Determining English equivalents for words or phrases in other languages.

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2
votes
0answers
537 views

Popular (slang) adjectives for referring to a corrupt politician? [closed]

I'm brazillian and I'm curious to know popular expressions to call corrupt politicians. Here we have the word "ficha suja" which translated would be something like "dirty card". I don't really know ...
2
votes
2answers
736 views

What does “backworld” mean?

You can read the chapter where the word was met. And I put a little extract below: To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to believe in such phantoms: suffering would it now ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

“Imitation jewelry” or “costume jewelry”

I've looked up the translation of the word bisutería in Spanish and it translated to imitation jewelry or costume jewelry. Which of the two is mostly used in British English?
3
votes
2answers
259 views

What word or phrase expresses briefly detaining a suspect on the street and then letting him/her go?

Today, a Dutch paper published a little research triggered by a politician outing the English phrase (abbreviated) "65 percent of them have been detained by the police at least once." I think, and ...
1
vote
2answers
673 views

Is there a popular / informal way of expressing a need to use a toilet?

In (Canadian?) French, we have an expression, "j'ai envie" (litteraly: I want), which, when used without any subject, means that the speaker needs to use a toilet, either to urinate or defecate. It is ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Difference between “purpose” and “goal”

What does this sentence from Star Trek: The Alternative Factor mean? Jim, madness has no purpose ... or reason ... but it may have a goal. As far as I know purpose and goal are synonyms. How ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Is this sentence well formed? [closed]

I want a well formed sentence in english GB and US (two sentences if necessary…) from this french sentence: Cette page n'existe pas dans cette langue. Voici son contenu original : Here is what ...
24
votes
9answers
1k views

“Saving on the parrot's chocolate is futile”

In Catalan there is an expression "ser la xocolata del lloro" that can be translated as "saving by not giving chocolate to the parrot is futile", conveying the meaning that when a household wants to ...
-4
votes
1answer
152 views

Describing “data backend” [closed]

I have to translate "data backend" to Russian and Hebrew without using borrowed words. I'll appreciate if someone describes what "data backend" means so I could find proper words in my language.
4
votes
2answers
226 views

Is “Men Socks” correct?

Just would like to know if saying "Men Socks" is correct? It needs to mean "socks for men". By searching on google I could see that men's socks is more used. If you speak portuguese, I was ...
5
votes
1answer
474 views

Hypernym: Word that means 'window' or 'door'

There's the Italian word serramento which means "a window or a door", used in this way for example: Our company produces [serramenti] in aluminium. Is there an equivalent word or expression ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Proper translation/explanation for business sector, business field

I am German. I am currently developing a system which acts like a data provider for company infos. A company needs to be assigned to one or more "business sectors". I currently deal with companies ...
10
votes
6answers
515 views

Finding a suitable English translation of “An old donkey pulls all the weight all alone”

A Hungarian colleague of mine just impressed upon me the idiom An old donkey pulls all the weight all alone. The phrase itself isn't a common English idiom (not to my knowledge, anyway). I think ...
1
vote
3answers
890 views

What does “to become controversial” mean?

As a non-native speaker, I do not fully understand the meaning of the term "to become controversial" in the following text, which I have to translate into German: Where translators have made their ...
-2
votes
1answer
291 views

What is the most effective single word to convey the concept of a phrase's meaning being “lost in translation”? [closed]

Basically I'm wondering if there is a concise way to represent the loss of understanding a foreigner would experience if they were to encounter an American idiom for the first time. An example: ...
3
votes
1answer
293 views

Is there a hidden meaning of “swinging the club”?

Does "swinging the club" have another meaning outside the world of golf ?
3
votes
2answers
159 views

“This paper” vs “That paper” in an abstract

I'm writing an absctract for a paper. In Portuguese we write esse trabalho (that paper) to indicate that the paper is near the person that we are adressing. We use este trabalho (this paper) to ...
8
votes
6answers
580 views

What do British and American post boxes say when they don't want any advertising?

Advertising leaflets shoved en masse into mail boxes are one of the banes of modern society. In Germany, putting a note saying "Bitte keine Werbung" ("No advertising please") on your box protects ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I translate the words for the two types of bathrooms found in Russia into English?

I work in real estate, and sometimes I have to translate respective inscriptions from my native Russian into English. I get stuck in some cases where not only linguistic, but cultural differences have ...
7
votes
3answers
235 views

Measurements without a dimension (raw number)

I'm translating some documents to English which deal with some measurements. Most of the measurements have a unit dimension (length is in meters, weight is in kilograms, etc) but some of them do not ...
7
votes
3answers
579 views

Is there the gerund of the verb “can”?

I would like translate a Portuguese phrase into English: Esta técnica é bem poderosa, podendo ser extendida para várias outras questões. In English I got: This technique is very powerful and ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Proverb: “have fate without destiny”

I was looking for an English equivalent of the Chinese proverb (有缘无分) which describes couples who meet but who do not for whatever reason stay together. My friend (native speaker, no Chinese ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

Two translation suggestions: “friend of the people”? “practicioner”? [closed]

I need to translate some personal info and the original text includes a phrase (literally) "friend of the people". It's a bit tongue in cheek, intended as a personal touch, since the dossier is mainly ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

Proper English translation for the Dutch word 'welstandsgebied' (roughly translates to 'wealth zone') [closed]

I'm trying to find the English translation for the Dutch word 'welstandsgebied', which roughly translates to something like 'wealth zone' in the context of land use control by municipalities. A ...
1
vote
1answer
331 views

How to derive a noun or adective or adverb from “nya”? [closed]

In Russian network jargon there is adjective "няшный" (originating from anime fandom's "nya"). It is somewhat related to "kawaii" (cute) or "nice", but not the same. However in English any attempts ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an idiom that conveys the meaning of the French “mi figue mi raisin”?

The French idiom “mi figue, mi raisin” (literally: “half fig, half grape”) refers to someone or something that is neither entirely good, nor entirely bad. I guess the meaning of the expression can be ...
10
votes
8answers
525 views

English term for pre-thinker?

I was searching for an English translation for the German Vordenker. Basically a person, often a scientist, who began or further significantly developed a new concept or theory by contributing ...
3
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the different nuances of “passing with distinction” in a CV?

I am in the middle of translating my (German) CV to English. In the German/Austrian school system, there is the notion of passing ... ... "mit gutem Erfolg" (which is better than average, yet not ...
10
votes
4answers
650 views

Minimum and maximum age of “guy”

Guy has pretty much the same meaning as the German counterpart Kerl. There is the progression of age in the sequence child, teenager, adolescent, (young) fellow, guy, old man/guy (?), senior. But ...
4
votes
3answers
312 views

Translation of Soccer term: disarm

I'm looking for the translation of the soccer term that in Portuguese we use as "disarm". It is the action of taking the ball from the opponent player or when the player with the ball attempts to ...
2
votes
1answer
830 views

What is the proper name of a “line account”?

I've come across having to translate the Danish word "stregregnskab" to English. The direct translation would be "line account", but I seem to recall there being a proper name for this sort of ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

“I'm all mashed up inside.”

I'm all mashed up inside. Inside the Lost (TV series) a guy named Boone who got desperately injured imparted his physical situation to the doctor with the above sentence. The guy prefers to die, ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

“The odor of strong rum made a greasy pass through the room.”

I found the sentence as a ldoce sample sentence for "odor". The odor of strong rum made a greasy pass through the room. "... made a greasy pass through the room". What does the writer mean? ...
2
votes
3answers
301 views

Why are names abbreviated in translations? [closed]

Often when reading English translations I will encounter names of places or people that have been abbreviated. An example is in Catherine Hutter's translation of Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Word for “distance in time”

I need the correct English word for the German expression (zeitlicher) Abstand. Abstand means "distance", and zeitlich means "in time". The "distance" between building maintenance dates is about ...
1
vote
0answers
169 views

Where can I get a model / template English text that is translated in more than 30 languages? [closed]

I'm sorry for this off-topic question, but you guys could know and help me out. I created an application for language recognition and I need a model text to test with. The more languages the better. ...
4
votes
4answers
273 views

What can I call the two possible directions on a line (as a category)?

In English, a vector is said to have two properties: a length and a direction. The possible directions correspond to half-lines out of the origin (so that, eg, up and down are different directions). ...
11
votes
4answers
511 views

Are English language books translated to contemporary English? [closed]

Were Shakespeare books translated to contemporary English? Which version is more common? Is there a rule to choose which books will have its language updated? Are poems updated too? From which year I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “no-op” mean?

In the Remarks section of a Microsoft dbset.add page I read Remarks: Note that entities that are already in the context in some other state will have their state set to Added. Add is a no-op if ...
1
vote
3answers
386 views

Housekeeping App — does it make sense?

We are providing an app which manages your finances — like a housekeeping book. Our space is limited; therefore, we want to use the slogan "Housekeeping App". Would an English speaker know what is ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you mark a translator's note?

Inside a piece of text, I have a word in another language. I'd like to keep it that way, and add a translator's note with the translation to English. What is the common practice of doing that? I'd ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “lost sales” mean?

What does "lost sales" mean in the sentence below? The most important quality cost, lost sales, is often omitted from quality cost reports.
4
votes
3answers
315 views

Thanks or no thanks

I'm currently translating an article of Joel Spolsky's which is called Thanks or No thanks and I'm a bit confused about the meaning of the title. The only two possible meanings that I could guess ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “palazzo” and “palace”?

I have noticed that palazzo is used not only in Italian but in English too. So what is the difference between palazzo, and palace (in English)?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

service record translation [closed]

How do you say "El servicio militar" in English?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “persona non grata” mean? [closed]

In Gossip Girl, there’s a line like this: Spotted, Lonely Boy going from Teacher’s Pet to persona non grata in the pitter-patter of a heartbeat. What’s persona non grata?
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Can I name one client of my application “tenant” if I have multitenancy?

I'm a software developer and want to add the feature "multitenancy" (German: Man­danten­fähig­keit, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multitenancy) to my application. Each entity in my ...
10
votes
3answers
586 views

How do you tell when you're reading a poor translation?

John Ciardi, in his foreword to his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy, observes that any translation is, at best, a failure. He means it is impossible to convey the depth and levels of meaning of ...
4
votes
0answers
297 views

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Is become” vs “has become” This is a famous quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer after the successful detonation of the first nuclear weapon. The ...
1
vote
3answers
139 views

“In the middle” of a time span – will “middle” work? Better ideas?

I am translating a German text into English. It contains a sentence that translates roughly to In the middle of life, you stand alone. I'm unsure about "middle" here, and can't think of a more ...