Re: RE> Contractions & Traslat

Subject: Re: RE> Contractions & Traslat
From: Karen Kay <karenk -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 13:51:36 -0700

Gary Feist said:
> Many companies avoid contractions because of the translation to different
> languages.

I've always wondered why people say not to use contractions in
material to be translated. I assumed the reason for this is that the
people who are doing the translation are not native speakers of
English, and so removing a possible source of ambiguity is a good
thing. Is there a stronger reason for doing this?

There is the issue of tone--it indicates informal tone, which may
inappropriate for other cultures.

> Several Asian languages have no contractions at all making the
> translation difficult.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... I only know two Asian languages, one not well.
The lack of contractions is the least of the problems when translating
from English. I don't do English -> Japanese translation because I'm
not a native speaker of Japanese, but the problems I have going from
Japanese to English have largely to do with the fact that the subject
of a sentence is rarely identified, and the fact that Japanese doesn't
have tenses. I imagine those problems would be the same going the
other way.

karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

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