Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rule of thumb for using Linguee responsibly

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
If you know or fully understand the meaning of what you are looking for, and the translated term or expression eludes you, search with Linguee. If you have no clue what the expression or the term means, exercise extreme caution because you will not be able to determine whether the translations are precise and correct. This is far from the case in more instances than one, and you should first figure out the meaning, search for documentation, ask for explanations, consult a knowledgeable subject matter specialist, and then use Linguee. It is strongly recommended to ere on the side of caution as the material you translate subsumes real world consequences, whether it is in the courts, or when workers’ and /or patients’ lives are at stake in an instruction manual (connected to patented material).
Translations tend to go “viral”. See for example what happened with the term “aspiration”, consistently translated as "inhalation" instead of "suction", in the pharyngeal tube abstract we just translated. This is an example of “you just killed the patient with your translation”… Fortunately, you will find yourself somewhat protected with Quality Control Standards, in the real world, where there are numerous cycles of proofing and editing, performed in such a manner of varying perspectives, that someone coming in fresh to the translation will pick up on the mistranslation.
Still, this should provide you with clear insight into what happens when you blindly import translations without a critical eye.
 In every other respect Linguee is a fabulous tool and resource And we are indeed very lucky to all obtain free access.
©Copyright Françoise Herrmann

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