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Thread: Basic Text Stories - translation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Basic Text Stories - translation

    Hi everyone,

    I'm translating the stories for the 6th edition Basic Text.

    First a vocabulary question to the native speakers:
    What is a "Mary tea-towel" job????
    This is the sentence: "I have been a productive member of society for a while now, holding down a straight “Mary tea-towel” job for the last fifteen years of recovery."
    I have an idea what it might mean, but I never heard the expression. Can anyone give me a synonym or an explanation?

    The second question concerns the Index.
    Has any community already translated the stories and how did you handle the Index?
    In our opinion, there is a crazy amount of hypertext links in the text!!!
    We are copying them into the translation while we go along translating, checking them with the index glossary file while we go along.
    But this means, that only one person can work on the translation.

    Does anyone have experiences to share?

    thanks and hugs
    Sigi from Germany

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Hi Sigi and All,
    This is a way they say in New Zealand that someone has a normal job, in other words a regular employment. Tea towel is what they call a dish cloth to wipe dishes.

    Regarding the index you could share some experience with the Swedish, Norwegian and Spanish LTCs.
    But seeing how difficult and lengthy the experience was for these communities, we are now looking into a much simpler process for future translations of the Basic Text which follows the model we have been using for all other books.
    LTCs have been happy with so-called concordance file based indexes, a simple table listing index entries which allows for an index to be created by word search. Then nobody has to deal with thousands of entries.

    Hugs, Uschi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Dear Uschi,
    Danke :-) So the Mary Tea Towel thing is about what I thought it might be.

    About the Index - we have been working with the "concordance file" for It Works How and Why. We were not so very happy with it, because this way, an index entry was created for every time the word appeared in the text. For some words we got an awful lot of entries, of which most were not relevant enough to be mentioned in an index (for example we got about 60 references to "NA message" or "Freedom"). In the end, we had to manually go through everything again, reduce the amount and/or change the entries by hand. I'm not so sure this is actually easier.

    The English Basic Text has a total of over 6000 page references (for some 800 index words).
    We find this far too many! Thankfully, we have now received the OK from Ken to go ahead and find a way how to reduce the amount of entries.
    I think this will make it easier to handle!

    Actually our system seems to work quite good so far.

    When we translate NA-literature, we work like this....

    1. we take the English Original text file and type our translation into this file.
    We write each translated paragraph below the English paragraph.
    This helps enourmously for proof reading!!! the proof reader does not have to handle two files but can check the relevant paragraph immediately. It also helps to not forget anything.
    The English paragraphs stay in the file until the very last proof reading has been done.

    2. for the index of the Basic Text, we received an Exce file with the Index words, which we translated first.
    During the translation, we copy each hyperlink from the English paragraph directly to the same place of the translated paragraph.
    This way, they are in the right places right away and can be checked if they make sense.
    Now that we have the ok to reduce the amount of hyperlinks, the translator will decide right while translating which references to keep and which ones should be changed.
    The translator needs to have the Excel file with the Index translations ready to cross-check if the translation of the index word makes sense. For most index words it is clear, but sometimes a translation or the Hyperlink needs to be changed.

    This is why only one person at a time can work on the translation. (This is not really very bad, because we have found it essential that an experienced member does the first translation. It reduces the amount of necessary corrections and discussions during proof reading enourmously!)

    Anyway, I would very very much like to hear the Swedish, Norwegian and Spanish experiences!!!
    thanks and hugs
    Germanspeaking LTC chair
    Last edited by Sigi_B; 05-22-2012 at 02:58 PM.

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