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Translation Style Guide

Translation Style Guide

1. The name of the original file shall be preserved with addition of a two-letter abbreviation of the language. It is not allowed to combine or divide original files. This is to ensure a quicker comparison of the translation and original files.

2. It is required to use the existing alphabet of the target language, including umlauts, accents and other diacritical marks.

3. The translation shall be complete, i.e. each and every part of the original text shall be reproduced in the translation. The entire original text shall be translated, including headers and footers, writings on impressions of seals and stamps, handwritten notes, footnotes, text elements on images and in tables. Only parts of the text expressly specified by the customer as not requiring translation may be left untranslated.

4. Throughout the text, the use of terminology shall be consistent and (where applicable) a glossary shall be used. The headings, section titles, parties to the agreement shall be referred to consistently. In technical texts, it is not allowed to alternate between the imperative and indicative mood of verbs.

Consistency of terminology shall also be ensured when translating more than one file for the same customer. In such a case, even if you find a better translation for any repeated term, you shall not use it until you have received the editor’s approval.

5. The translator shall provide only one translation version for words, terms and expressions. It is not allowed to give more than one translation version for the customer to choose from.

6. All comments on the translated text shall be provided in a separate document using the MS Word function “Comment” (“Insert” — “Comment”).

7. The format for presenting numerical data used in the target language shall be observed (including requirements for separators between the whole number and the decimal fraction part of a decimal number).

8. All assignments shall be completed personally. In other words, assignments are given based on your performance level, specialist field, all advantages and disadvantages of your work. Experience has proven that engagement of third parties to complete assignments is likely to result in an unsatisfactory translation, in which case the translator will be charged a penalty.

9. The use of software specified in the assignment (including САТ software) is a MANDATORY condition of the assignment.

Formatting

The translation text layout shall correspond to that of the original to the fullest extent possible. It shall preserve the division into chapters, sections, paragraphs, alignment of paragraphs (headings, subheadings), fonts and other forms of highlighting. The paragraphs in the translation shall correspond to the paragraphs in the source text.

If it is technically impossible, or if the customer requests not to preserve the text layout, or if the translator receives a non-formatted text, it is recommended, unless otherwise required by the customer, to translate the text in the MS Word format (as it is the most common text editor) in accordance with the following rules:

font of the translation — Times New Roman or Arial;

point (font) size — 12;

margins: 2.54 cm on each side.

1. Do not use spaces to format the text (e.g., to align the text to the centre). If you need to split the text inside a cell (in a table), use the Tab function. To prevent the cursor from moving to the next cell when pressing the TAB key, hold down the CTRL key.

2. Do not use automatic text recognition software. Often, it is almost impossible to make changes to such documents at the editing stage without “deforming” the remaining pages. If you choose to use the automatic recognition program, you will be responsible for deleting the excessive file formatting, i.e. ANY TRACES OF AUTOMATIC RECOGNITION.

3. Placement of the text on a page of the translation shall correspond to the original to the fullest extent possible. It is allowed to increase/decrease the font size. In most cases, page-to-page match is not required.

4. If the text contains images, they shall be translated. If the text on the image is not editable, it is allowed to insert a bilingual correspondence table below the image.

5. All specifics of the text formatting shall be reflected in the translation to the fullest extent (highlighted in bold, italics, underlined, crossed-out words or words in CAPITAL letters). If a big fragment of the text must be typed in capital letters, it is better if you type it in lowercase letters and then select the fragment and use the feature Format — Font — All Caps. If you use the Caps Lock key to type the text, the spelling check function in MS Word will not work.

6. Text segments shall not be placed in the same cell of a table. Place them in different rows instead.

7. When typing dates, numbers, proper nouns (e.g., to prevent the initials and surname from being broken over two lines), you shall use non-breaking spaces (for more information, use the Help feature of your text editor).

8. Portrait/landscape page orientation shall be preserved in the translation. If you need to change orientation of only one page, use the feature Page Layout — Page Setup — Potrait/Landscape and select Apply to — This Point Forward at the bottom of the section. In such a case, only the last page orientation will change.

9. Pages shall be numbered using the function Insert — Page Number.

10. A table of contents shall be created automatically using the relevant function of MS Word and not manually.

11. Punctuation in lists shall be in compliance with the grammar rules of the target language.

Translation of Specific Text Elements

Acronyms and abbreviations Acronyms and abbreviations shall be used in the source language or transliterated (if applicable). The first time you use an abbreviation in the text, present both the spelled-out version and the short form. When the spelled-out version first appears in translation, put the abbreviation in parentheses after it. This does not apply to generally accepted abbreviations that have established equivalents in the target language (e.g., ООН, ЕЭС, etc.).
Original Correct Incorrect
NASA, ИНН, ЕU NASA, INN, EС НАСА, TIN, EU
Addresses Addresses shall be transliterated, with the exception of historically established spelling. At the same time, you shall follow the order of address components generally accepted in the translation country. It is not required to repeat the address in the original language in brackets.
Original Correct Incorrect
улица Б. Покровская, London street ulitsa B. Porkovskaya, Лондон стрит B. Pokrovskaya street, улица Лондона
Citations (book/article titles and names) Book/article titles and names (citations) are normally not to be translated. Still in each individual case, it is better to clarify with the project manager whether you shall translate the or not.
Geographical names Geographical names shall be written in accordance with historically established spelling. Otherwise, transcription rather than transliteration rules shall apply.
Coat of arms of any state The word “Coat of Arms” followed by the official name of the state shall be written in bold. Coats of arms in the background of paper document shall not be indicated. Example:
/Герб Российской Федерации/
/Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation/
/Armoiries de la Fédération de Russie/
Graphical elements containing text in the source language (diagrams, charts, figures, drawings) If the file format does not allow to type over the text inside such graphic elements, the translator shall create a two column table below the graphic element and insert the text in the original language in the left column and the corresponding translation in the right one.
Dates and time If a date is written in words in the original text, it shall be written in words in the translation. It is required to use data formats accepted in the relevant country.
Original (RU) Correct (EN) Incorrect (EN)
“05.10.2005”
22 июня 1941
October 05, 2005
June 22, 1941
05.10.2005
22 June 1941
Positions, professions The names of professions, positions, academic ranks, title shall be translated only if they have an unambiguous equivalent in the target language. Otherwise, it is allowed to calque or transliterate.
Measurement units As a rule, it is not required to translate numerical data from one system of weights and measures into another. At the customer’s request, non-metrical British and other national units can be translated and presented in units of the International System of Units (SI). In any case, diameters of pipes and bolts specified in non-metric units (inches) shall not be translated. Measurements units shall be translated into the target language even if they are very similar to the original (e.g., mm — мм).
First names, surnames Names shall be be transcribed in accordance with the target language rules. When translating personal documents (passport, birth certificate), the project manager shall provide the correct spelling of the name (e.g., as per the international passport).
Use of text highlights and translator’s comments Any translator’s comments that are not in the original shall be highlighted to be clearly visible. The standard use of highlights shall be as follows:
Illegible text fragments: illegible
Abbreviation not deciphered or complicated term not found: green
Text fragments in another language: yellow
Errors and inconsistencies in the original, comments on the original text and all other cases: red
Comments on the translation shall not be included in the text but shall be provided in a letter to which the translation is attached or using the Comment feature of MS Word (Insert — Comment). It is not allowed to add any comments, footnotes or question marks to the translation text itself.
Headers, footers and footnotes Headers and footers shall be made using the functions Insert Header and Insert Footer.
Company or organisation logo In the target language, the word “Logo” shall be written with a capital letter, followed by the colon mark. After the colon mark, a text description of the content of the logo shall be provided. Logos consisting of symbols only shall not be reflected in the translation. Example:
/Logo: Bank of Cyprus/
Handwritten text If a handwritten text is typical for this kind of document (e.g., a form completed by hand), the handwritten text shall be translated as a regular text. If a handwritten text is not typical for this kind of document (e.g., notes in the margins), the phrase “Handwritten text” shall be added, followed by translation of the text itself.
Company name and legal form The company name specified on the company’s official website shall be used. If the company’s website is not translated into the target language, or if the company does not have a website, the name shall be transliterated (including abbreviated legal forms — ZAO, OOO, OAO, GUP, etc.). If the abbreviation is spelled-out, it shall be translated in full (e.g., Closed Joint Stock Company). It is allowed to translate the company name only if it is fully translatable or if there is a generally accepted translation version (e.g., European Bank for Reconstruction and Development). Remember that in the English language, names of legal entities are not put in quotation marks. When translating into non-Latin scripts, names of legal entities shall always be transliterated.
Original Correct Incorrect
ОАО «Газпром», Stada AG, OJSC Nizhpharm OAO Gazprom, Штада АГ, ОАО «Нижфарм» OJSC Gazprom, АО Штада, JSC Нижфарм
National and cultural elements When translating cultural elements, it is allowed to use transliteration (e.g., dacha, perestroika, dembel, etc.) accompanied by a short description of the element in brackets or a footnote.
Uncompleted (crossed-out) fields of a document Such fields shall be translated (and also crossed-out). The only exception to this would be the customer’s request not to translate crossed-out paragraphs made when placing the order for translation.
Illegible details In such a case, the name of the detail shall be specified, followed by the word “illegible” in the relevant language in italics. Example: /Seal: illegible/
List numbering When translating from a non-Latin scripts (Russian, Chinese, Arabic) into Latin-scripts (English, French, German), items numbered using Latin letters shall not be changed. When translating in the opposite direction, letters of the non-Latin script shall be changed to letters of the Latin alphabet. In such a case, references to these items in the text shall be changed accordingly.
Document codes, marking, numbers Alphanumerical codes in numbers shall remain unchanged, even if they are made with non-Latin scripts. This will not apply when letters next to the number constitute an abbreviation. The numero sign shall correspond to the target language (# for American English, No. for British English., no for French, Nr. for German, № for Russian). References to the file location shall also be left unchanged:
Original Correct Incorrect
исходящий номер 5УФ-008 reference number 5УФ-008 reference number 5UF-008
Федеральный закон ФЗ-244, ГОСТ 12.08.08, DIN 12.08 Federal law FZ-244, GOST 12.08.08, DIN 12.08 Federal law ФЗ-244, GOST 12.08.08, ДИН 12.08
C:/Мои документы/годовой отчет.doc C:/Мои документы/годовой отчет.doc C:/My Documents/annual report.doc
Titles When translating official and business documents, polite address forms, positions, titles, ranks, academic degrees, etc. shall be translated.
Original Correct Incorrect
Mr. Jones Г-н Джонс Мистер Джонс
Table of contents A table of contents shall be automatic. If you translate only a part of a file, you shall translate only the part of the table of contents that refers to sections and clauses contained in your part of the translation.
Errors and inconsistencies in the original text Errors in the original text are the responsibility of the author of the document and not the translator. Any doubtful spots (including manifest errors) shall be translated and highlighted in colour to bring the editor’s attention to them. Thereafter, we will get in touch with the customer and point out the spots in the original (and in the translation) that we believe to contain inaccuracies. Where a phrase ends abruptly, you shall translate only the existing fragment.
Seals, stamps, holograms, stamp duty impressions Where a seal (stamp) is affixed in the original, the translation shall contain the word “seal (stamp)” in the target language followed by the colon sign and translation of all the text visible on the seal (including OGRN, INN). Translation of a seal shall have the “/” character on both sides and shall be written in italics. Do not number seals (“Seal 1:”, “Seal 2:”, etc.). The terms “seal”, “stamp”, “official seal”, “impressed seal”, “hologram” and “stamp duty impression” shall be distinguished. Example: “Seal: /OOO ALBA. INN 5262053993/”.
Signatures Handwritten signatures shall not be deciphered. If the original text contains a signature, the word “signature” in the target language shall be written in its place in the translation with the slash characters on each side: Example: “/подпись/”, “/signature/”
Screenshots Screenshot shall not be translated, unless otherwise agreed when giving the assignment.
Shortened forms of words It is allowed to use shorted forms of words only if the text must be written in a limited space.
Texts in other languages If the text contains paragraphs in a language that you do not know, you must insert them in the translation as an image and contact our office immediately to ensure that such fragments are transferred to a translator who knows this language. In any event, text in Latin shall be left unchanged (e.g., E.coli, Enterobacteriaceae).
Capitalised terms in the original text Remember that in English terms each word is capitalised while in other languages this may not be the case. It is especially important for translating contracts.
Original (EN) Correct (RU) Incorrect
Purchase and Sale Contract, Director General Договор купли-продажи, Генеральный директор Договор Купли-Продажи, Генеральный Директор
Formulas If it is impossible to type a formula in the text, it shall be inserted as an image or the word “/formula/” shall be written in its place. The latter is allowed only for formulas breaking the paragraphs but not for small formulas contained in a sentence (e.g., a=b2). Inferior indices in formulas shall be translated. It is allowed to create inferior (superior) symbols only with the use of the MSWord function (Ctrl+= or Ctrl + Shift + +). It is not permitted to create inferior indices by decreasing the font size.
Original Correct Incorrect
NМАКС, м2, м2, H2O NMAX, m2, m2, H2O NМАКС, m2, m2, Н2О
Quotes (intertextuality) When translating quotes from publicly available works, you shall check whether a translation of this text into the target language is published. If it is published, it is recommended to take the quote from this translation. If it is impossible to find the original text or its translation, it is recommended to translate the quote and notify the project manager thereof.
Numerical data Numerical data shall be carried over to the translation text. In such a case, attention shall be paid to separators used in the target language (save for translation in the MS Excel format where incorrect separators may cause the breakage of connections between the formulas).
Original Correct Incorrect
1,000,000.00 1 000 000,00 1,000,000.00