DTTBT: Don't translate the book titles.
There are a lot of Wikipedia articles being translated - great!
However, unfortunately, many book titles are being translated, where they really need to be left alone. We need to tell each other: DTTBT!
The reasons are as follows:
- Some translated books are released with different titles in different languages because the publishers decide so.
- Think of the poor researchers, getting literature tips from Wikipedia, only to search for hours in library catalogues to find a title which doesn't exist.
The only exception is when you know the title of the official published translation of a book.
So, dear community, DTTBT!
Spread the word!
The same goes for music titles, book titles, movie titles, tv show titles, newspaper titles.
Actually, you do want to translate titles, under certain circumstances.
For example, I (and others) recently translated an article about Judy Garland. We had one heck of a time translating some of the movie titles from French to English (because they were not word-for-word translations- not even close).
However, since we were translating to English, it was appropriate that we use the English titles, otherwise, people would have been scratching their heads at the French titles.
However, I agree that we need to make sure that a title actually exists, instead of just trying to translate something word-for-word, from one language to another.
To my knowledge, the general standard is to leave the original title in the original language, followed by the translated title in brackets.
The reason to have both version is that often the title might be very different in a different language to the point that it's not recognizable. If both titles are present than people can at least make the connection between the two.
I totally agree with you arethusa. It seems to me the original title followed by the translation in brackets, covers all bases nicely. Sadly, I'm getting downvoted and even verbally abused for this practice, even when I link to the Duo Wiki :(
Let's spread the word - DTTBT! :D
I personally very seldom downvote anybody. If their translation is off by a little bit but gets the general idea across, I just edit it. As far as I'm concerned, not getting an upvote is penalty enough (I often upvote before I edit if it's just a minor change that I make.) I use downvotes only for two things - if the translation is so bad that it has nothing in it at all that's worthwhile - and if a person is repeatedly changing something that shouldn't be changed.
That being said, if somebody is downvoting you for keeping the original title and putting the translated title in brackets (even if they don't agree with the practice it's not incorrect, just a different version), then a flury of downvotes to them in return with an explanation of why they're getting 5 or 10 downvotes in a row is usually enough to get their attention. No matter how good a person is, there will always be little mistakes likes missed commas, spelling errors or something and once they see the danger of downvoting you for something that's not wrong, just different from their method, they'll usually stop.
I wish I could remember some title I've come across here to give as an example, but occasionally you see them, where the original title is one thing and the title that the book/movie/tv series is in the other language is not a translation but something totally different. I suggest googling titles when you translate them and eventually you'll find something where the real titles in both languages are completely different. It makes the point.
Thanks for your thoughts arethusa. Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure I haven't ever downvoted anyone. I always share the points if it's a minor edit cos you're right, even the best translators make typos occasionally. I also usually leave a comment explaining my edit or in the case of the film titles, I add the link to the Duo Wiki explaining why native language is followed by a translation in brackets is helpful to the reader. After all, that's the whole point isn't it, to translate the document as accurately as possible?
I totally know what you mean about some films being released with totally different names and I do often use the Google Fairy to help with that. :)
Thanks again for your input.