For nonfiction books, do you translate or transliterate names, brands, etc. that aren’t in a Romanized language?

Asked by: Geedyboy Bourgeois

Should you translate book titles?

Names, as brief in text as they are, are crucial to establishing identity. That is why it is so important to make sure they translate properly in each target culture. The translator needs to make sure the translated name reads well, and makes sense to the intended audience.

Are names supposed to be translated?

As a general rule, street names should not be translated. This is especially true of street names (and other items) in postal addresses. Nevertheless, particularly in running text, you may consider writing all words in an address in full to facilitate comprehension by non-native speakers.

Are you allowed to translate a book?

Since the author is the copyright’s holder for his book, you can’t translate a book without his permission and even a written agreement. If a book’s rights belong to the publisher, you’ll have to contact him or her.

Can names be transliterated?

Name transliteration is the process of converting a name from a particular writing system or character encoding convention into another. For example, name transliteration allows a name written in Arabic script to be analyzed and matched to a similar name written in the Roman alphabet.

Do you translate names of companies?

Company names tend to not be translated. But as discussed here, sometimes a translation is required. Depending on the situation, it might be appropriate to add a translation, in italics, between square brackets, immediately following the company name. Especially if the company or agency name is an acronym.

What is important when translating proper names?

Proper names are the raw materials the writer uses to mould credible characters and provide the reader with both overt and implied information. Proper names in literary texts are therefore central elements that a translator has to handle with prudence.

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What is the purpose of transliteration?

The primary aim of transliteration is to provide an alternate means of reading text using a different script. Transliteration is intended to broadly preserve the sounds of the original script, but the focus is not on providing an accurate phonemic representation as it is in the case of transcription.