Re: Translation Info for Style Guide

Subject: Re: Translation Info for Style Guide
From: Mayumi Nishioka <IM3M-NSOK -at- ASAHI-NET -dot- OR -dot- JP>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 1996 15:44:08 +0900


Some might remember me, but I'm an English-Japanese translator. I
think I can give a couple of tips about hiring Japanese translators.

1. Each Japanese letter is double the size of an alphabetical letter,
i.e., using two bytes. This itself is not a problem. But Japanese
front-end processors are designed to produce alphabetical letters,
numbers, parentheses and symbols in either one-byte size ("half
width," we say) or two-byte size ("full width"). So you might as well
specify your preference when placing an order. I myself go with the
one-byte size for the alphabet, numbers and symbols, because I think
I can make the document look neater this way. But Japanese
translators are not always aware of this. Also, parentheses are a
real gray area and if you specify your preference first, post-editing
may be easier.

2. I guess this is not limited to English-Japanese translation, but
if you accept output in a text format (this is a common practice with
translation agencies in Japan), you could specify some special sets of
symbols that should be used to mark superscript, subscript, mu, and
other figures and attributes that appear frequently in the source
document but cannot be produced in the text format. For example, one
of the agents I work for instructs me to enter cm$2$ for "square
centimeter," or H#2#O for the chemical formula of water. This
practice may annoy your translators, as I felt that way at first, but
now without doing this, I could feel insecure, wondering if editors
might fail to provide necessary conversion.

Best wishes,

Mayumi Nishioka, Wakayama, Japan
Technical Translator
im3m-nsok -at- asahi-net -dot- or -dot- jp

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