alexpgp: (Default)
The object of today's hunt is: ОЭС.

The context has to do with hydroelectric generating plants. There are references to ОЭС Центра, ОЭС Средней Волги, ОЭС Юга и ОЭС Урала.

The expansion of the abbreviation is Объединенная энергетическая система. A straightforward translation might be United Power System.

My first "hit" online for the abbreviation gives me "Bulk Electricity System." This is not exactly impossible, but the "surprise" factor is a bit too high. After a little more poking, I find "United" might be "Unified," and "System" might be "Grid."

I proceed to transliterate some of the facility names and then compose a compound Google query as follows:
Yug Volga Tsenter Ural "(united|unified|interconnected) power (system|grid)"
I get a lot of variations on a theme, but my original gut feeling—United Power System—occurs quite frequently.

alexpgp: (St Jerome a)
Every once in a while, your friendly, neighborhood translator is gobsmacked by an abbreviation that shows up in a document seemingly out of nowhere and, naturally, demands attention.

Take, for example, the Russian abbreviation "САР" (—please!) in a document I'm working on. To my credit, I realize there's a better than even chance that the last two letters stand for анализ риска (risk analysis), but without knowing what the first letter expands to, I may as well just transliterate the abbreviation (SAR) and move on, as it were.

That is, except for one sturdy little straw that's available for the grasping, involving a search using wildcards. Consider the following string:
In Microsoft Word's variant of wildcard code, this means "one or more occurrences of any lower-case letter between 'а' and 'я'." If one tacks the character 'с' to the front, like this:
followed by a space, performing a search will find every instance of a word of at least two letters whose first letter is 'с'. Continuing with this logic,
с[а-я]@ а[а-я]@ р[а-я]@
will find three consecutive words, of two or more letters each, that begin with 'с', 'а', and 'р', respectively (I use lower case because Russian is generally pretty sparing when it comes to capitalizing words).

I hit paydirt with the second successful "find":
системный анализ риска
or "system risk analysis."

There are times this technique will not work, but it's almost always worth a try when you're up against it.

alexpgp: (Default)
The term is КРИС, from a very short translation having to do with public health and HIV/AIDS.

"КРИС" is a very bad term to search for by itself, because it returns about a gazillion hits having to do with the name "Chris," so we go back to the source document and search for the following, which is excerpted from a list of computer-related items in a sentence:
"эпидемиологическая база данных, КРИС"
Joy. The first hit is a Word file at a site called I view the file as HTML and snag a fairly large list of possible useful acronyms, among which is:
КРИС Информационная система реагирования страны на эпидемию ВИЧ/СПИДа
Hmmm. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't like acronyms that expand into words that only generally resemble the letters in the acronym. Информационная система might work for ИС, but the rest doesn't make sense, so I roll the dice one more time, searching for:
"Информационная система реагирования страны на эпидемию"
The third item in the list of hits is a PDF from the WHO, an outfit which likely knows a thing or two about HIV/AIDS. The excerpt shown on my screen is:
Комплексная региональная информационная сеть ООН (КРИС)
Just to calm my nerves, I search for the literal back-translation:
UN "Integrated Regional Information Network"
Google reports over 100,000 hits. My blood lust is satisfied.

After all that, there's only room to include "IRIN" in the translation. And so it goes.



alexpgp: (Default)

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