Questions tagged [translation]

Determining English equivalents for words or phrases in other languages (that is, translation into English). We don't actually do translations: we can try and help you with your own translation. Please see the detailed tag info for guidance on what to ask.

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2 answers
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What is a word for "determine oneself" [closed]

There is a Greek verb (αὐτοκαθορίζομαι) that I constantly translate as determine oneself and which proof readers constantly replace with other irrelevant verbs that they think fit the context. The ...
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1 vote
2 answers
60 views

What is the term for someone who requests a copy of a document?

I would like to know if there is an accepted English noun or short phrase for the person who asks for a copy of an official document. In this case, I'm dealing with the translation of an academic ...
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1 answer
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My question is about lists of words in a sentence

I came across an example of a translator position description, and I got confused about the meaning of the word "Research". Is this word related to the word "copy" or is it ...
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0 answers
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What is the (incorrect) German phrase "Bluetooth-Gabeldorsche aktivieren" most likely in English?

I apologize for asking a seemingly German question in an English forum, but I suspect that "German" just resulted from a bad translation of English. Usually I try to translate the German ...
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2 votes
3 answers
816 views

How do I say that I am not yet thirty years old?

I want to translate the following Spanish sentence into English: Tengo menos de treinta años. By the way the speaker of this Spanish sentence means that he/she is not yet thirty years old. I think ...
3 votes
4 answers
380 views

Word for a festival of mourning (or a festival of commemoration of a sorrowful event or incident)

In Persian, we have a word 'جشنواره' (Jashn-Vareh) [in which Jashn means Celebration and Vareh indicates some type of gathering] that its English translation is Festival. Conversely, we have another ...
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2 answers
56 views

To clutch in a gear changing context

I'm a portuguese speaker and we have a slang verb, "debrear", which means to step, all the way to the floor, on the clutch pedal, or, motorcycle-wise, to pull the clutch lever all the way in....
0 votes
1 answer
42 views

From whose perspective the author is saying in the following fragment

I am trying to translate the short story by J. M. Coetzee but can't understand how exactly to interpret the sentence in the second paragraph. The story narrates about a young boy who finds a strange ...
3 votes
2 answers
348 views

"Hang" used as "decorate"

I'm reading the book "Roadside Picnic" which was originally written in Russian. In one part of the book, the translator writes: Those egghead scientists were making progress. They've got ...
23 votes
7 answers
3k views

Closest equivalent to the Chinese jocular use of 职业病 (occupational disease): job creates habits that manifest inappropriately outside work

The Chinese expression 职业病 (zhi ye bing, occupational disease), when used seriously, just means occupational disease, e.g. lung problems caused by working in a chemical factory. But there is also a ...
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2 answers
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Comma when translating a single word e.g. "A gato ("cat" in Spanish) is a fluffy feline."

Would you put a comma in there? And why? A gato ("cat" in Spanish) is a fluffy feline. A gato ("cat," in Spanish) is a fluffy feline. A gato ("cat", in Spanish) is a ...
26 votes
7 answers
8k views

Does 'moonlighting' mean 'illegal work'?

I was looking for the translation of the German word 'Schwarzarbeit' (black work) that means working illegally, without written contract, in order to avoid labour laws and taxation. The Google ...
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0 answers
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Quotes/italics/both/other on mid-sentence translation

Please consider my sentence: So, as I paid out my $4.50, I simply said to them, “Y valían cada centavo de ello”, meaning “And they were worth every penny of it.” The Y valian… phrase is italicized ...
5 votes
5 answers
795 views

Translating "wessen-dessen" sentences [closed]

I'm struggling a bit with the translation of the German "wessen...dessen..." To clarify, here's the full German sentence, which is not idiomatic at all, it's just phrased to sound like it is:...
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2 answers
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Wrestling with someone "chest to chest"?

I am looking for an expression which would enhance the idea of wrestling. This is a text I am translating from another language (Greek) where the expression (ἀντιπαλαίω στῆθος με στῆθος) means ...
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0 votes
3 answers
147 views

Is there an equivalent to the assertive/polite expression "je me permets de ..." in English?

Is there an equivalent to the expression "je me permets de ..." in English? I think this expression has two usages: to convey an assertive tone: Je me permets de vous rappeler que la date ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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What is the English equivalent to the proverb "Somebody finds his soup not thick enough, and somebody finds his pearls too small"

What's the equivalent to the Russian proverb "Somebody finds his soup not thick enough, and somebody finds his pearls too small"("Кому суп не густ, кому жемчуг мелок")? It means a ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What is a background check? [closed]

I wanna understand the meaning of the background check? Like I don’t know how to do one or even get one. I really want to know the purpose of a background check.
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Translate "Lengua Bífida" to English [closed]

I am trying to translate "Lengua Bífida" from Spanish to English. The text "Lengua bífida" in Spanish expresses that someone has a tempting form of talking, normally in a bad way. ...
1 vote
1 answer
102 views

Does William Shakespeare use the double negative in the speech below to yield a different meaning, or is it just for emphasis? (Merchant of Venice) [closed]

....So can I give no reason, nor I will not, More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing... ~ Shylock answering to the Duke in the court In the above extract from Merchant of Venice - Act IV, ...
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0 answers
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Rhyming answers with implicit irritation to the words like "where", "who", "well", etc

‎Are there any rhyming words with which one answers to or comments the words like "where", "who", "how" or "so" and "well" or "like" (which ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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What is the equivalent of the Russian "Masha-rasteryasha" (Masha who loses things)?

Is there any equivalent for the Russian expression "Маша-растеряша" ("Masha-rasteryasha") in English? Its word-for-word translation is "Masha (a girl's name) who always loses ...
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5 votes
4 answers
690 views

Long sentence between "make" and adjective

Consider the text below, which is an attempt of translation from Italian. This is needed in order to make all the editorial processes the manuscript will undergo transparent. The boldface words show ...
6 votes
5 answers
994 views

Choosing between oblivion, forgetfulness, and forgetting

I am trying to figure out what is the right word related to forgetting in this quote by Blasco Ibáñez: Tenemos dos fuerzas que nos ayudan a vivir: el olvido y la esperanza. which translated in ...
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0 answers
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Can I use "customer service" in a Public Sector context?

Dears, I'm translating a cover letter from Portuguese to English. In it, my client states she's worked in government agencies answering phone calls, giving information etc. If it were in a Private ...
2 votes
1 answer
214 views

What is the antonym for OK?

I am trying to translate a web application, where if a specific condition is met it is necessary to write x < y : OK whereas, if not, one writes: x < y : KO This is a short message meaning that ...
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19 votes
9 answers
4k views

What is the English idiomatic equivalent to the Russian “бряцать регалиями” (to “rattle one’s medals”)?

The expression contains two words: бряцать – to rattle регалиями – stems from regalia, but more like medals here The figurative meaning is to show off one’s life experience. I.e., in an argument, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Modern usage of the word 'hearken'

I'm doing some translation work and would like to use the word 'hearken' as the original piece (Chinese) has a religious and traditional feel to it. Question: Would the sentence, "Such an ...
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4 votes
2 answers
304 views

English equivalent of the German suffix '-weise'

In German, if we want to formulate that we conduct the same procedure for a number of items that are all of one kind, we can use the suffix "-weise". So for example, if we want to say that ...
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1 vote
3 answers
164 views

Which idiom corresponds to the Hungarian expression translated 'as if they have agreed ahead of time – although we know that they didn't'?

The Hungarian phrase 'mintha összebeszéltek volna' means 'as if they have agreed ahead of time – although we know that they didn't". How would this appear in English? Edit: example. Imagine four ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
169 views

What is the meaning of sub-second-level in this context?

We use the term data acquisition to refer to a process of collecting and storing raw sub-second-level smartphone measurements for the purpose of human activity recognition.
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3 answers
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Perforability - a correct term similar to Russian "перфорированность", meaning "relative area of a surface occupied by pores"

I'm looking for the correct translation of the Russian term "перфорированность" and find the "perforability" but don't know, is it correct? From the physical point of view "...
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2 votes
1 answer
78 views

What are the English terms for the Dutch words "kooktraject" and "smelttraject"

If a material has a melting temperature range instead of a melting point, then the dedicated Dutch word "smelttraject" applies. Similarly, "kooktraject" indicates a boiling ...
8 votes
3 answers
941 views

Is there a good equivalent for the Italian proverb "Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco"?

One of my favorite Italian sayings is Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco (literally "Not all donuts come out with holes"). It usually gets a smile from another Italian speaker, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
147 views

Will the word sour in "sweet and sour" dish give negative connotation?

Will the word sour in "sweet and sour" dish give negative connotation? In Chinese we actually say "sweet and vinegary" dish ('糖醋' as '醋' is vinegar). Check https://en.wikipedia.org/...
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

English equivalent of Russian "понаберут по объявлению" [duplicate]

In Russian, there's an idiom "понаберут по объявлению". Directly it can be translated as "[they] recruit by ads". The intention behind this idiom is to derogate the one who was &...
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1 answer
49 views

Settlement or billing?

Recently got into discussion on how precisely and professionally translate the polish word "rozliczenie/rozrachunek". Some of us are more convinced into "billing" and some into &...
2 votes
2 answers
213 views

What do you call the layout that organizes the decorative moldings and ornamental features of a building?

In french it's called Modénature. Is there an equivalent in English ?
14 votes
11 answers
5k views

What do you call the floor-level space that allows someone to traverse from one floor to another with stairs?

In French it's called a trémie,. This element is unlikely to be a hopper or funnel. What is it called in English? Would "Stairs aperture" be good enough for people to understand?
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

How can I build impersonal sentences like this one from Spanish

I don't know how to build in English impersonal sentences like this one from Spanish: Es feliz quien quiere serlo. I've thought of this one: He's happy who wants to be it. But I don't like it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What's an early modern English excalmation roughly meaning "raise the roof!"?

I am a translator of Russian historical fiction set in the early modern period (mid-late 16th century) and I am looking for some good period-specific English equivalents of the phrase "жги-говори!...
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there a term for "symbolic photo" (German "Symbolfoto")?

In German there is the term Symbolfoto or Symbolbild. It describes a photographic picture that represents a concept by means of abstraction or indirection. A Symbolfoto could be a picture of food ...
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2 answers
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Possible meanings of “[they] are forming a procession in the square” in context

This is from Baltasar and Blimunda (1998, p. 3), a translation of José Saramago’s Memorial do Convento (1982). Broader context: it’s the 1700s, an Austrian princess married the Portuguese King to “...
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1 vote
2 answers
59 views

How do you say that "while" is frequently followed by past continuous?

I usually explain grammar in private lessons and there's an expression I would like to know. For example, I was trying to explain that when you use while, it is frequently followed by past continuous. ...
0 votes
0 answers
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Looking for pejorative terms for the military, the wealthy classes

As a translator of Latin American literature, I'm often in need of negative slang words for describing soldiers or the military as a whole. The equivalent of "pigs" for police. Any ideas? ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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"Nineteenth hundred and sive" instead of "Nineteenth hundred and seven"

From the copyright page of Retana's Vida y escritos del Rizal (1907) Se acabó de imprimir el 30 de Junio de 1907. — Inscripto en la oficina de la Propiedad literaria de los Estados Unidos, donde fué ...
2 votes
3 answers
111 views

What is the English equivalent for "向...交代“ (meaning how am I supposed to face someone if I fail to keep the promise I made)?

This is usually used in family-related settings. The audience is usually some family member of the person with whom you made a promise. I'll give you a typical example. Tom is dying, so he asks his ...
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0 answers
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Determining the meaning of "Par Excellence"

In a translation test nearly impossible to pass, I am required to accurately translate a paragraph about a code editor, and I got stuck trying to translate the following: [The software] is a ...
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11 votes
4 answers
1k views

English equivalent of מסגרת, used to describe a person who gets along in a routine with a rigid routine, responsibilities, etc

My native tongue is Hebrew, and we have a word that I just don't know how to effectively translate to English. My American-Israeli friends tell me that they just say it in Hebrew because they can't ...
7 votes
4 answers
771 views

Can you say "bald hill" to mean a hill that has no trees on it? [closed]

I am translating from Russian to English, and came across the phrase "На краю долины на вершине лысого холма стоит [...]" - trying to describe a hill at the edge of a valley. I've never ...
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