Welcome / Bienvenue / Benvinguts / Bienvenidos
For information about my translation services, please visit the main site.
Pour des informations sur mes services, merci de regarder le site principal.Para información sobre mis servicios de traducción, visite el web principal.
Anglo Premier Translations propose des devis et accepte des paiements en francs suisses pour que les clients en Suisse puissent bénéficier de tout son savoir-faire et de tout son professionnalisme.
Vous êtes dans la région de Genève ou de Lausanne et vous avez besoin de services de traduction? Je serai dans la région du 5 au 12 décembre pour présenter mes services à plusieurs entreprises et organisations. Si vous voulez aussi vous rencontrer avec moi pour que nous puissions analyser comment vous pouvez bénéficier de nos services de traduction, merci de nous contacter.
The blog has been quiet for a while; the last post was six months ago. It’s been a busy year so far for Anglo Premier Translations.
In January I translated (Spanish>English) an OECD report on e-learning and higher education in Latin America. The report looked in particular at how distance learning has evolved thanks to new technologies and how this is enabling the provision of higher education to isolated, rural parts of Latin America.
April was a somewhat quieter month, during which I was able to take a much-needed break, but I also began working with a new client, McCann Erickson, translating commercial material.
In May and June I began working with another University of Barcelona author. The professor is coordinating a book comparing the EU concept of services of general economic interest (SGEIs) and domestic legislation on public services in France, Spain and Italy. I translated chapters from French and Spanish to English and edited chapters translated from Italian to English.
Also in June, I reached an agreement with the French sailing team SAS Spindrift to translate articles (French>English) related to their upcoming attempt at breaking the world record for the North Atlantic Crossing. My collaboration will involve being on stand-by 24 hours a day during the record attempt, as news items may come in at any time.
Finally, in July, after completing a test, I was accepted as a provider of translation services for the Inter-American Investment Corporation, and have already had the pleasure of working on two very interesting projects. I look forward to continuing our business relationship.
Anglo Premier Translations will continue operating throughout August, when I expect to receive academic papers from university lecturers taking advantage of the end of their semester to finish off articles. And in September and October I will be providing translation and revision services (Spanish>English) for Latin American Economic Outlook for the third consecutive year. Finally, in November I will attend the Mediterranean Editors and Translators conference for the eighth consecutive year.
When translating a website one important aspect translators should include in their budget is website testing. It is the equivalent of reading the proofs of a book before it goes to print. In the publishing industry, translators can spot errors introduced by typesetters who are unfamiliar with conventions in a certain language, such as decimal commas in French, Spanish and other languages vs. decimal points in English.
On a website, clients often overlook menu items when sending website content to the translator for translation. Since the menu items are seemingly simple words, web designers and webmasters may decide to translate the items themselves. Unfortunately things can go wrong, as exemplified below in a screenshot from a website that, otherwise, has a good French translation.
The French word for “French” is “français”, not “française”. The latter is the feminine form of the adjective, as in “une entreprise française” (a French company). When used as a noun to refer to the language it should always be spelt “français”, pronounced with a silent s.
Similar mistakes often encountered on websites, but also on hotels and signposts, include “wellcome” instead of “welcome” and “bienvenu” or “bienvenus” instead of “bienvenue”. In Spanish the word “bienvenido” when used as exclamation agrees with the gender and number of the people being addressed, but in French the exclamation is invariable.
However tempting it may be to translate small words yourself, always check with a professional translator to avoid embarrassing mistakes that spoil your company’s image.
Try to work with a translator who is experienced in translating and localising websites. A good website translator can save you time and money by working with the source code, rather than in a Word document that you then have to reconvert to the format of your website, and will thus ensure that all the menu items and headers and footers are also correctly translated. I would recommend arranging a meeting between the person responsible for the web content, the web designer and the translator to discuss the best strategy.
One of the areas in which Anglo Premier Translations has specialised is in research articles for academic staff. My translation and editing services have resulted in nine academic papers being published in journals and four conference papers or working papers. This is in addition to books I have published with academic articles in them. For more information, including links to the articles, see the new Research articles page of my website.
In Part I of this series I discussed the expression the beautiful game used to refer to association football (which I will simply call football in the rest of this post). In this part I will look at the terminology mentioned by Joseph Lambert in his own blog post, The Terminology of the Beautiful Game.
The first half of the following table shows the terminology mentioned by Joseph Lambert in English, French and Italian, to which I have included the equivalents in Spanish and Catalan and English definitions.
Entries marked with an asterisk are not specific terms, but are ordinary words that could be used to describe the same situation.
The second half of the table contains additional interesting terms, and are discussed further below.
When the ball is played between the legs of an opposing player.
Five goals, but not necessarily by the same player.
If you don't know what a goal is you probably won't be interested in this article!
corner, calcio d'angolo
*goal (straight/directly) from a corner, *score (straight/directly) from a corner
When the ball goes straight into the goal from a corner, without touching another player (except perhaps a small touch by a goalkeeper).
The main official in charge of a match.
lap of honour
When players walk around the edge of the pitch, celebrating in front of their fans.
A short, high kick going over the head of an opposing player or over the arms of the opposing goalkeeper. Also used as a verb.
*beat, *go (a)round
When a player knocks the ball past an opponent on one side and runs around the other side of him or her.
The area just inside where the crossbar and post meet on the goalposts.
An additional 30 minutes of play in knockout matches when the scores are level at the end of ordinary time.
prolongación, descuento, tiempo añadido
prolongació, descompte, temps afegit
injury time, stoppage time, time added on
Additional time added by the referee to compensate for time lost due to injuries, substitutions or time-wasting.
Joseph’s article does not offer a translation of manita. I believe there is no specific term in English. We would either say that a team scored five or use an expression that refers to the fact that a team were well beaten, such as the verbs thrash or trounce. The expression cricket score is often used when a team is banging in the goals. A commentator might say ‘At one stage Arsenal looked like they might make it a cricket score‘. For those unfamiliar with cricket, this is an exaggeration. Even the lowest innings score ever in first-class cricket is 26, but normally a cricket score would be in excess of 150.
An interesting term in Spanish (and Catalan) is córner olímpico, literally an ‘Olympic corner’. In English we have no such term, so we’d just have to say that a player ‘scored straight from a corner’. According to Nicolás Alejandro Cunto’s blog, the term was coined when Argentina scored such a goal against Uruguay in 1924. The Uruguayan team had recently won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Paris, where they celebrated with a lap of honour, which in Spanish was dubbed a vuelta olímpica – an Olympic lap or tour – a term still used in Spanish – and in Catalan – to this day.
The same article by Nicolás Alejandro Cunto illustrates the much higher proportion of words borrowed from English in Latin American Spanish than in Spanish Spanish. He uses referí (referee) rather than árbitro and wing (winger) rather than lateral.
Another curious Spanish term is vaselina, literally meaning ‘Vaseline’, to refer to what in English we call a chip. In English the word chip is often used as a verb rather than a noun, so ‘marcó con una vaselina’ might become ‘chipped the ball (over the goalkeeper’s head and) into the net’.
Joseph’s article mentions petit pont (small bridge), the French term for a nutmeg. French football parlance also has the grand pont (big bridge), which is when an attacking player knocks the ball past a defender on one side and then runs around the other side of the defender. (If you’re confused by this explanation, watch this exquisite ‘grand pont’ and goal by an 8-year-old called Adam, and if you’re not confused, watch it anyway!) There is no term as precise as this in English. Although a translator could describe the action precisely by explaining the manoeuvre in detail, this is a good example of where it is better to let some information become lost in translation in the interest of maintaining good style (e.g. ‘Ronaldo beat Johnson on the right flank before unleashing a cross to the far post…’).
French refers to the top corner as the lucarne (skylight); Spanish and Catalan use escuadra and escaire respectively, both meaning ‘right angle’. The closer the ball is to the junction between the crossbar and the upright, the more likely a French writer or commentator is to say en pleine lucarne (‘right in the top corner’, or ‘in the very top corner’).
Finally, translators working between French and Spanish or French and Catalan should watch out for a false friend when referring to extra time and injury time (see the table for other synonyms). Extra time is called la prolongation in French, but in Spanish and Catalan prolongación and prolongació mean injury time; extra time is called prórroga and pròrroga respectively.
I recently stumbled upon an article by fellow specialist sports translator Joseph Lambert entitled The Terminology of the Beautiful Game. Joseph focuses on terminology in his source languages: French and Italian. My source languages are slightly different – I also translate from French, I don’t translate from Italian, and I translate from Spanish and Catalan – so with his permission I decided to write my own post incorporating his French and Italian terms and adding Spanish and Catalan terms.
I will examine the terms he discusses in a future article. In this post I will look at an expression used in the title of Joseph’s article. The term the beautiful game is instantly understood by English-speaking football fans – at least those in the UK and Ireland – as referring to association football, in the same way that boxing fans will instantly recognise the noble art as referring to their sport. Schott’s Sporting, Gaming & Idling Miscellany, by Ben Schott, lists three other poetic nicknames for sports: the sport of kings (horse racing), the gentle craft (angling), the noble science of defence (fencing) and the Tesserarian art (gambling).
The expression the beautiful game has no direct translation into French, Spanish and Catalan, so a translator working from English into these languages must either repeat the word football or use some other expression to refer to the sport. Spanish has the option of using the calqued translation balompié, which the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas says “no ha gozado de mucha aceptación entre los hablantes y suele emplearse casi siempre por razones estilísticas, para evitar repeticiones en el discurso” (it is not widely used, and when it is it is nearly always for stylistic reasons to avoid repetition). French, meanwhile, can resort to the expression le ballon rond, which literally refers to the bag of air being booted around the field but is often used as a metonym to refer to the sport. French can also use the slightly informal shortened form foot (French can also remove the suffix -ball from the names of two other sports: handball and basketball).
Another alternative in English is soccer, a word that derives from association football (see next paragraph). I remember soccer being in widespread use when I was growing up as a child in England, but in recent times – perhaps particularly since the 1994 World Cup in the USA – it seems to have fallen out of favour in the UK, wrongly branded an unwelcome Americanism by many; the term was first coined in England. Generally it is used only in headlines (where there is a limit on the number of characters) or when specifically discussing football in America.
Association football is the official name of the sport, so called because it is based on the rules originally devised by the (English) Football Association. The full name is used in contexts where it is necessary to distinguish the game from other codes of football: rugby league, rugby union, American football, Canadian football, Australian-rules football (or Aussie- rules football, commonly referred to as footie in Australia) and Gaelic football. Technically the full name of the sport in French and Spanish is football association and fútbol asociación respectively – and FIFA actually stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association – but these are rarely, if ever, used in those languages. Note that in English it is not unusual for a rugby (league or union) commentator to say something like “that’s excellent football by England” or “that’s excellent use of the football by Wales”.
Watch this space for a follow-up post on vocabulary used to describe the action during matches.
This is the first of a series of articles I will post about the pronunciation of foreign names. The articles will focus on famous names in sport that are often mispronounced by sports commentators and presenters.
Commentators and presenters should not be expected to pronounce all foreign names exactly as pronounced in the original language. For instance, it would sound pretentious for commentators to pronounce all French Rs the French way. But they should pronounce names as correctly as possible using phonemes (sounds) that exist in English.
Mispronunciations are often the result of the speaker reading a name as if it were English. But sometimes they occur because the speaker applies the pronunciation rules of one foreign language to a name that’s from another language – usually French, because it is the most familiar foreign language to most people in Britain.
For example, when referring to the controversial Uruguayan footballer Luis Suárez, Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers calls the striker LEW-ee, with a silent S. He does this three times in the following interview alone.
This is a type of hypercorrection, and specifically a hyperforeignism: even though a final S in English words is pronounced, Rodgers believes he is pronouncing the name more correctly by omitting it, when in fact he is not. He almost certainly does so because the French name Louis has a silent S, but final consonants are not silent in Spanish, nor are they in most languages. The correct pronunciation would be LWEES, as a single syllable, but since this is hard to pronounce for an English speaker, an acceptable compromise would be lu-WEESS.
The letter J
Let us look specifically at the subject of this post, the letter J, which is pronounced in a variety of ways in different European languages.
(Since these posts are aimed at non-linguists, I have avoided using phonetic symbols and have written pronunciations in such a way that they can be read as if they were English words. Caps are used to denote the stressed syllable.)
Germanic languages except English (German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic)
The Germanic languages (except English) pronounce the J like the English letter Y. Examples:
Jan Ullrich (German)
Luuk de Jong (Dutch)
Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen (Icelandic)
French and Portuguese
French and Portuguese use a sound that does not exist in native English words, but with which most English speakers are familiar. It is the same sound that occurs in the expression déjà vu. Examples:
Jean Alesi (French)
José Mourinho (Portuguese)
Mispronunciations of a Catalan J are invariably a hyperforeignism, since the letter is pronounced the same as in most English words (e.g. in the word jam).
Sometimes commentators wrongly pronounce it like the J found in other Germanic languages (i.e. a Y sound). For example, during the playing days of Jordi Cruyff, who was given a Catalan first name by his parents (his father Johan was a Barça player at the time), the British media usually pronounced his first name as YOR-di. Perhaps commentators assumed his first name was Dutch, but other Catalan names with a J are also mispronounced as a Y, such as Jordi Alba.
Other times they pronounce it like the Spanish J (see below). Here’s a clip of Stephen Fry in flagrante delicto pronouncing the Catalan word menja as MEN-ha, as if it were a Spanish word, when the correct pronunciation is simply MEN-ja.
For the nitpickers, Spanish pronounces the J like the “ch” in the Scottish word loch. But apart from this word the sound doesn’t exist in English, so to simplify matters let’s say that it is pronounced as a H, which is an acceptable alternative for the native English speaker. (Spanish speakers themselves approximate the English H sound, which doesn’t exist in Spanish, like the Spanish letter J.)
An Anglicised pronunciation of the Spanish name Jorge would therefore be HOR-hay. This pronunciation of the letter J (and the letter G if followed by an E or an I) is unique to Spanish, and should not be used for names in other languages, including Catalan.
Spanish, Portuguese or Catalan?
The spellings of Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan names are often very similar or identical (José is written the same in Portuguese and Spanish), so commentators should make sure they know whether athletes have a Spanish, Portuguese or Catalan name so they can pronounce it correctly.
Common Spanish names containing a J pronounced as a H sound: Alejandro, Alejandra, Jaime, Javier, Javiera, Jerónimo, Joaquín, Jorge, José, Josefina, Joel, Juan, Julia, Juliana, Julio.
Common Catalan names containing a J pronounced like an English J: Jaume, Jeroni, Jordi, Joaquim, Josep, Joel, Joan, Júlia.
Common Portuguese names containing a J pronounced like a French J: Jaime, Jerónimo, Jerônimo, João, Joaquim, Jorge, Josefina, Júlia, Júlio.
Finally, Juventus is a special case. In Italian, the letter J is only used in words borrowed from foreign langauges. Otherwise, the J sound (as in jam) is always represented by the letter G (Genova) or by the combination “GI” (Giuseppe). The name of the Turin-based club is derived from the Latin iuventus, meaning youth, and is pronounced yu-VEN-tus.
A lot of translators get far too upset about certain websites where people are requesting translation services at astonishingly low rates. A good cure for this gripe is to inadvertently end up on one of the large databases of “translation agencies” that some of these sites hand out.
I ended up on one such website several years ago. I asked the site to remove me, which they did, but before long I was starting to receive CVs again, so presumably I’m back on the list. I currently receive approximately two to three CVs per day, all of which are sent to my old e-mail address from my old site, which is no longer visible and redirects to my new site. Curiously some of the candidates claim to have “read about my company”, even though they’re writing to an e-mail address not published anywhere on my website. Not surprisingly, the e-mail is normally sent as a blind carbon copy. In other words, the e-mail is being sent simultaneously to countless “translation agencies”, most of which the applicant knows absolutely nothing about.
Recently I’ve begun to open up some of the e-mails I’m sent, out of curiosity. Doing so has made me understand why such shoddy rates are offered. The vast majority of messages I receive are pitiful. The English is usually terrible, even from people claiming they translate into English. Many claim that English is their native language when the English they use clearly shows that this is a lie. One could argue that it is unfair to judge, say, an English-to-French translator based on the quality of his or her English, although this is debatable, since mastering the source language is also an essential skill. If, however, their e-mail contains incorrect usage of punctuation ,with commas written like this ,[sic] or with spaces before full stops, or with incorrect usage of capital letters, one can expect their work to be shoddy too.
Why, then, do good translators get so upset because a website is offering translations at such low rates? Does the owner of a top-quality restaurant get upset because half a mile up the road there’s a McDonald’s offering a meal and a drink for less than €10?
To illustrate my point, here are some extracts from some of the e-mails I’ve received recently. Comments in square brackets are my own interjections. Needless to say I won’t be hiring any of them for any jobs.
Translator 1. Native language: French.
Dear Madam / Mr . [not looking good already]
Note that my qulifications [oh dear] match greatly with your demand . [bad punctuation already]
I have read about your company , [this is probably not true]and I have sufficient knowledge about translation world .
As you will note in the attached CV that I am :
Firm believer in the Power of Languages and understanding of diverse cultures. From China to the Dominican [in his attached CV he says “From China to the Dominican Republic” but in the e-mail the word “Republic” has disappeared] communication is essential, having lived in four different countries in the last ten years, I have conjugated my background in International commerce and business administration as well as my knowledge of five languages to bring a more in depth approach to each opportunity presented to me.
I should inform you that I am an excellent speaker of French ,English , Portuguese and Spanish , and I use Microsoft Windows , Word , Excel , Power Point , and Internet skills .
I would be very pleased If I have a positive reply .
Translator 2. Native language: Chinese
Hello ,,, [no need to read any more!]
Translator 3. Native language: Arabic
My specializations include Translation, Legal , , Proofreading, localization, Copywriting, Ghostwriting, Editing and general
I obtained a BA degree in specialized translation at ALAQAS University I studied one year of postgraduate studies in English Arabic translation. , I worked as translator in many Educational Institutions in my country. I also worked as freelance translator and English proofreader/editor Experienced translator in wide range of field.
Translator 4. Native language: Norwegian
Subject: “Meeting your all languages needs”
Translator 5. Native language: Chinese
This is [name removed] from China.
I engaged in translation when I was 22 years ago and in the Zhongnan University, majored in English.
Translator 6. A translation agency.
Do you spend long time [sic] searching for qualified translators?
Do you like to have the best price?
Do you worry about the translators’ commitment regarding deadlines?
Why do you bear all this while we are ready to do it for you?
[Translation agency name] is really there for your translation agency best choice. [What does that mean?] We offer such a great language translation experience, you never want to go back and look for your own freelancers, volunteers, or in-house translators again. We can beat them down with our lowest rates, better quality, accessibility, tax deductions (you can get rid of high expenses of translation services!), and 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Translator 7. Native language: French
Subject: English into French Translator and Vice Versa
Hello All, [at least he’s honest that it’s a mass mail]
Hope this message finds you well.
My name is [name removed] and I am a French native. I am a freelance translator/reviser since six years. [Yes, I know changing “je suis…depuis” to “I have been…since” is confusing, but if you claim to translate into English this is basic.] I translate from English/Spanish/Italian into French.Specialization field: art, culture, literature, creative writing, fashion, politics, economy, social sciences, international relations, technology, web localization, internet.
Please find attached to this e-mail a copy of my CV that details my past experience.
If any interest from your side, please let me know I would be pleased to provide you mi services.
Translator 8. Native language: Russian
[The line breaks are in the original e-mail.]
I am a freelancer. My name is Ripsime. My working languages are
English, Russian. My native language is Russian, and due to the fact
that I live many years abroad I use English in my everyday life. I
have more than 8 years of experience as a freelance translator, as
well as I am a graduate of political sciences and international
relations with honors.
Translator 9. Native language: Italian
Subject: My services are punctual ,never delayed ,very accurate ,precise ,with genuine respect to the source. [Enough said, I think.]
Translator 10. Native language: Spanish
[The CV is taken from a template. She hasn’t paid to remove the watermark, and her name has the word “Edit” between her first name and surname! Also, her e-mail appears to have a typo, although I have no way of knowing if that is deliberate.]
I’ve just been installing the program that enables me to generate my end-of-year tax declarations, and I was rather confused when I came across this screen:
One of the options says “Crear teclas de método abreviado para todos los usuarios”, which means “Create keyboard shortcuts for all users”. It seems a strange question to ask when installing a program. When you toggle the option, the list of programs in the above window changes, which is when I realised what had happened.
It should be asking whether I want to place a shortcut in the Windows menu for all users. The installation program was probably translated from an English installer that said “Create shortcuts for all users”, and the translator interpreted it as keyboard shortcuts (teclas de método abreviado) rather than shortcuts in the Windows menu, which I believe are called “accesos directos” in the Spanish versions of Windows.
Either the translator failed to use the context, or more likely, the translator was not given the context and was simply given a list of words and phrases to translate. There was probably no testing either. Whenever a translation is done and then transferred to another environment, somebody should view the translation in its final environment to check that all is well and rectify any problems (referred to as “testing” in the industry). Types of documents that require testing include websites, Powerpoint presentations and software. Similarly, before any translation are sent to print the translator should see the proofs to ensure nothing has gone wrong during the typesetting phase. Testing and checking proofs are both services provided by Anglo Premier Translations.
When I provide a quote to a client, one of the services I mention in the quote is quality assurance (QA). It is an important part of the service I offer, and is vital for large projects to ensure consistency and coherence.
A good technique I’ve found when working with a colleague, such as a reviser, is to make my QA notes in a Google Doc, which the reviser can read and edit. Here is a snapshot from a recent project I completed, the translation of the OECD’s Latin American Economic Outlook 2013 into English.
A snapshot of the QA document used for LEO 2013
Using this method has several benefits:
Time is not wasted trying to standardise certain aspects before the translation and revision are complete, especially since a different decision might be adopted later down the line, duplicating your work. For instance, whether to use single or double quotation marks (inverted commas).
I can warn the reviser not to worry about certain issues that I will take care of myself during the final QA. For instance, any occurrence of “program” where “programme” should be used.
The reviser can use the document to warn me of any inconsistencies he or she has spotted that should be looked at during QA.
On large projects, QA is a very thorough process. The above screenshot is just a snapshot of what was in fact a four-page document. The final page included a whole list of find/replace routines using regular expressions. For instance, this client requires that a non-breaking space is used between a number and the words million or billion, which I can achieve using a regular expression, rather than making sure I remember to use the non-breaking space every time when translating or revising the document.
For publications, QA is a vital part of the editorial process, and when requesting a quote on a translation you should ask your client what QA procedures will be used.