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> I have been told several
> times, very emphatically, by the translations manager, that gerunds do not
> really exist in languages other than English, and that this makes them
> inaccurate, difficult, and expensive to translate.
8< snip >8
> I was wondering whether anyone else who translates their
> documentation has run into this problem with translating gerunds, and, if
> so, how you choose to deal with it.
I concur with Andres here, and I confirmed with one of our translation leads
that this stricture is unnecessary. A good translator should have no problem
with gerunds. Translators shouldn't translate word to word anyway. They
should translate based on the overall meaning of a segment (or more). A
gerund is simply syntactic element, and a good translator would use whatever
elements are available in their language to express the meaning rather than
matching words or phrases in parallel. The only time gerunds are a problem
is when it's not clear whether they are gerunds or part of a progressive
constructions, and that's a problem with clarity, not with using a
particular part of speech.
Would you expect a writer in another language to avoid locative case because
English doesn't use it? Of course not. Asking writers of English not to use
gerunds is just as absurd.
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