Bite-sized Tips No. 25: False Friends on Hotel Websites

A usual sight on British beaches, deckchairs are not found that often around hotel pools in Spain

A recent tourism editing job had me scouring through many translated websites of hotels (Spanish to English, my pair) and I was appalled to see the same mistakes made again and again.

Of course, this might be because the company used machine translation (MT) or non-native speakers for the job. Because a lot of people think tourism texts are so simple that MT will be good enough.

Unfortunately, that’s why many in the sector refuse to allocate a high enough budget to translating their marketing material. The less they are willing to spend, the more likely their translated text will fail.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 24: Quotation Marks or Italics

During my translation work I often come across words that the author has put in italics, quotations marks, or in italics within quotation marks. And often the way they use them throughout the text is inconsistent.

As translators, we have to take a step back from the usage in the original document and remember the rules of our own brand of English. Mirroring the source is not an option. And we also have to smooth out all the inconsistencies.

Whether you put words, terms, titles, etc., into italics, quotations or in roman type will depend on the style manual you have been told to follow. And if you haven’t been given any specific instructions, it’ll depend on whether you use a British, American, Canadian, Australian, etc., guide for your work. You’ll find a long list of style guides (over 40) towards the bottom of my ‘Useful Links’ page.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 16: Times

Times

Bournemouth2This is a stylistic minefield and the most important aspect to remember is to be consistent throughout your document and in all the documents for a particular client. If you are ever asked to use a specific style guide, then this is an area you’ll definitely need to look up because there are so many variations. This post is going to focus on the recommendations in the New Oxford Style Manual and compare them with those found in The Chicago Manual of Style, so essentially the difference between UK and US usage.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 6: Common Mistakes – Part 2 – data is or data are?

Common Mistakes – Part 2 – data is or data are?

IMG_0213This second instalment of common mistakes I encounter when revising and editing texts that have been written by non-native speakers of English kicks off with “data”. Should it be followed by a singular or a plural verb? I’ll base my response to this on the New Oxford Style Manual, as this is the style guide I use for my work, but I’ll also check The Chicago Manual of Style to see if it differs.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 1: Common Mistakes – Part 1

Common Mistakes – Part 1

Books 7The services I offer include proof-editing papers for publication. As most of these have been written directly into English by Spanish university researchers, more often than not they contain a number of errors. In this first of what I hope will be many blog posts on the subject, I have highlighted ten mistakes which crop up again and again. I base my work on the New Oxford Style Manual, but I have also indicated the preference of The Chicago Manual of Style where this differs.

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