In business translation, we often come across incomplete sentences? in point form in presentations such as the following example.
(1) XXX 手法
How would you translate the incomplete sentences? In the rush to meet deadlines, I believe many of us simply follow the structure of the original version fairly closely such as in (2).
(2) XXX method
(a) A method for optimizing media in increasing conversion rates
(b) Aim to choose the most suitable media for consumer needs to enhance efficiency and accuracy.
(c) Establish a media portfolio with CPC and CPA in mind in order to improve the plan’s feasibility.
Line (a) is a complex noun phrase and the next two lines begin with verbs with the subject not clearly stated. Line (a) looks out of place because it is not consistent with the other two lines. The context shows clearly that this section is a description of a special method. So we can safely assume that the subject is “the XXX method”. What we are going to do is to change the forms in (2) slightly to make them more consistent.
Since it is understood that the point of this section is to introduce the XXX method, line (a) can be changed to “optimizes media…,” line (b) to “aims to…,” and line (c) to “establishes…”
(2-2) XXX method
(a2) Optimizes media in increasing conversion rates
(b2) Aims to choose the most suitable media for consumer needs to enhance efficiency and accuracy.
(c2) Establishes a media portfolio with CPC and CPA in mind in order to improve the plan’s feasibility.
In example (4), which is a translation of (3), we have a list in point form describing a “monitoring system,” the first sentence begins with a verb, the second one is a complex noun phrase and the third sentence also begins with a verb. Consistency in form can be achieved by using the verb form for all the sentences as shown in (5).
(4) Monitoring system
Monitor contents and screening criteria, etc.
Periodic check of sponsored sites
Check illegal contents (copyright, links to irrelevant websites)
(5) Monitoring system
Reviews contents and screening criteria, etc.
Checks sponsored sites periodically
Checks illegal contents (copyright, links to irrelevant websites)
Let’s look at another type of inconsistency in the next example.
(7) A corporate code has been established with the missions of "providing 360° best communication service" and the "3 F’s" of "flat, flexible, first" as our organizational discipline. In addition, we provide active promotion of the global standards through "transparency and accountability" and functions as a "purchasing agency for the client."
This example is an answer to a question in a questionnaire about the services provided by a company. Note that the first sentence is in the passive voice while the second one is in the active voice, which makes the paragraph look rather odd. Since we know what the subject is, it is better to be consistent and have both sentences in the active voice as shown in (8) below. Using the active voice with a subject in the first person to describe the services offered by one’s company will give a more personal touch, and increase the appeal to potential clients.
(8) We have established a corporate code with the mission of "providing 360° best communication service" and the "3 F’s" of "flat, flexible, first" as our organizational discipline. In addition, we encourage active promotion of global standards through "transparency and accountability" and act as a "purchasing agency on behalf of our clients."
In the next example, the first sentence in Japanese (9) is not a full sentence, and if it is translated just as it is into English like (10), it will be inconsistent to have a complex noun phrase as the first sentence of the paragraph. It will be better to convert this into a full sentence as shown in (11). As mentioned earlier, using the first person gives a personal touch.
(10) 12 domestic locations comprised of 10 XXX branches and 2 affiliate offices and 47 locations belonging to 19 dominant advertising firms across the country that partner with XXX. The domestic network division manages a total of 59 locations. We provide response in coordination with the responsible division in your company.
(11) We have 12 domestic locations comprising of 10 XXX branches and 2 affiliate offices, and 47 locations belonging to 19 leading advertising firms across the country that have a partnership with XXX. Our domestic network division manages a total of 59 locations. We respond to clients’ needs in coordination with the relevant division in the client company.
In the next example, only the second sentence is a full sentence while all the other sentences simply begin with a verb. This makes the paragraph look rather odd. It would be better to make the sentences conform to the same pattern with a subject in the first person as shown in (14) below.
(13) Clearly stated as "Management Policy for Partner Companies." Only full-time employees of companies that meet the basic conditions for business transaction set forth by our company are eligible to apply, following the prescribed procedures. Conduct audit of the superiors, Sales Promotion Office or the Planning Office. Conduct audit of the Business Management Office. For account registration audit, consider character of the manager, capital status, technical standard, production skills, etc.
(14) We have a set of clearly stated "Management Regulations for Partner Companies." Only full-time employees of companies that meet the basic conditions for business transactions set forth by our company are eligible to apply, following the prescribed procedures. We screen the superiors, the Sales Promotion Office or Planning Office. We also conduct checks on the Business Management Office. For account registration screening, we consider the character of the manager, capital status, technical standards, production skills etc.
Finally, I would like to leave you with an example for practice. Please feel free to submit your version of what you think is the best way to make this translation better and we can compare different versions in the next session.