion de las [..] que ya tengo. asi como la traduccion de los temas vistos en cada [...]. todos los documentos ya los tengo, nomas es cuestion de traducirlos.

{Hi, im looking for someone who could help me translate the descriptions of some [...] to english. the translation consists of expressing in english exactly what the descriptions of the [...] say. also the topics covered in each [...]. i already have all the documents, its just a question of translating them.}

So easy! I mean, client already has the documents! All you have to do is express what they say in English! All translation assignments should be so straightforward.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Elements and Spices

Thanks to Michael of Translate This, here is a pointer to Elementymology & Elements Multidict by Peter van der Krogt, a site which gives the entymology of the elements and their names in 72 languages.

I remember reading an anecdote about a translation of a major literary work in which the translator wasn't familiar with chemistry, didn't know the names of the elements in the target language, didn't bother to look them up, and got many of them wrong. I'd like to be more specific, but unfortunately I didn't save the article and could never find it again in spite of much searching. Does anyone remember the specifics? That translator would surely have enriched his translation, as well as gotten it right if he'd had a resource like "Elementymology" to consult.

Diverting from the initial subject in another direction, Gernot Kater's Spice Pages does basically the same thing as Elementymology but for spices and herbs; history, chemical constituents, etymology, photographs, and names in 72 languages.

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