1  3 4 5 6 7 8 17
e.g. and i.e.
I think the statement "e.g. and i.e. must always be followed by a comma is a bit too strong. It is not usual to use a comma in British English (Fowler says it is "unnecessary but not wrong") and, as I understand it, it is usual in U.S. English, but not wrong to omit it.
bzw
I like it
abbreviations
I don't see much English written by Germans, but see a lot written by Dutch people. I wonder if the Germans share the Dutch habit of transferring common Dutch abbreviations into English, producing incomprehensible abbreviations such as a.o., f.e., f.i. and a.s.o. for "among others", "for example", "for instance" and "and so on".
HTH
James Lee
e.g. and i.e. I think the statement "e.g. and i.e. must always be followed by a comma is a bit ... incomprehensible abbreviations such as a.o., f.e., f.i. and a.s.o. for "among others", "for example", "for instance" and "and so on".

Yes, they do - well at least my English students do, even ones at quite advanced levels.
I haven't had a look at teh document yet but it sounds useful.

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I read in sci.lang.translation that James Lee (Email Removed) wrote (in ) about 'Guide for German writers of English', on Fri, 13 Feb 2004:
I don't see much English written by Germans, but see a lot written by Dutch people. I wonder if the ... incomprehensible abbreviations such as a.o., f.e., f.i. and a.s.o. for "among others", "for example", "for instance" and "and so on".

No, it seems to me (who see English from both sources) that it's largely confined to Dutch, except perhaps for Germans who've worked for Philips.

In fact, these abbreviations seem more prevalent among my Philipine colleagues, so may originally be 'Philips English' rather than 'Dutch English'. I can see reasons why Latin-derived abbreviations in British English (especially the rarer ones like 'viz.', 'i.a.' and 'sqq.') might cause confusion and prompt their substitution by abbreviated English words.
A trap for the unwary is that plurals like 'camera's' are perfectly correct in Dutch, so it can be quite difficult to remember that they are not at all correct in English. It doesn't necessarily imply that the Dutch are a nation of greengrocers. (;-)

Regards, John Woodgate, OOO - Own Opinions Only.
The good news is that nothing is compulsory.
The bad news is that everything is prohibited.
http://www.jmwa.demon.co.uk Also see http://www.isce.org.uk
Greetings. I work in a German research centre, and as one of only two native English speakers, I'm frequently called ... to German speakers. It addresses common translation problems such as "bzw.", plus differences between German and English punctuation and diction.

Tristan,
Although I don't understand German, your guide is much appreciated.

It reminds me of the need for a similar document, aimed at native Spanish-speakers who write in English. As a translator, most of my source documents are written by native speakers, so my focus would be different.
I sometimes need to assign parts of my projects to other translators, and a document like yours would be very interesting for two purposes: One, as a checklist for evaluating a translator who I suspect is not working into their native language, and two, as guidance to such translators.
(This is bound to generate controversy, but not every translation should be done by native speakers of the target language. There's an good explanation at this page:
http://www.accurapid.com/journal/12xlator.htm )
I should have started years ago, collecting examples of such usage. Until I can correct this lapse, does anyone have any other such guides?
Thanks

Steve M - (Email Removed) (remove dirt for reply)

"Facts do not cease to exist simply because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley
I would be grateful if interested parties here could have ... additions or changes. The PDF version is available here: http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~miller/publications/advice.pdf

Section 1.2 of this document states "Double quotation marks ... always come in pairs", but I believe there is an ... or split into multiple paragraphs. In English direct speech the left quotation mark is often repeated at each subsequent paragraph.

It's not unknown, but it looks odd. I have even seen a quotation within a quotation where each para was prefixed double quote - space - double quote. This looks decidedly odd! It also leads the reader to examine the layout and syntax of the text, rather than the meaning and content, and to say to himself "what manner of pedant wrote this?".
Andy Taylor (Editor, Austrian Philatelic Society)
For Austrian philately http://www.kitzbuhel.demon.co.uk/austamps
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
I work in a German research centre, and as one of only two native English speakers, I'm frequently called upon ... to German speakers. It addresses common translation problems such as "bzw.", plus differences between German and English punctuation and diction.

A nice paper.
As already stated by other participants, many of the points apply not only to the English but to the German as well. The abuse of quotation marks for emphasis is as wrong in German as it is in English; and all sentences that cannot* contain "respectively" in English *should better not contain "beziehungsweise" in German.

The since/for example should be enhanced with (the) usage of (the) tenses: The wrong, German style, sentence would be "*We are working ... since five years".
Some more points where I had or still have difficulties in English:

- Use of prepositions and infinitives/participles: Can I help "to write", "in writing", or "at writing"? Would it be different if I did not "help" but "aid" or "assist"? Can I do something "to achieve the goal" or only "in order to achieve the goal"? Or should it be "for achieving the goal"?
- Use of articles: For a problem, can "factor analysis" be the solution, or should it be "the factor analysis" or "a factor analysis"? Which of the parenthesised "(the)" above would have been written by a native speaker of English and why?
- Two detail problems:
Can "although" always replace the somewhat old-fashioned "albeit" or are there differences in usage? Examples:
I came yesterday although it rained. (Must be "although".)

There is some relation, albeit imperfect, with the other group. (Must be "albeit"?)
Can "namely" always replace the somewhat old-fashioned "to wit" or is it used only with names? Example:
The use of three different colours, to wit green and blue, for the exactly same purpose is confusing. ("namely" possible?)

- Another confusing thing in English is the usage of "whatever" without a verb, e.g.:
Whatever his intentions, ...
In German, it would be "Was auch immer seine Absicht ist, ...".
I once had a British colleague proofread a paper I was writing. Most suggested modifications consisted in deleting one out of three words without changing the meaning of the sentence, e.g.:

Many sentences can be shortened by deleting unnecessary words.

instead of:
One can make many sentences shorter when one deletes words that are not needed.
Just some observations.
Helmut Richter
Greetings.
e.g. and i.e. I think the statement "e.g. and i.e. must always be followed by a comma is a bit ... but not wrong") and, as I understand it, it is usual in U.S. English, but not wrong to omit it.

Well, the reasoning goes that the abbreviations are there to replace "for example" and "that is"; if the full terms were used, a comma would be necessary. I was unaware that Fowler is now permitting it, and haven't yet encountered any professionally produced publications where the comma is omitted. Still, I'll make note of it in my document, perhaps with the caveat that it's more of a British practice.
abbreviations I don't see much English written by Germans, but see a lot written by Dutch people. I wonder if ... incomprehensible abbreviations such as a.o., f.e., f.i. and a.s.o. for "among others", "for example", "for instance" and "and so on".

Not in my experience, no. The only one I regularly encounter is "resp." for "bzw.". Some blame is to be placed on dictionaries for this, as even many respectable ones give an unqualified "resp." or "respectively" as the translation. At the very least the dictionary needs to mention that while "respectively" may be an appropriate translation, it is not a conjunction in English. And I've never, ever seen "resp." used in formal text.

Regards,
Tristan

V.-o Tristan Miller (en,(fr,de,ia)) >`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard (7 \\ http://www.nothingisreal.com / >
The use of three different colours, to wit green and blue, for the exactly same purpose is confusing. ("namely" possible?)

There is another mistake here, namely (?) the wrong number.

Helmut Richter
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Greetings.
BTW, for the first example on the last page of the PDF file on "bzw.", I think the following are ... be there: Please press button 1 or 2 if you want to go to the first or second floor, respectively.

Yes, this is permissible albeit pedantic. The correspondence between "1" and "first", and between "2" and "second", is strong enough that explicitly mentioning it is not required. Most English speakers would use "respectively" in this context only in the odd case where button 1 took you to floor 2 and vice versa.
Please press button 1 or 2 if you want to go to the first or second (resp.) floor.

No, this is definitely a Germanicism; the abbreviation "resp." is not used in English.
Regards,
Tristan

V.-o Tristan Miller (en,(fr,de,ia)) >`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard (7 \\ http://www.nothingisreal.com / >
Show more