Avoiding Gender Bias

Posted Posted in Style, Translation_Tips, Word Usage

Dragoman prefers using gender-neutral vocabulary in its translations wherever possible. Inappropriate:      This small, soil dwelling, bacteria eating, unsegmented worm may be an important key in mankind‘s endeavor to explore space. Gender-neutral:   This small, soil dwelling, bacteria eating, unsegmented worm may be an important key in humankind‘s endeavor to explore space. Inappropriate:     In this edition, Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, discusses TARP and the legacy of “too big to fail.” Gender-neutral:  In this edition, Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, […]

Contractions

Posted Posted in Sentences, Style, Translation_Tips

The AP Stylebook recommends avoiding excessive use of contractions. Yet, it all depends on the context. If we are translating formal documents such as contracts, financial reports, user guides, journal articles and so on, we must never use contractions. Incorrect: The Parties agree that they shan’t discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, sex or national origin. Correct:     The Parties agree that they shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because […]

Noon and Midnight

Posted Posted in Style, Translation_Tips

AP Style prefers using figures except for noon and midnight. In other words, we must use noon and midnight to refer to 12 a.m. and 24 p.m., respectively. We can also use the 24-hour clock to avoid confusing our readers. On the other hand, since the 24-hour clock is used in military and scientific contexts in the United States and Dragoman prefers U.S. English, we should be using the 12-hour notation. Incorrect:   The lecture scheduled to begin at 12 a.m. has just […]

a.m. and p.m.

Posted Posted in Style, Translation_Tips

Dragoman and AP Stylebook differs slightly in expressing time. Although both styles prefer lowercase a.m. and p.m. for ante meridiem and post meridiem, Dragoman prefers the 24-hour representation of time, while AP Style prefers the 12-hour representation of time and Incorrect:  The meeting will start at 9:45 A.M. and end at 13:00 P.M. Correct:     The meeting will start at 9:45 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. You can further explore the topic by watching a YouTube video featuring Mignon Fogarty, […]

Headlines 2

Posted Posted in Style, Translation_Tips

4. Headlines use infinitives to refer to future events. Incorrect:  TRUMP WILL VISIT FRANCE Correct:     TRUMP TO VISIT FRANCE 5. Headlines often contain a string of nouns. Incorrect:   LOCKOUT IS DECLARED AT A CAR PLANT OVER A LABOR DISPUTE Correct:      CAR PLANT LABOR DISPUTE LOCKOUT 6. Headlines often make use of as to replace longer connecting expressions. Incorrect:   MANY FEARED THAT BECAUSE TORRENTS CONTINUE Correct:      MANY FEARED DEAD AS TORRENTS CONTINUE

Capitalizing Disease Names

Posted Posted in Style

Do not capitalize disease names or medical terms. AP Stylebook states that: “Do not capitalize arthritis, emphysema, leukemia, pneumonia, etc. When a disease is known by the name of a person or geographical area identified with it, capitalize only the proper noun element: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Ebola virus, etc.” You can learn why Ebola is capitalized and further explore the topic here.    

Headlines 1

Posted Posted in Style, Translation_Tips

Press releases and headlines account for a big part of Dragoman’s daily business volume. Headlines are written in a style of their own, and we have to know how to translate them. 1. Headlines often leave out articles and the verb be. Incorrect:  MAN LANDS ON THE MOON Correct:      MAN LANDS ON MOON Incorrect:  U.S. SANCTIONS ARE UNJUSTIFIED SAYS ROHANI Correct:      U.S. SANCTIONS UNJUSTIFIED SAYS ROHANI 2. Headlines are rarely complete sentences. Incorrect:  MORE WARMING IS ON THE WAY. Correct:      […]

Starting a Sentence With a Number

Posted Posted in Sentences, Style, Translation_Tips

Never begin a sentence with a numeral. There is one exception: a numeral that identifies a calendar year. When translating press releases or annual reports, we occasionally come across situations where we have to place the percentage at the beginning of the sentence. E.g.: Twenty-eight percent of the participants passed the test last year. Although this sentence is correct, it looks odd. Where possible, recast the sentence so that the numbers are expressed in figures. Better: Last year, 28 percent […]