Replace “–tion” Endings With “–ing” for Impactful Sentences

Posted Posted in Style, Word Usage

Dragoman translators know that using “-tion of” endings will only result in clunky sentences. The acquisition of a new language will help you improve your job prospects. Better: Acquiring a new language will help you improve your job prospects. You can further explore how you can avoid nominalizations and cast more active sentences here. Nominalization, or using a hidden verb as a noun is a common problem with uninitiated Turkish to English translators. The EU pays attention to this matter […]

Cutting the Fat: Avoid Superfluous Nouns

Posted Posted in Style, Word Usage

Dragoman prefers expressing ideas as succinctly as possible.   This means cutting superfluous nouns that add nothing to what we are trying to communicate to our readers. Example 1: Many studies in the field of economics highlight the importance of transaction costs. Better:  Many studies in economics highlight the importance of transaction costs.   Example 2: Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate over the weekend. Better:  Weather is expected to deteriorate over the weekend.   You can further explore how you can […]

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, […]

The Plural of “Behavior”

Posted Posted in Translation_Tips, Word Usage

Behavior is almost always a mass noun and it is very rarely used in the plural. Incorrect:  You must reflect on your behaviors if you want to avoid repeating your mistakes. Correct:     You must reflect on your behavior if you want to avoid repeating your mistakes. Behavior is used in the plural in the fields of psychology, social science, and education. Five behaviors could extend life expectancy at 50 by more than a decade, even without the discovery of a single new drug or […]

“Such As … and So On / So Forth” Redundancy

Posted Posted in Translation_Tips, Word Usage

Dragoman prefers “and so on” or “and so forth” to “etc.” (et cetera) to show that there are many other similar things or people that we can add. However, combining “such as” with “and so on” or “and so forth” in a sentence causes a redundancy. Incorrect:   Animals such as mountain lions, wolves and so on are carnivores. Correct:      Animals such as mountain lions and wolves are carnivores.            

“E.g. … and So On / So Forth” Redundancy

Posted Posted in Translation_Tips, Word Usage

If we begin by saying e.g., which means for example, it is redundant to add and so on or and so forth at the end. Incorrect:   Some EU countries (e.g., Italy, Belgium, Greece and so on) are largely dependent on gas imports from abroad. Correct:      Some EU countries (e.g., Italy, Belgium, Greece) are largely dependent on gas imports from abroad. Redundancy or wordiness is the enemy of clarity; makes it difficult to read and understand your sentences. On this knowledbase […]

Consist Of vs. Consist In

Posted Posted in Sentences, Word Usage

Consist in something and consist of something have entirely different meanings. Consist in means to be based on or depend on something. Incorrect:   Patriotism does not consist of blind obedience of the ruled to their rulers. Correct:      Patriotism does not consist in blind obedience of the ruled to their rulers. Consist of means to be formed from two or more things or people. Incorrect:   The students consisted in private school graduates. Correct:      The students consisted of private school graduates. You can […]

Warranty vs. Guarantee

Posted Posted in Word Usage

Although warranty and guarantee have similar meanings they cannot be used interchangeably. Dictionary.com defines warranty and guarantee as follows: A warranty is “a promise or guarantee given.” A warranty is usually a written guarantee for a product, and it holds the maker of the product responsible to repair or replace a defective product or its parts. It is only used as a noun. A guarantee is the promise included in the formal (and legal) warranty. Unless we are talking about a money-back guarantee, Dragoman prefers translating […]

Sex vs. Gender

Posted Posted in Word Usage

Wikipedia’s entry on sex and gender distinction reads as follows: “The distinction between sex and gender differentiates a person’s biological sex (the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics) from that person’s gender, which can refer to either social roles based on the sex of the person (gender role) or personal identification of one’s own gender based on an internal awareness (gender identity). In this model, the idea of a “biological gender” is an oxymoron: the biological […]