[crm-sig] Guide-lines for translation

martin martin at ics.forth.gr
Wed Nov 17 18:41:22 EET 2004

Dear All,

A Greek translation of the CRM is being undertaken as part of a larger
national Greek digitization initiatiative called "The Information Society".
We successfully use a team of experts and a professional translator.
We shall soon report more about the outcomes.

I present here guidelines we found helpful for the translation, as a help for others
and for discussion:

Guidelines for translating the CIDOC CRM

Property Names

1.	Properties are the building blocks of the data when these are automatically translated into a readable form CIDOC CRM compatible form. 
I.e. they produce the data structure in the proper sense as the connecting elements of the referred items. Therefore:
2.	Properties are translated using pseudo-language. That means that the property name must always remain the same when it appears with the 
data even if the sentence that is produced does not comply completely with grammar rules.
3.	Property names should not be the exact translation of the English original, but expressions that best describe the meaning of the 
property when they appear as connecting elements in data or examples.
4.	It is best to use purely verbal expressions.
5.	The expression inside the parenthesis refers to the passive voice of the property. In those cases where passive voice cannot be used, 
verbal phrases should be used instead.
6.	Nouns within verbal phrases should only be used when it is absolutely necessary, that is in those cases where no verbal expression can be 
found to relay the meaning of the property, independent from the English original.
7.	Articles should not be used within property names except in the cases that are necessary to avoid ambiguity.
8.	Properties with historic character should be translated using past tenses, and the tense of the English original should be maintained.
9.	Antonyms like general and specific or former and current should be rendered in a stereotype manner.

Entity Names

1.	Entity names should be short and grammatically correct.  In proposing entity names one should try a balance between A) phrases which 
express the meaning of the entity completely, but are too long to be used. B) terms that are widely used but don't give the exact meaning of 
the entity. C) philosophical terms that are correct and express precisely the meaning of the entity, but are not widely known.
2.	The word "event" that is contained in the name of some of the entities should be included in the name of the translated entity only in 
those the cases where the "process" and the "product"  of the case they describe is rendered by the same word in the target language.
3.	Words that express order of magnitude should be avoided (i.e. words like eon and epoch, hill and mountain).
4.	In translating an entity name, no negative definitions should be used, such as "non-physical".

Scope Notes

1.	The translation of the scope notes should be grammatically correct
2.	The translation should be as close to the meaning of the English original as possible. However it should not render its literary 
qualities but rather be a precise translation of the meaning of the concept it describes. The translation may be more verbose than the 
original to avoid ambiguity.
3.	The names that are mentioned in the examples should be in quotes.
4.	The expression "the model" that occurs in the text translates as "The CIDOC CRM model".
5.	Translation of words that may mean either an instance or a category should be done very carefully, so that the intended use in each case 
is rendered correctly.
6.	The expression "CRM hierarchy" that occurs in the text translates as "isA hierarchy of the CIDOC CRM classes"
7.	Repeated expressions like "this property identifies" should always be translated the same way. In a standard like the CIDOC CRM, it is 
beneficial for the user to indicate that word changes imply meaning changes and not enhancement of the literary style.




  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
  Principle Researcher          |  Fax:+30(2810)391638        |
                                |  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr |
                Center for Cultural Informatics               |
                Information Systems Laboratory                |
                 Institute of Computer Science                |
    Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)   |
  Vassilika Vouton,P.O.Box1385,GR71110 Heraklion,Crete,Greece |
          Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl               |

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