Translators' Resources -- "Rosetta Stones"





Translation Journal
Caught in the Web

Web Surfing for Fun and Profit

Rosetta Stones

by Cathy Flick, Ph.D.
“Rosetta Stone” sites are sites featuring the same text in two or more languages.
From Kirill Sereda: CONSORT = Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials, an organization trying to improve the quality of reporting of clinical trials. Includes a collection of translations of CONSORT documents. (English, Chinese, French, Greek, Japanese, perisan, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish)

The first link is the French/English text of the International Vocabulary of Metrology - Basic and General Concepts and Associated Terms/Vocabulaire international de métrologie - Concepts fondamentaux et généraux et terms associés (VIM).

The next two links are Russian resources that include translations of the material in the VIM, complete with section references so they can be compared to French and English terms.

Some multilingual United Nations resources:
The free Canadian term database Termium, which has included Spanish terms as well as English-French for quite a while, now "claims it has 18,000 Portuguese terms as well," according to Steven DeWitt.
(From Marie-Louise Desfray) The United Nations General Assembly Resolutions: A Six-Language Parallel Corpus. "A paragraph-aligned six-language collection of resolutions of the General Assembly from Volume I of GA regular sessions 55-62." Downloadable. (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish)
Linguee, a very helpful searchable collection of source/target words and phrases in the context of full sentences (see Oct 2009 issue under German), is expanding beyond German/English. Michelle Asselin gave us this general link to English/German, English/Spanish, English/French, and English/Portuguese versions. The site bills itself as "The web as a dictionary--Search millions of sentences translated by other people." I've found it very useful in my own work, although "Caveat lector"--good for ideas, but don't assume consistent quality from the "other people."
R and S phrases (risk and safety) in 23 languages.
Interesting site with various translations of phrases from different Bibles. You can choose the chapter and verse and compare. Multilingual.
Kirill Sereda found this ILO Occupational Safety and Health Glossary. (EN, FR, DE, ES, RU)
Drug database. Choose language in Drug Data links in lower right-hand corner. Can browse list for each initial letter, which can be helpful when deciphering sloppy handwriting... Also good for comparing info in different languages. (English, Norwegian, Swedish. German, Spanish, French, Dutch)
Very helpful collection of words/phrases in context taken from web sources (German with English translations and maybe vice-versa). Visitors can rank the contributions. (German, English)
Delyth Yabar found this "interesting collection of links to mono and multilingual glossaries and dictionaries in the field of document conservation."
From Susan Larsson.
Michelle Asselin says this United Nations site has "links to the 335 translations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
Matthew Schlecht passes along this url: Product Information Templates from the European Medicines Agency "apparently available in all EU languages."
Contaminated Sites Glossary from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. Includes explanations in each language. (German, French, Italian, English)
Dictionary of Cancer Terms in English and Spanish from the National Cancer Institute.
Michael Röhrig suggests this Engineering & technology catalogue in 16 languages from Hansa-Flex. Includes line engineering, hose, mounting, sealing, measuring, compressed air, water technologies; maintenance and accessories.
Veronica Lambert Hall says: I was checking out a translation of part of this book [The Little Prince], when I came across this site with the book in lots of languages."
Michael Osmann found this Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in several languages.

Margaret Kane Savage suggests this trick for French-English translators looking for Rosetta Stones: "Entering a French or English word or expression into Google, followed by (no spaces) will produce a listing of the Government of Canada websites (all programs, services, departments, ministries and organizations) in which it appears. With few exceptions, the page will have a link to the corresponding page in the other official language, right at the top.
Michael Osmann found this German-English Fire Investigators Dictionary/Wörterbuch fÃ1/4r den Brandursachenermittler useful. Definitions in both English and German.
Susan Larsson found this "international classification of functioning, disability and health ... there is a dropdown menu where you can change the language."
Glossary for Pilots and Air Traffic Services Personnel
Glossaire à l'intention des pilotes et du personnel des services de la circulation aérienne
Michelle Asselin found this Transport Canada site. Look for links on each page to switch between French and English
Michelle Asselin found this interesting Canadian resource. CRTC = Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission/Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes. The first link is the French version, the second link is the English version.
Michelle Asselin found this internet sales glossary. The first link is the French version, the second link is the English version. The glossary is part of a much larger site on the subject.
Steve Dyson says this site is a "gold mine of 'bitextable'/'alignable' public domain translations." UNPAN is the United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance.
Michael Burns found this very nice site with "Bicycle parts well illustrated along with a fair number of associated items." Names of parts given in Portuguese, French, Spanish, and English.
Jo Ann Cahn points out this site for "French law translations into English and Spanish."
Various documents related to a clinical trial in Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Romanian, Portuguese & Spanish.
Dominik Kreuzer pointed out this "site of a manufacturer of wire and cable making machines in German, English, French and Spanish."
Antonio Posada points out that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a grand source of "Rosetta Stones ..... with full text in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian".
Safety material from WHO on chemical compounds etc. with synonyms - many languages. Great for comparing chemical names.
Detailed Good Clinical Practice table of contents in Russian and English.
English and Estonian glossary on graph theory.
French and English glossaries for graph theory.
Samples of medical histories/physical exam descriptions in several languages (German, UK/US/SA English, French, Danish, Icelandic, Swedish). The texts are not identical, but still useful for comparison.
Anya Malhotra points out these English/German "parallel texts "for financial work.
Nice German and English glossaries respectively from FDG, the Association of the German Rubber-Lining Industry, that you can use to match up terms. I think they translated an English glossary, at least the English is good and reliable.
Iris Heres found this "German but also multilingual" source for spices. The above links are for the German and English versions of the site.
From Michael Grant: "A nice English/German/French/Italian banking glossary." Has explanations in the different languages.
Margaret Schroeder suggests this useful site for color names: "In English, Czech, Hungarian, French, German & Spanish. Example given for each colour-- nice browsing on a gray day." Very handy for those of us who never know what to call which color in any language....
Pierre Renault suggests these helpful links (English and French, respectively) for "all federal legislation, i.e. statues and regulations, for Canada, organised by chapter names in English".
Pierre Renault says: "You'll also find useful links related to the federal government (the official Gazette, constitutional text here."
Has some AIDS and clinical trial related materials in both English and Spanish.
Belgian government site with materials in German, English, French, and Dutch on matters of economic interest (including patents).
The US Food and Drug Administration/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has a variety of non-English versions of their docs online, which can be useful as Rosetta Stones in relevant areas.
Steve Dyson says that Compara "is a Portuguese-English parallel corpus of literary texts. It is accessible to all-comers and could well represent the beginning of a healthy trend. It is the work of Ana Frankenberg-Garcia of Lisbon-based translation school ISLA."
Very detailed drug package inserts (for a radiodiagnostic agent) for the US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, and the Czech Republic. You can probably locate more Rosetta Stones of this type by looking for "package insert(s)" and the names of relevant countries.

Sue Horn passes this along from Yvan on Eureka: Multilingual Periodic Table of the Elements (49 different languages).
Great source of equivalent patent-related material in French, German, and English.
Has links to regional Nintendo sites. Useful for comparing gaming jargon in various languages.
This European Law site can be helpful in unexpected ways—I was able to track down chemistry terms by comparing the text in different languages in some docs on analytical methods, for instance. Searchable.
Margaret Doney says this is a "useful resource for those translating between English and French. It has English and French versions of news releases and can be searched by keyword."

Steve Dyson reminds us that monolingual encyclopedias and dictionaries in different languages can be very useful as "Rosetta Stones." For example, he recommends:
Webencyclo, an on-line encyclopedia in French. (Free!)
Knowledge Database about Telecommunication (French/English)
Nigel Palmer suggests looking at this European Union web site, with “full texts of the EU Official Journal (from this June on, but also some back issues), treaties, consolidated legislation and case law. Multilingual. Searchable by topic, date etc.”
Suz Falcone notes: “The French medical publisher Masson offers access to abstracts from their various journals on their Web site, in French and, (if it’s still their policy to translate all of their abstracts) apparently in English as well, with a key word search feature.” Yes, you can indeed find English translations of the abstracts also.
Suz Falcone gives us this site for “the catalogue of an ophthalmic material manufacturer, also in French and English.”
If you need macintosh computer terminology: The searchable Macwelt and the English language Macworld counterpart for comparison.'
You might want to visit the Swiss Medical Weekly archives if you are looking for “Rosetta Stones” for French, German, and English in medical areas. Click on the archives button, and you can search for words in French, English, or German. All their archived articles have abstracts in at least two languages. The German/English abstracts I checked seemed to be quite accurate on the English side.
Another Rosetta Stone: The German Constitution in German and English, for tracking down reasonable equivalents for all that officialese.
Nice introduction to the Internet in German (Einführung Internet). Just compare this with your English sources on the Internet...
If you deal with clinical trial protocols: Here is the English version and a very useful informal German translation of Good Clinical Practice from EEC documents.
“It appears to have a lot of information on Swiss law, available in German, French, or Italian.”—Denzel Dyer
“Heiros Gamos, the legal site to end all legal sites. There will be links there to texts of many international treaties, some in several languages. It also has a search engine built in...”—Ben Franchi
AMI (Advanced MediTech International) provides some Information for Physicians and its Products Catalog in both English and Spanish.
Degaussing (entmagnetisieren, démagnétisation, desmagnetización) information in English, German, French, and Spanish from a British company billing itself as“The Degaussing Authority”.

See The Particle Adventure in the Physics and Engineering section.
Tony Roder pointed out this site. Poke around the French and English versions for some useful comparisons.
Italian and English versions of articles on psychobiology and neuroscience.
About a sugar clarifier in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Search the Millipore site for their manuals in various languages. Hint: Choose "Any Language" and manually browse the titles, their search engine doesn't seem to know which language is which....
This will take you straight to the list of manuals for Millipore, with language indicated.
Anne Bartz points out the EMAE site (European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products), with templates and information in all EU countries.