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Die Aufgabe des Ubersetzers or help wanted

Mapraputa Is
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I was doing meaningless drivel about translation long enough to get practical (finally). International Community of Bilingual Programmers is working like mad translating this lovely site into assorted languages, and I volunteered to proofread Russian incarnation of that article.
Ok, this was "Die Aufgabe des Ubersetzers" part, now "help wanted"

The rules have been carefully designed by reasonably intelligent people (back at McDonald's Hamburger University)
What "back" means here?
Just follow these here rules, and you'll make great gourmet food!
And what "here" means... um... here?
they're just well-meaning Poli Sci majors who attended the six-week course.
This was translated as "average university graduates", but isn't "Poli Sci" "Political Science"?
and they grow layers upon layers of rules and procedures which help produce "consistent," if not very brilliant work.
Does that mean "...not very brilliant but al least "consistent" work"?
But now that dotcoms are imploding and there's suddenly demand for high-end GUI programming,
"high-end" was translated as "high level", is this correct?


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
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    2

for questions 1 and 2, back and here are "extra" words that convey no meaning to the phrases. just leave them out.
questions 3, 4, and 5, i believe the answers are yes
extra clarification on #2. "these here rules" is slang. kind of a hick way of talking
[ September 13, 2002: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

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Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
This is a common usage for the word back in American English.
Another context that makes sense to me is the following sentence. The sentence is written written as though you ( Map as Shura calls you )
said it in American English. I hope this is factually/politically correct too.
Back in the old country the flag is mostly red.
I think this usage of back extends farther than American English. I'm thinking of a song by the Beatles, I think John Lennon wrote it, a verse starts with Back in the USSR, you don't know how lucky you are boys ...
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
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Thank you both, Randall and Rufus. Thank you, two of you
"Map as Shura calls you" - it's not only Shura, it's just about everybody In fact, Jim Yingst started it.
Ok, so what then "designed by reasonably intelligent people (back at McDonald's Hamburger University)" means? That these people got their education at McDonald's Hamburger University, that the process of design happened at McDonald's Hamburger University?
Frank Carver
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Posts: 6920
From the page you refer to: But they still keep trying, following the rules in chapter 17 about normalizing databases, which mysteriously don't apply to The New World.
Anyway. I read the "back at McDonalds Hamburger University" as implying that the rules were designed at the "University", by reasonably inteligent people, for the less skilled to follow in the restaurants. I may be wrong, though, as I natively use British English, rather than the American English in the article.


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Jason Menard
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Ok, so what then "designed by reasonably intelligent people (back at McDonald's Hamburger University)" means? That these people got their education at McDonald's Hamburger University, that the process of design happened at McDonald's Hamburger University?
It would mean that the process of design happened at McD's Hamburg U.
and they grow layers upon layers of rules and procedures which help produce "consistent," if not very brilliant work.
Does that mean "...not very brilliant but al least "consistent" work"?

I wouldn't say at least consistent since the purpose of the rules is to produce consistent results in all cases. I personally think the the phrase "if not very brilliant work" is not really necessary to the meaning of the sentence, since the point they are trying to make is about the consistency. So while the work may not be brilliant, it's consistent.
Maybe I'm just nitpicking.
Mapraputa Is
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Thank you, Java programmers.
Interesting thing, they have mailing list for each national subdivision of translators and on Russian list everybody writes in English
Mapraputa Is
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Posts: 10065
Frank wrote:
From the page you refer to: But they still keep trying, following the rules in chapter 17 about normalizing databases, which mysteriously don't apply to The New World.
Provocation!
Ok! See, what you'll get for it!
Fabian Pascal:
"The IT industry has a long and profitable tradition of proliferating terminology and acronyms which, more often than not, are new labels for old concepts, or technologies that had already been tried and discarded, or had become obsolete. XML (hierarchic databases) and managing data in application files by application programs come readily to mind. Anybody who knows and understands fundamentals readily recognizes these "innovations" for what they are, new labels notwithstanding."
"One of the most obvious technological regressions is XML, which I have criticized thoroughly in my Against the Grain column as a reinvention of the hierarchic database wheel. For a while XML proponents protested this criticism by arguing that XML is just a data exchange technology, not intended for data management. Even if that were so, this begs the questions as to why a new format was needed for sheer exchange, as we already have many agreed-upon formats; and why a physical exchange format needs components of a data model such as data structure (trees) and manipulation (query)? Be that as it may, it was predictable that, having introduced a new format, the industry would -- as is usual -- extend it to data management, without realizing the implications."
"The meaning of data as understood by a DBMS is the sum-total of the integrity constraints applicable to the database and a database schema is nothing but that set of constraints."
"XML's tags are by no means equivalent to such constraints and, therefore, won't be of much use with new DBMSs. This is precisely why schema and query components are being added to XML, because without them, the original XML is practically useless for data management. But their addition is nothing but reinventing the database wheel, and the wrong wheel at that -- a hierarchic wheel which we already discarded years ago."
"But it's the users, not the vendors, who pay through the nose, because the industry, helped by the trade media, can exploit ignorance to obscurethe serious deficiencies of products and the questionable practices they induce, by simply luring users to the next fad"
"But that requires an understanding of data fundamentals. And, alas, more than 30 years after the invention of the real solution, practitioners still don't understand it and the industry has yet to implement it. Instead, they go in circles, by continuously hyping and then discarding old failures. Those who believe that the solution is a "standard" and ignore the data model implications are only deluding themselves. Unfortunately, the consequences will arise in the future, when it'll be too late. Not to worry: the industry will come up with another "new" fad to fix those consequences by then."
Mapraputa Is
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"The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing"
What exactly does "Guerrilla Guide" mean?
The title was consequently translated as "art of Interviewing", "Strategy and tactics of Interviewing" and currently "Partisan Guide to Interviewing" is under discussion during which it was noticed that Russian "partisan" is not the same as "guerrilla". Our home-made "partisan" is somebody laying with explosives in bushes for hours and waiting for a train to appear, while "Guerrilla Guide" suggest fast progress, I think.
[ September 16, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Comment: how translation is much more interesting than programming! Programming is dull and boring, it requires your brain at the best, and translation requires you all, with intuition, emotions, taste, judgement, erudition and nobody knows what else. I was reading an interview with a professional translator and she said her friend literally pass out when she reads bad translation - maybe exaggeration, but I can believe it. Translation requires heightened sensitivity, it isn’t as crucial for technical texts, of course (the story above was about poetry translation) but I am happy that I finally found people who don't mind to spend hours meditating on one single word.
Frank Carver
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Posts: 6920
What exactly does "Guerrilla Guide" mean?
It's an interesting term. The use of "Guerilla" seems to have gone a long way from it's partisan/terrorist roots. When used as an adjective or adjunct, as in this case I believe it is based on the phrase "guerilla warfare".
"Guerilla warfare" was originally coined to describe the (often surprisingly successful) way that small numbers of often poorly armed and equipped soldiers were able to fight the mechanized might of modern armies. In this context "guerilla warfare" is taken to be a sort of "lean and mean" or "low bureacracy" warfare. The positive aspects of this are that without all the layers of hierarchy, obsolete rules and uninformed decisions of remote generals, objectives can actually be directly, simply and cheaply achieved.
When moved from the context of warfare into general life, the word "guerilla" retains some of the aspect of avoiding bureacracy and inappropriate rules - often to such an extent that bureacracy itself almost becomes the enemy.
Consider a term like "guerilla marketing" - a technique which eschews big budget advertising and other long-standing techniques in favor of quirky word-of-mouth campaigns and other low-cost approaches. A "guerilla guide to interviewing" would therefore be used to imply a lightweight, cheap and simple alternative to traditional wisdom. The reader is left to infer the implicit assumption that such a technique is also more effective than traditional approaches.
Mapraputa Is
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I thnik, people on this board are amazing. Or, maybe, it's just that people are generally amazing. In any case, I'll die deeply in debt.
Mapraputa Is
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Posts: 10065
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is in totally unrelated thread:
Currently the collective translator is at loss how to translate "usability" into Russian. In the country where all social institutes were modeled after a prison, "usability" doesn't map well to anything. I searched the Internet to find out how Mother Russia translates it, and it turned out she doesn't bother to translate it, uses "usability" "as is" and often doesn't even bother to transliterate in Russian letters, she is happy with original English word.

Ha! Look here:
Jakob Nielsen on Offshore Usability: "To save costs, some companies are outsourcing Web projects to countries with cheap labor. Unfortunately, these countries lack strong usability traditions and their developers have limited access -- if any -- to good usability data from the target users."
There is another good comment regarding "offshore programming":
"What I don't understand is people who think it's OK to move the developers ten time zones away from their managers and expect good results. Those same people would scream bloody murder if you told them that you were going to send the whole management team to Bangalore or Beijing."

[ September 18, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Interesting, the official procedure is: somebody volunteers to translate, his/her name appears on the site with the article name, then somebody has to volunteer as a proofreader/editor (extreme (pair) translating? ) However, community process seems to be a little different. Somebody finishes translating, publishes a link to the text, and everybody starts to criticize/suggest better variants - works pretty well. I did not expect too much from a gang of wild amateur volunteers, but it turned out that the result is better than many published translations I read. (Alas, they probably weren't too professional).
Anyway, it became a little clearer to me how brilliant texts in English turn into dull and boring set of words in Russian. Follow an original too close and you are doomed. I was reading a book about fiction translation, it's a little different, yet applicable. First, it said that Russian words are on average longer than English ones, so the sentences need to be simplified whenever possible or they will become cumbersome, and such simplification is often possible due to grammar flexibility. Then, English sentences have logical stress at the beginning, while in Russian it is at the end. I suspect it is a coarse definition, the whole truth is more complex than that, but if to translate word by word, as unprofessional translators love to do, then the result will be ugly, no two opinions here. Another interesting observation, many English words (or maybe rather words of Latin origin) have direct counterparts in Russian, but since they are borrowed, they often belong to "official" or "educated" part of the language, not conversational. So when a translator picks up an "obvious" analog, because it's just "the same" word, unnatural intonation emerges. Now sum all this and you will get a totally unreadable text.
[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Word play is another story. If there is one "word play" per sentence it's almost always possible to find some analog in another language. But what are you supposed to do with this:
"In the wired wired world of Silicon Alley that's not uncommon. What was weird is how consistent their reason for leaving was"
First, I detected "wired-weird" lingual atrocity, then "Alley" attracted my attention and by this moment I decided there is no way to convey all this in Russian. Hm... After some better thinking, both "wired-weird" and "Alley" found their brothers in Russian (maybe not perfect, but at least something), but now I started to suspect that doubled "wired" was doubled not without reason... "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"... No? Maybe I am going mad!
David Weitzman
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Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 1365

and they grow layers upon layers of rules and procedures which help produce "consistent," if not very brilliant work.
Does that mean "...not very brilliant but al least "consistent" work"?

It might be more accurate to say something like, "consistent, although not necessarily brilliant"
The original doesn't exclude the possibility that the work is brilliant. The author may have originally started to write something like '... help produce good work', then decided 'consistant' was a better word but didn't sound very positive. So the ', if not very brilliant'.
'..., if not very brilliant' has a hidden implication that it's 'good, although I don't gaurentee that it's great'. There is further implication that it should be great if you know what you're doing. I'm going to stop before I hurt myself.
 
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