Terms of Business

Business Translation - an entrepreneur

Business translation – No 13 in a series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into English We recently translated a series of articles on the subject of doing business in Serbia. They were for a special edition of a magazine, and they all came together with short deadlines. I always wonder why this happens, there was no current news or … Read more

American English or British?

American English, British or another variant?

No 12 in a series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into British or American English Should we use British or American English? We often get asked for one or the other, and it can sometimes seem as if people think these are the only two there are. But a quick bit of research shows that from Anguilla to Zimbabwe … Read more

Shall or will?

Shall or will? 18th century court. Photo: Gordon Johnson on Pixabay

A series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into English – No 11 Shall or will? Recently, I translated a simple sentence that said: ‘The company expects its suppliers to conform to…(certain standards)’. The client called and said: “Can’t we say: ‘The company shall expect its suppliers…’. It makes it so much more formal, more forceful, like in a law!” … Read more

Origins of Italian

Galileo's role in the Italian language

By our Italian translator Italian evolved from spoken Latin (vulgar Latin) mixed with the languages of various invaders after the fall of Rome. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, a process of linguistic standardization began, based on the language spoken in Tuscany, thanks primarily to the works of three great authors: Dante Aligijeri, Francesco Petrarca and Giovanni Bocaccio. In the sixteenth century, … Read more

Play it, Sam

Ingrid Bergman and Dooley Wilson - No 10 in a series of articles on translation into English

Play it Sam – No 10 in a series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into English Time is one of those words whose meaning changes substantially with its article. Try asking a Brit: “Excuse me, what is time?” An honest answer may be something like: “an abstract concept that I would struggle to define”. While there is always a … Read more

Odnosno and company

Odnosno - No 8 in a series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into English

No 9 in a series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into English Time for one or two Serbian specialities. Some of them will not be restricted to Serbian, I suspect, but it’s in this context that I have encountered them (or Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin… BCMS, as some so inelegantly put it). Some words just don’t translate easily, often because … Read more

Uncountable commas

Uncountable commas - No 8 in an article series about translation into English

No 8 in a series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into English I promised a bit of grammar, so let’s start with a couple of completely different items that have nothing at all to do with each other: uncountableness and commas. Uncountable nouns This is something that shouldn’t be difficult, and I don’t think it is. But misuse of … Read more

Inflation

Translating into English - No 7, Inflation

No 7 in a series of articles about translating from Serbian (and other languages) into English It’s funny how inflation can apply not only to currencies, but also to words. Sometimes, a word seems to offer insufficient emphasis, and a new one is made to correct this. Then people learn the new word, and use it where the old one could have been … Read more

And or Or

And or or: No 6 in a series abpout transletion into English

And or or: No 6 in a series of articles about translating into English Time to take a shufty, a butcher’s or just a look at some small phrases that are often misused simply because the difference between good and less good is overlooked. (The terms in the previous sentence, just by the way, both mean ‘look’: the first comes from Arabic, the … Read more

All the President’s Persons

All the Presiden't Persons - No 6 in a series of articles

All the President’s Persons – No 5 in a series about translating into English Titles do not necessarily translate directly from one language to another. In British English, a president is a head of state, the top figure in a country that has one. She or he can be an executive president (one that runs the government), a dictator, a guarantor of the … Read more

Keep it simple

Keep it simple - Homer speaks

A few Odds and Ends in Frequent Use – No 4 in a series of articles about translating into English One of the things that make a text readable or not is its conciseness. Unnecessary guff tires the reader, so keep it simple. The use of over-precise terms can do that too. Simplicity is always a good idea, unless you have a cunning … Read more

That and Which

That and which - Which one to use?

That and which – No 3 in a series of articles about translating into English Double, double toil and trouble; Fire which burns or caldron that bubbles? (Sorry, Bill.) Out of that and which, a lot of people seem to have trouble deciding which to use. It can seem confusing, but it shouldn’t be, there is a clear rule. That doesn’t mean that … Read more

Source Sentence Structure

Sentence structure - Translating into English - News, Halifax Translation Services Belgrrade - Lexical whiplash

Source Sentence Structure – No 2 in a series of articles about translating into English One of the most common translation problems I’ve noticed comes with retaining a Serbian (or other) sentence structure when it’s inappropriate. It can be grammatically correct, but just not the way an English-speaking person would express it. It can also be confusing. When you come across a long, … Read more

Translating into English

Translating into English - News, Halifax Translation Services Belgrrade - D'Oh!

Translating into English is the first article in a series. A personal view from my experience editing (mostly Serbian) translations into English over a couple of decades Over the years that we have been working with translation at Halifax, I have edited and proofread many texts on many subjects translated into English by good translators. At one point I began to be aware … Read more