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Translations of Titles

When translation titles of media (books, films, games, etc) what is the best thing to do? On the one hand you are trying to translate French to English accurately, but on the other, part of the goal of Duolingo is to translate the internet accurately. So is it best to translate the French or to find the accurate English title for a product (which could require googling the product in question rather than translating the French)? For example I was just doing translations for a Wikipedia article on The Sims video game (Les Sims) and came to a sentence which is a list of the game's expansion pack titles.

September 19, 2012

1 Comment


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You really have to use the correct French or English title and not translate the words. A good example is the translation of the French article on Roald Dahl. He wrote his books in English and gave them English titles. Books translated into French were sometimes given different titles. If you back translate these into English, the discussion of his works becomes somewhat pointless. Dahl never wrote a book called "A Blow with a Leg of Lamb"; in English it was "Lamb to the Slaughter". Nor did he write "The Two Rascals" - it was "The Twits". Giving the English translation of the French title, will just leave the reader with the impression that you have no idea what you are on about.

The same applies to place names. Do you know what or where "Maurice Island" is? The Antarctic maybe? Well a few hundred Duolinguists couldn't be bothered to find out either, so we now have this as the "top" answer, rather than the correct English name for the island of Mauritius.

September 19, 2012
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