Specific Modifications |
800 numbers for the U.S. can be called toll free from Canada and Mexico. In some
countries calling a US based companies 800 number will not be free,or, in many
countries the 800 number will not connect. If your documents will be used outside
of North America, consider using your regular business telephone number. Alternatively
a local 800 number can be arranged in the locale, which connects through to your
U.S. based operators.
Most countries use a 24-hour clock, instead of AM and PM. For example, 5:00 PM
becomes 17:00. This is especially important when translating computer prompts
Response cards are often deleted entirely or altered to reflect postal standards
of the target country. If you wish to include a reply card, the address and a
square indicating PLACE STAMP HERE are sufficient. Alternatively there
are mail forwarding organisations in most countries, and these allow you to bulk
mail at domestic rates, as well as providing a local address for your organisation.
Culturally Specific References
the text contains culturally specific references to the U.S. (ie. references to
American sports, holidays, school systems, grade levels, etc.) that are not relevant
to the target audience, these references should be generalised or omitted.
Dates In most countries the American month/day/year
For example, February 18, 2002 (2-18-02)
becomes 18 February 2002 (18-2-02).
vs. Decimal Comma The decimal comma replaces the decimal point in Europe
and South America. The decimal point is used to denote the thousands place. For
example, 4.5 becomes 4,5 and 5,000 becomes 5.000. This should be considered when
translating tables. Even if no actual translation is needed within a table, decimal
points may need to be changed to commas.
The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that does not use metric measurements
system. Including metric and American measurements in a text for countries using
the metric system can be confusing and can unnecessarily expand the total amount
of text within a translated manuscript.
Standard paper sizes in many countries differ from those in the U.S. As a result,
without size adjustments, materials printed in the U.S. will not fit folders,
etc., in Europe. Standard European paper sizes are A4 (8.3 x 11.7)
and A5 (5.8 x 8.3).
Dont overlook part numbers in your foreign literature. You may want to consider
using different part numbers to enhance organisation and allow easy identification
of the foreign literature. If you choose to change part numbers, please supply
the most current numbers at the start of the project.
Names and Company Names in Non-Roman Languages In non-Roman languages,
proper names and company names can be transliterated (translated by sound) or
remain in English. If proper names and company names have been translated previously,
providing The Translate Me Group with these translations as a reference will allow
us to maintain consistency.
countries use a voltage standard of 240v rather than 110v, as used in the U.S.
Standard electrical plugs (prongs) used in the U.S. are not usable in other countries.
Types of electrical plugs vary throughout Europe as well. Please verify with the
end user the type of electrical plug configurations used in that country.
Warranties Warranties must be checked. Your
legal department will need to examine any warranties to determine if they should
be amended to fit the foreign market, or deleted altogether. If foreign warranties
have been previously translated, they should be supplied as reference.
prompts An English computer prompt may not hold meaning for a foreign user,
and a translation is helpful. A recommended solution is translation of your computer
software. If prompts remain in English, they can be referred to in the text as
(TRANSLATION). If software has already been translated, a copy should be provided
at the beginning of the project so we can remain consistent with your existing
Useful documents Pictures, schematic drawings,
business cards, manuals, users guides, etc., as well as existing translated
material are very helpful when beginning a project. Reference material allows
translators and your project team to better understand your organisation and its
products/services. It is also very useful for maintaining consistency in word
choice, style and terminology.
Reference to Other
Literature If literature referred to in the text has been translated previously,
please supply the translated name of the literature for consistency. If not, we
suggest using either the English title with the translation for (Available
in English Only) following the title, or the English title followed by the
translation in parenthesis.
Issues to Consider
Industry- and company-specific acronyms and abbreviations often cannot be found
in dictionaries, or have more than one definition. Providing translators with
a list of acronyms and abbreviations, and their definitions as they are used by
your company, can reduce the number of questions during a project. When acronyms
appear in translation text, it is most common to have the first occurrence of
the English acronym followed by its translation in parenthesis. The use of the
corresponding foreign acronym, if available, is also appropriate.
outs This term refers to text surrounding or pointing to artwork. If the
call out text is contained within electronic graphic files, the source graphic
files are needed for desktop publishing. It is best that text requiring translation
is not placed within a graphic; it should be placed in text boxes within the application
or keyed to the graphic.
An electronic file containing the formatted English text is very helpful during
all stages of production and can significantly reduce the cost of desktop publishing.
If a file is available, please let us know in which software program(s) it can
be provided. Electronic files should be provided at the start of the project,
even for translation only projects. If The Translate Me Group is completing the
DTP phase, please supply fonts, necessary graphics and source files.
If the labels, keypads, etc. on your machinery appear in English, special treatment
is necessary in support material. Clients often choose to have labelling appear
as TRANSLATION (ENGLISH) or ENGLISH (TRANSLATION) in the text of the manual. If
labelling has been previously translated, it should be provided as reference at
the beginning of the project.