FR: Backlog Report Quick Reference Guide

jali1643

New Member
English - USA
So ive been trying to find information on this all over the internet with no luck and maybe im just overthinking it.

so my first question is using "de" vs du/de la/de l'/des.

So I understand it in simple cases such as "Guide de Référence" (reference guide), but when it becomes more complex is where I get lost and Im hoping there is some rule to follow that Ive just forgotten

ex. 1 Backlog Report Quick Reference Guide which I would translate as "Guide de Référence Rapide du Rapport de Retard", should I use "pour le" instead of "du"

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  • friasc

    Senior Member
    Eng, Sp (USA)
    In this case, "quick" can be translated as "petit" (ie it is a 'brief guide to'). For "backlog report" I might venture "suivi de retards", but there are many ways to translate "backlog"; my suggestion might also just be wrong. Altogether, that gives something like: petit guide du suivi des retards. I'd wait for someone with more experience.
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    Hello,

    we need to understand what is a "backlog report" in your context to be able to answer. Could you explain what is a "backlog report? What is the context, what is the industry involved?
     

    jali1643

    New Member
    English - USA
    Im not exactly sure what it contains as I am just a translation intern and am currently expanding my professional vocabulary. However, the recent translations I have been doing are in Finance, and I dont even have a working knowledge of some of these terms in english. But from my understanding of what is written in the guide is that the backlog is kind of an ongoing record of jobs taken on and the money attributed to each of these jobs. But because it is a backlog, it is continuous and not just a specified period and will continue to update itself as more and more journal entries (écritures du journal) are entered in to the general ledger (grand livre).
     
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    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    It is difficult to give you a definite reply as the right preposition and the best translation of that phrase really depends on the exact purpose of that guide. Is it meant to help you understand how the backlog report is made, how it is organized, or is it a user guide explaining how to use it, how to fill it in?

    Anyway, without further information, du seems a better solution than pour le.
     

    friasc

    Senior Member
    Eng, Sp (USA)
    A general remark regarding prepositions when translating an extended nominal group from English to French. As I'm sure you're well aware, anteposed noun modifiers in English are commonly translated into French as complements introduced by a preposition. When this type of construction indicates possession (very often the case), the preposition "de" can usually be used to translate it, e.g. the 2007 subprime mortgage market crisis (la crise du marché des prêts subprimes de 2007). That said, this construction can also express many other types relationships between nouns (purpose, location, the material something is made of, etc.), which can create ambiguity and pose challenges when deciding which preposition to use in a translation: for example, I believe that a "recent French publication" could mean "la récente parution en France d'un ouvrage resté jusque là inédit dans ce pays", or "la récente parution de la version en langue française d'un texte", or "le numéro récent d'une publication française", etc. I know this is all fairly obvious, I just felt it was an important preliminary remark.

    Now, I think English style is more tolerant of unwieldy nominal constructions better than French style is of series of complements introduced by "de" (...de ...de... de). When translating, the tendency is to avoid this type of repetition, through the omission of unnecessary elements, by varying the prepositions, etc. Thus, if we are translating "Easter Island National Park Security Service", for example, we would try to reword the phrase in order to break up or alleviate the cumbersome "service de sécurité du parc national de l'île de pâques": for a sign, or the heading of a communication, for instance, we might try "parc national, l'île de pâques / service de sécurité".

    All this to say, I'm inclined to omit "reference" and "quick". Isn't it the purpose of a guide to serve as a reference? Is it absolutely necessary to include "quick"?

    Without more context, it's hard to give you a more precise answer. I just thought this general remark might be pertinent, since you specifically asked about prepositions and the succession "...de ...de ...de" appears in your initial translation. Good luck
     

    friasc

    Senior Member
    Eng, Sp (USA)
    jekoh, my example was perhaps not well chosen, but do you disagree with my overall point about the perceived 'heaviness' of long chains of "de" clauses and the tendency to avoid or attenuate such repetitions when translating? I was under the impression this was simply common sense.
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Service de sécurité du Parc national de l'Île de Pâques is perfectly fine.
    I side with jekoh. That phrase is very natural in French; it is not cumbersome at all. By the way, the repetition of the de's is usually not a problem. It certainly makes the phrase a bit long, but we would not use other prepositions just to avoid repeating de.
     

    jali1643

    New Member
    English - USA
    Thank you all, you definitely helped answer my overarching question. I'm less interested in the specific reference guide translation but more interested in the use of prepositions in lengthy nominal phrases (I did ask a general question before this but it was moderated and I had to make it more specific). Frankly, I was just afraid I was using "de" too much in my nominal phrases and I was trying to vary it so it wasnt so repetitious. However if it is natural and correct; I guess I shouldnt worry.
     
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