RE: Overuse of gerunds in headings? (Take II)

Subject: RE: Overuse of gerunds in headings? (Take II)
From: "VERKERKEN Wouter" <Wouter -dot- VERKERKEN -at- swift -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 09:01:09 +0200

(Second attempt; first reply didn't make it to the list. Thanks, Lisa!)

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for your reply. Though I see your point(s) -and you obviously
have expertise in this area-, you didn't answer my question.
What if a company decided to use machine translation (not the one I'm
working for, obviously)?

IMHO these are the options:
- Edit the source: don't use gerund+noun combinations.
- Edit the translation: repair gerund+noun translations, in multiple
- Store as many gerund+noun combinations in the translation memory as

Which one do you prefer?


Geoff Hart

>>Wouter VERKERKEN wondered: <<Slightly different question
>about the use
>>of gerunds in headings. I have heard that gerunds produce bad results
>>after automatic translation.>>
>>This is possibly a problem if you're using Google to translate from a
>>language you don't actually understand, and can't be bothered
>>to hire a
>>professional, but in machine-assisted translation, a human
>mind should
>>always be reviewing the translation or picking the correct
>>from a list of "memorized" options, and such problems should never
>>arise. If they do, fire your translator--they're
>incompetent--and hire
>>a pro.
>><<As a Dutch native speaker I can understand that it would not be a
>>good idea to translate, for example, "Installing x" literally into my
>>mother tongue. Does anyone have input on this issue?>>
>>I work professionally as a French to English translator, and I
>>can tell
>>you that nobody who knows what they're doing will do literal
>>translations unless their primary goal is to amuse their friends and
>>lose their clients. Translation involves preserving the
>_meaning_, not
>>the words*, and anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn't be doing
>>translation for a living.
>>* There are, of course, exceptions. For example, you don't translate
>>company names and other proper nouns unless you've confirmed with the
>>author that this is necessary (e.g., there's an official translation
>>for the target country) or helpful.
>>Moreover, in some cases you don't even translate the meaning, but
>>instead choose a wording that accomplishes the same goal in
>the target
>>language that the author was trying to accomplish in the original
>>language. That's very true in advertising, for example, and
>often true
>>in literary translation as well (e.g., some metaphors or jokes don't
>>translate between cultures).

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