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Burda Translations
Apparently done by native speakers of English
becca a
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becca a  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/16/10 11:22 AM

In a recent thread about the late arrival of August issue of BurdaStyle Magazine, several readers complained about the use of the term "Working Girl" to designate a young woman working at a factory, ignoring its idiomatic meaning. I actually emailed Burda about this, and they replied:

Quote:
Thank you for your e-mail to the Burda Style publishers, which was passed
on to me to answer.

I am a born-and-bred U.S. American and usually translate the first half
of the Burda Style magazine copy. The second half is translated by a
born-and-bred Londoner. We then proofread each other's work before
turning it in to the publisher.

Both my colleague and I have been translating for over 30 years, so I
believe that between the two of us there is enough experience to warrant
my colleague's use of "working girl" for the fashion stretch with clothes in
the "Worker Style," as the designers call it. Check it in the internet, you'll
find loads of information about it.

I have consulted with my colleague and she has NEVER heard of the
term "working girl" used for prostitutes, and neither have I! I don't know
where you learned your English, but obviously not where we were born,
grew up and were educated. You are the only reader thus far who has
complained about the use of this term.

Believe me, the Burda publishers do care about the quality of the
magazine translations and hire native speakers only. I have been
translating fashion, sewing, needlecraft and textile texts for 35 years
now and keep abreast with terminology, which does indeed change
over the decades, and this is the first complaint I have ever had about
"working girl."

Sincerely yours,
Edith A. DuBose
and Trisha Cornforth


So apparently all those cryptically convoluted sewing terms and peculiar cultural references are run past not one but two native speakers of English.
-- Edited on 8/16/10 11:56 AM --
Amy-may
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Amy-may
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Date: 8/16/10 11:27 AM

Wow, I really prefer to think that they are translated by one ESL German. I see so many odd/confusing/bad phrasing through out an issue.

My favorite remains "saucy backside" in reference to a pair of slim-cut pants!

frame
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frame
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In reply to becca a


Date: 8/16/10 11:29 AM

LOL Clearly these women have never heard of Urban Dictionary. I suggest you send them this link.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=working%20girl


Definition of Working Girl

Maybe these women are from a time before "working girl" was used in this sense. I can't believe it. Even my mother would have heard this.

------
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"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

becca a
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becca a  Friend of PR
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In reply to frame


Date: 8/16/10 11:33 AM

If anything, I would suspect "working girl" is an older term, less used today.

EveS
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EveS
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Date: 8/16/10 11:34 AM

Well, their technical translations may need some work, but not their ability to speak snark. Yikes. Maybe I'm just in a "mood" when it comes to Burda these days, but that was a pretty punchy email ("....I don't know where you learned your English but obviously not from where we come from...") Yeah, that's good snark.

Eve

------
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it - Chinese proverb

becca a
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In reply to EveS


Date: 8/16/10 11:47 AM

Quote:
Well, their technical translations may need some work, but not their ability to speak snark. Yikes. Maybe I'm just in a "mood" when it comes to Burda these days, but that was a pretty punchy email ("....I don't know where you learned your English but obviously not from where we come from...") Yeah, that's good snark. Eve


Yes, she clearly feels rather threatened by my original email suggesting that they hire native speakers to translate the text of the magazine. I truly thought they were using google translate or some similar product. Their text often reads like my students' badly written papers when they write in English and use an online translation software to hand in a French paper. I was quite surprised to hear from a supposed native speaker of English.

I'd be interested to hear from some PR members in the UK and other English speaking countries whether "working girl" is an Americanism or is more widely used.
-- Edited on 8/16/10 11:49 AM --
squirrellypoo
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Date: 8/16/10 11:54 AM

Holy crap. I was giving their terrible translations the bnefit of the doubt before. But that they're made by not one but TWO native speakers? There's just no excuse for the culturally insensitive stuff like "Working girl" and the infamous "Proud White Masai" line. I mean, it's bad enough when they completely screw up sewing terms so badly it's hard to follow their instructions, but the magazine copy should be a no-brainer.

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squirrellypoo
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In reply to becca a


Date: 8/16/10 11:57 AM

Quote: becca a
I'd be interested to hear from some PR members in the UK and other English speaking countries whether "working girl" is an Americanism or is more widely used.

I just asked my English/Irish fiance what the term "working girl" means to him.

His reply: "Depends largely on context, Either a secretary or a prostitute"

Edit: English/Kiwi coworker also just said "prostitute"
-- Edited on 8/16/10 12:05 PM --

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Vintage Joan
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In reply to becca a


Date: 8/16/10 12:00 PM

This is unbelievable. I'll write to them today and send them a dictionary reference or two. Perhaps if a few dozen more of us write to them to complain about this soon, they'll get the idea?

Quote:
I am a born-and-bred U.S. American

Um, is it just me or is that statement worded in a way that would never be used by a native speaker of English?? (No, I know it's not just me.)

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Sue Anfang
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Date: 8/16/10 12:02 PM

They may "translate", but it does not appear that they actually sew, either.

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Sue who used to be Sue Wilson

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