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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Where can I get the glossary of Microsoft’s standard translations for computer terms? – The Old New Thing

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/12/22

A while ago I bumped into [WayBackWhere can I get the glossary of Microsoft’s standard translations for computer terms? – The Old New Thing

Since I’m a non-digital pack-rat as well, I love [WayBack] this comment by [WayBack] Ian Boyd:

We have an *old* copy of the Microsoft Style Guide – an actual book. From that book i’ll always remember that e-mail has a hyphen in it.

I’ve that book too and write e-mail the same way.

But books are often hard to search through, so I love this list that [WayBack] Raymond Chen made:

I especially like the [WayBackinteractive search, but with any outcome, please remember that the context of your translation is very important.

For instance, I vividly remember a project some 20+ years ago where we had to translate the words “Close” and “Cancel” in the realm of the insurance business.

All guides indicated “Close” should become “Sluiten” which in that realm is colloquial for “Afsluiten” which means “to take out an insurance” implying a totally wrong action. Similarly “Cancel” translated to “Annuleren” which in the same realm would mean “to cancel an insurance”.

So we went for very specific translations narrowing down what exactly would happen in those screens, like:

  • “Verlaten” (English “Exit”)
  • “Bewaren” or “Opslaan” (English “Save”)
  • “Terug” (English “Back”)


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