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  • by ziggy (25) on 2002.04.29 15:21 (#7700) Journal
    Here's a classic story about adopting English vs. a translated English term.

    Unlike the French, Israelis are interested in coining new terms and expanding Hebrew. Obvious when you consider that the language was dead for almost two millenia. (Imagine a language without a word for «Renaissance», but a wide variety of words for «sacrifice/offering»).

    Sometime over the last 20-30 years, someone realized that there was no direct translation for «baby sitter». So the industrious Israelis (I forget which group at which university is charged with creating new words) dug deep into the bible and coined a new term that roughly meant «guardian of the chidren».

    But it didn't take.

    Most Israelis who needed baby sitters understood a decent amount of English and use the other new Hebrew term: «baby-sitter» (suitbly transliterated, of course).

  • One problem that confused me was the alleged difference between "Play" and "Stream". Maybe I just don't do enough MP3 (I do none :-) to appreciate the difference. So I opted as the French did to translate them as the same.

    (And yes, the bitrate/samplerate difference was a bit confusing for Finnish, too. I can translate "rate" as "taajuus" which also means "frequency", and "sample" as "näyte", but at "bit" I must resort to "bitti" which is just a loanword with a very transparent derivation.)

  • Sometimes it's easier to keep the english word instead of picking one of the possible translations. This reduces risks of being ambiguous or misunderstood by your readers.

    Sometimes the target language is simply not expressive enough to coin a good translation. A typical example is the french word télécharger, which translates upload and download. You'll use the french word when the context is clear. When you have to be more specific, the english words come to mind.