Your language does not have a word for a certain computer term – what do you do? Many people decide to leave the term in English. However, please take a moment to think about why you are translating this software. Will people who use your language be able to identify or understand the English word? Will they even be able to read it? If the answer is no then you need to look at creating or adapting the word.
Acronyms are words formed from the intial letters of phrases.
We often choose to leave these as they are as the meaning of the acronym is to most people disasociated with the actual words that make up the acronym. Some languages do choose to define
the expanded acronyms in their language but keep the original English acronym. Finally some languages have translations of these acronyms, use them if you feel that they are widely used and understood by your audience. Languages that fall into this category usually have well established and government supported terminology development units or language boards
You need to weigh up whether a translated acronuym will help or hinder. Not being aware of http may cause some people to battle with accessing the internet.
The following email reply from Chusslove Illich (caslav ilic at gmx net) gives some more pointers when creating new words.
> [: Dwayne Bailey :] > But don't be too paranoid as even if they're not the best word they > are merely place holders for ideas. People will learn what these > ideas are. I think this is very important point. Often, translators try to think of translation which is "intuitively understood", "friendly to the beginners", etc. In my opinion, these considerations are almost counter-productive, as then one easily ends up with translations which are of questionable usability -- not determining original idea uniquely enough or simply too long. An example of this from my language would be "formal translation" (ie. currently used in translation of Windows, KDE and Gnome) of "driver", which if translated back to English is "management program". It is both ambiguous (eg. "printer management program" is most certainly not "printer driver") and way too long. I think it is better to, whenever possible, draw ideas and associations from the fields you know to *work*: English language itself, other languages with long tradition in science, older branches of science in own native language. Again, in the example of "driver" in my language, there actually exists an excellent (IMO, of course) translation, and that is the literal one (of "driver" in "cattle driver", not in "bus driver"); it is very short (2 syllables, 5 letters only), already used in my language in eg. mechanical engineering, used in many European languages (eg. German "der Treiber"), and keeps the same association as in English (it "drives" the device). > You might want to involve some linguists in the translation as they > will be better equipped to select and adapt words. This would also be a great advantage. Whenever you want to use transcription of English word, or coin a new native word, linguist can tell you whether it fits well into spelling and pronunciation rules of your language. Also, he can signal whether a coined word is following the language tradition (ie. will not sound too unnatural to the speakers) or not. Eg. in my language it is not traditional to make double-noun or noun-verb composite words, but there is a large set of usual prefixoids/suffixoids that can be used.