Weekly quality control memo №9: June 20, 2008 point 1: False Friend no. 1 реализовать




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WEEKLY QUALITY CONTROL MEMO № 9: June 20, 2008


POINT 1: False Friend no. 1 - реализовать
False friends, or false cognates, are words that have similar forms or roots from language to language, but whose meanings diverge, sometimes by a considerable margin. Many Russian-to-English dictionaries give “to realize” as the first translation/meaning of реализовать. However, “to realize” in the given context of реализовать is often considered as a secondary or tertiary definition in modern English usage.
To whit: The common interpretation of “to realize” in English is “to become aware/conscious of.”
Example:
I was nearly six years old when I realized that Santa Claus wasn’t real.
Compare:
Мы досрочно реализовали проект.

We realized the project ahead of schedule.


Whereas реализовать is commonly used in Russian, to translate it directly as “to realize” is not very good English and in many cases sounds rather silly (although sometimes I do wish that people---especially bureaucrats---could “become aware of a project ahead of schedule” on a regular repeating basis). Here are some useful translations for a more proper meaning:
to effect

to effectuate

to implement

to bring about

to bring to life

to bring to fruition

to put into effect
These are not interchangeable synonyms; many times you will have to rely on context.

We implemented the project ahead of schedule.



POINT 2: False friend no. 2 - актуальный
Актуальный should not be translated as “actual.” Actual is closer in meaning to действительный, фактический, настоящий, etc., along that line.
Актуальный can be translated as:
topical

urgent


current

of current interest/enjoying current interest


Sometimes you have to show a little flexibility in how you translate this. For instance:
Все эти факторы делают эту проблему актуальной.
Variant 1: All of these factors make this problem topical.

Variant 2: Because of these factors, the problem is an urgent one.

Variant 3: Because of these factors, the problem enjoys current interest.
POINT 3: Механизм
This is not a false friend, but it’s no friend of mine. A lot of Russian authors will use this word, as in “examining the mechanism,” when what they mean is “how something works.” Often, there simply is no mechanism at all, just an overused word that starts with the letter “m.” Here are some ways to deal with this.
Рассмотрим механизм избежания употребления конструкции со словом “механизм.”

We examine the mechanism of the avoidance of use of the construction with the word “mechanism.”


Please, for the love of God, don’t translate like this. Strive to avoid the word “mechanism” altogether. Often this can be done by a “how + infinitive” construction; that is, take the genitive form of the noun following “mechanism” and turn it into its verb form (or a synonym thereof) in the infinitive.

We examine how to avoid using the construction with the word “mechanism.”


If you are absolutely certain that the word “mechanism” must remain, then to avoid so many “of’s” I recommend a construction like “mechanism + by which + something is done/something does something.”

We examine the mechanism by which the word “mechanism” can be avoided.


POINT 4: Благодарность
This section expressing gratitude for grants, support, friendship, and whatnot is always translated as ACKNOWLEDGMENTS regardless of whether there is only one person expressing one item of gratitude. It is always in the plural. Furthermore, use the commonly accepted American English spelling, even if your Eurocentric spellchecker underlines it on your computer screen, like mine does.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (British English spelling)


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (American English spelling)


POINT 5: Latin words
Latin words in common expressions (a good rule of thumb is if it can be found in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) should be written in plain type, not in italics. For instance:


ab initio; in vitro; in vivo; et cetera; et tu, Brute

ab initio; in vitro; in vivo; et cetera; et tu, Brute


I have attached a list of common Latin words and expressions that you can keep at hand for referral.
FACTOID:
The keyboard shortcut for “Save As” in MS Word is the F12 key. For me, one of life’s great mysteries has been solved.


Латинские слова и выражения, которые не пишутся курсивом





ab initio

ab intra


ab origine

ab urbe condita

ad astra per aspera

ad extremum

ad hoc

ad infinitum



ad interim

ad libitum

ad nauseum

ad patres

adsum

ad valorem



ad verbum

Agnus Dei

alma mater

alter ego

alumna

alumni


alumnus

amor vincit omnia

anno Domini

annuit coeptis

annus mirabilis

ante bellum

ante meridiem

a posteriori

a priori

ars gratia artis

ars longa, vita brevis

ave


bona fide

carpe diem

caveat emptor

caveat lector

cave canem

ceteris paribus

circa

cogito ergo sum



compos mentis

con


cornucopia

corpus delicti

cui bono

cum


cum grano salis

cum laude

curriculum vitae

de facto


Dei gratia

de jure


delirium tremens

Deo volente

de profundis

desideratum

Deus ex machina

Dominus vobiscum

dramatis personae

ecce homo

ecce signum

editio princeps

emeritus

eo nomine

e pluribus unum

ergo


errare humanum est

erratum (errata)

et alia (et al.)

et cetera (etc.)

et sequens

et tu, Brute

ex cathedra

excelsior

exeunt

exit


ex libris

ex nihilo

ex officio

ex parte


ex post facto

ex tempore

factotum

fiat lux


gaudeamus igitur

habeas corpus

hic jacet

homo sapiens

homunculus

horrible dictu

humanum est errare

ibidem (ibid.)

idem

id est (i.e.)



ignoramus

illuminati

imprimatur

in absentia

incunabula

in excelsis

in extremis

in flagrante delicto

infra dignitatum

in loco citato

in loco parentis

in media res

in memoriam

in omnia paratus

in re

in situ


in statu quo

inter alia

inter nos

inter se


in toto

in utero


in vino veritas

in vitro


in vivo

ipse dixit

ipso facto

jacta alea est

laspsus lingua

lex talionis

literati

locus


lusus naturae

magna cum laude

magnum opus

mala fide

mandamus

margaritas ante porcos

materfamilias

mea culpa

memento mori

mens rea


meum et tuum

mirabile dictu

mirabile visu

mittimus


modus operandi

modus vivendi

mons veneris

mutatis mutandis

ne plus ultra

nolens volens

noli me tangere

nolo contendere

non compos mentis

non possumus



non sequitur

nota bene

obiter dictum

omnia vincit amor

opere citato (op. cit.)

opus


passim

paterfamilias

paternoster

pax


pax vobiscum

per annum

per capita

per diem


per se

persona non grata

post meridiem

post mortem

postscriptum

prima facie

primus inter pares

pro


pro bono publico

pro et contra

pro forma

pro patria

pro rata

pro tempore

qua

quid nunc



quid pro quo

quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D.)

quod erat faciendum

quodlibet

quod vide (q.v.)

quorum


quo vadis

rara avis

re

reductio ad absurdum



redux

regina


requiescat in pace

res


res ipsa loquitur

res publica

rex

rigor mortis



sanctum sanctorum

saturnalia

semper fidelis

sequitur


sic

sic passim

sic semper tyrannis

sic transit gloria mundi

sine die

sine qua non

status quo

stet


stupor mundi

subito


sub rosa

sui generis

summa cum laude

summum bonum

tabula rasa

tempus fugit

terra firma

terra incognita

ultra vires

ut infra


ut supra

uxor


vade mecum

veni, vidi, vici

verbatim

verbum sap

versus

via media



vice versa

vide


videlicet

viva voce

vox populi

vox Dei






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