Re: translation

Subject: Re: translation
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 19:58:05 -0400

This is actually a very good idea. The translators generally
work from a specialized dictionary that they'll need to
construct for your particular document. Perhaps it'll just be
a sole translator who keeps it all in his head, but the idea
is the same. It is easier to translate the final version if many
of the vocabulary bugs have been worked out ahead of time. It's
akin to how you can do a better job writing about software if
they let you look at the design spec long before coding begins.

If the translation is being handled by several translators
at once, to speed things up, then the early view should enable
them to communicate with each other better and to retranslate
easily any chapter that was supposedly finished, but that
turned out to need lots of additional writing.

I am certain that technical translation is now accomplished
with the aid of computer programs (such as the Systran engine
that is the basis of Babelfish). I've not worked with it in
over 20 years, but even that long ago, it (Systran) was a good
tool, and it required construction of a special dictionary
for each project or set of related projects. The current
version must be tons better, after 20 years, but it still
needs a human translator with a good ear, for whom it is just
an assistant, not an authority.

obair81 -at- comcast -dot- net wrote:

Our docs in English will not be finalized until about 4 weeks before they must be given to the customer in another language (mid-August). A translation will take about 4 weeks.

It has been suggested that I should turn over to the translator now those chapters that we expect will have no or almost no changes, since it would be impossible to have the entire translation done and the docs printed and bound etc in the 4 week window starting in mid-July.

Is it common practice to break up a translation like this? The thought of it fills me with dread, what with the implications of getting doc changes back to the translator after they have "finished" chapters that we thought would not change, and the idea of trying to unite chapters that were translated at different times etc.

How have people handled this issue in the past? I am a stranger to this "translation" country.

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translation: From: obair81

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