Donnerstag, 26. August 2010

Great plays on words...

Das ist zwar leicht "off topic", aber diese Witze / Wortspiele sind einfach Spitze (für Nicht-Muttersprachler wohl etwas schwer...):


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11053202

Montag, 23. August 2010

Google-Tipps

Google ist ein extrem wichtiges Werkzeug - doch die vielen Möglichkeiten dieser Suchmaschine werden von Übersetzern oft nicht richtig genutzt (oder gar gekannt). Unser Joe Bryan hat seine Top Ten für uns aufgeschrieben:

Top tips to use Google effectively

1. Find an exact phrase (“…”)

Put your query in quotation marks and Google will only return hits that match the phrase exactly. Useful for researching how often the term is used.

2. Include a specific word (+)

Google automatically ignores some words (the, a, I, etc) – put a plus sign in front of them to include them in the search. And if you only want British English? Put the + sign in front of a British spelling, such as “favourite”, to exclude results with the American version.

3. Exclude a specific word (-)

The minus sign excludes a certain word from your search.

4. Find a synonym (~)

By preceding your search term with the tilde symbol (~), you can search not only for that word but also any synonyms of it.

5. Throw in a wildcard (*)

Add an asterisk to the beginning/middle/end of an incomplete phrase and Google will display results that start/contain/finish with that phrase, such as "Google * my life". Try using this clever function to find common collocations.

6. Search within results

Whatever you Google, you are likely to be faced with thousands or millions of hits. You can narrow this down using the ‘Search within results’ function, found at the bottom of the results page.

7. Search a specific site

You might want to search for a particular term only on one website, for example to see how a certain company uses that word. Simply type the term and then “site:” followed by the relevant URL. Substituting the URL for a top-level domain (.org, .de, .com, .edu, etc) extends the search to websites containing this TLD.

8. Google Images

Google Images is a valuable but underused tool. If you are searching for the English equivalent of a German term, it can be helpful to compare results of image searches in the two languages.

9. Google definition

You can use Google to explain a term by adding ‘define’, ‘what is’ or ‘ what are’ before your search term. This could be a useful starting point for further research.

10. Advanced search

Advanced search offers additional possibilities to refine your query. You can, for example, limit results to German websites. You can also restrict the search to particular document types, e.g. PDFs. Maybe you’re looking for the latest take on a subject – then simply select how recent the hits should be (past 24 hours, month, year).

Source: http://www.googleguide.com/

Freitag, 6. August 2010

Fuzzy research / Druckkennlinie

Today, a guest appearance by Joe Bryan, our intern for three months, on what we call "fuzzy research" (i.e. approaching the translation of a specific term from a variety of angles rather than going for a straight one-for-one rendering):

Since working for a top inks manufacturer, we’ve been getting to grips with the language of printing. And many of the specialised terms aren’t in traditional resources, so fuzzy research is sometimes the only way forward...

Take Druckkennlinie.

We looked this up on Wikipedia:

“Eine Druckkennlinie ist die grafische Darstellung der Tonwertzunahme für verschiedene Druckverfahren und unterschiedliche Druckmaschinen, Bedruckstoffe und Druckfarben.”

And Google confirmed that it’s a common term (it gets 5,200 hits).

So where to next? Druckkennlinie wasn’t in our specialist German-English printing dictionary – dead-end number one. Wikipedia (German version) suggested we look at an article on the Murray-Davies-Formel. But neither Murray nor Davies could point us in the right direction.

The web-based dictionaries (Leo et al) couldn’t muster a single English version between them – another cul-de-sac.

Linguee’s literal offering of ‘print characteristic curve’ scraped barely a few hundred Google hits, and, sure enough, the top results were (dodgy) translations of originally German sites.

We tried a different route: using Google Images to find a graph like the one on Wikipedia. This led us to ‘tone value’.

Returning to our specialist dictionary (PONS, with original English definitions), ‘tone value’ was defined as the “degree of tone of a colour” and translated as Tonwert…a word that appears in the Wikipedia definition of Druckkennlinie, you’ll remember. Now we were getting somewhere – we just had to pin down the best definition.

In most online printing glossaries there was an entry on ‘tone value’ but – and here’s the catch – Googling ‘tone value graph’ returned no results. Then something caught our eye: several of the online references mentioned ‘dot gain’ in the same context. We compared the English definitions of ‘dot gain’ (on Wikipedia and in PONS) with Tonwertzunahme – and they corresponded exactly. Back on Google Images, honing our search, we discovered a ‘dot gain curve’, which when re-Googled reached 31,100 hits.

Finally, this was the translation we were looking for: the English and German definitions matched in all our sources and the term is evidently the most frequently used.

No dictionary could have told us that.

Donnerstag, 5. August 2010

Bäcker = Journalist = Übersetzer

Eine sehr geschätzte Kollegin, Ulrike Heiss, hat mich auf folgenden Blog-Eintrag aufmerksam gemacht - es geht zwar um Journalismus, passt aber auch zu uns Übersetzern/Textern.

http://www.klopfers-web.de/aktuell.php?action=detail&nr=632

Montag, 2. August 2010

Little twists with a big semantic impact

Ich bin meinem Kollegen und fellow footballer David Crellin (wir sind die einzigen - so viel ich weiß - mit diesem komischen Nachnamen in ganz Deutschland. Nein, wir sind weder verheiratet noch verwandt) für folgende Liste dankbar:


In a Bangkok temple:
IT IS FORBIDDEN TO ENTER A WOMAN,
EVEN A FOREIGNER, IF DRESSED AS A MAN.

Cocktail lounge, Norway :
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.

Doctor's office, Rome :
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.

Dry cleaners, Bangkok :
DROP YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.

In a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.

On the main road to Mombassa, leaving Nairobi :
TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.

On a poster at Kencom :
ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO WE CAN HELP.

In a City restaurant:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.

In a cemetery:
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES .

Tokyo hotel ' s rules and regulations:
GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.

In a Tokyo bar:
SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE LADIES WITH NUTS.

Hotel, Yugoslavia :
THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE IS THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.

Hotel, Japan :
YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY EXCEPT THURSDAY.

A sign posted in Germany 's Black Forest :
IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN, LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.

Hotel, Zurich :
BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.

Advertisement for donkey rides, Thailand :
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?

Airline ticket office, Copenhagen :
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS

Sonntag, 1. August 2010

Pro7 begrapscht Omis und vergewaltigt unsere Sprache

Ich bin von einem Kollegen auf folgendes Beispiel der hohen Kunst des Schuss-nach-Hinten-Denglischen hingewiesen:

Pro7 hat eine neue Sendung gestartet - mit dem Namen League Of Balls.

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/tv/0,1518,707118,00.html

http://www.prosieben.de/tv/league-of-balls/

Es geht um angebliche Mutproben (ich hoffe, die Macher dieses Machwerks werden für Ideen wie Omis-Begrapschen verhaftet).

Und klar, auf Englisch heißt he’s got balls durchaus „er ist mutig“ („Eier haben“ ist vielleicht aus dem Englischen ins Deutsche gewandert?).

Aber nur in Verbindung mit have oder got.

Balls als alleinstehender Ausdruck heißt so viel wie „Quatsch“ – aber um einiges derber. Wie folgt:

“England are the best soccer team in the world.”
“Balls!” (bollocks oder bullshit wären auch möglich)

Es kann aber auch auf schlechte Qualität hinweisen.

“How was the new Pro7 show?”
“Complete balls!”

Nach league of erwartet man vor allem Personen oder sonstige Teilnehmer (league of gentlemen, league of nations).

League of balls ist also nicht gerade gutes Englisch – aber für uns Muttersprachler geht die Aussage in Richtung „Scheiß-Liga“.

Was ungefähr zur Sendung passt.