22 Apr


Although Wikipedia should always be taken with a grain of salt, the information it provides is usually a valuable help when we translate. One feature you can find particularly useful is the list of multilingual links that often accompany a Wikipedia page.
If, for example, you are looking for information of what “surge limit” means in a compressor, you won’t find an article specifically devoted to it in the English Wikipedia, but you’ll find an explanation of “compressor surge” under the Wikipedia article on Compressor stall. This page links to the articles devoted to the same subject in several other languages. Even if your language is not among the direct links (Italian is not, in this case), checking the articles in other languages may supply you with useful hints to arrive at the correct translation.

In this case, the French and Spanish pages for “Compressor stall” are titled in a similar way: “Pompage” in French, and “Pompaje” in Spanish. This was a critical clue: the Italian Wikipedia does not have an article simply titled “Pompaggio”, but, in the article on “Compressore” you can find a section about the differences between “condizione di stallo” and “condizione di pompaggio” – which, in turn, leads to an article on “limite di pompaggio” that specifically mentions that “limite di pompaggio” is, in English, “surge limit”. I thus confirmed that I could use “limite di pompaggio” in my translation.

As you can see, the way to arrive to the correct translation is often roundabout, but learning to make good use of what Wikipedia has to offer for us yields goods results.

Posted by Riccardo

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