alexpgp: (Default)
A pair of terms popped up yesterday that puzzled me. Both had to do with testing process pipelines. For a while, they made a few swipes with picks and shovels at the back of my mind, but now they've shown up again and started a major mining operation, so it's time to hunker down and figure out what they really mean.

One is "испытание на плотность"; the other, "испынание на герметичность."

"Плотность" usually means "density," but when you fill a pipe with water under pressure and check to see if anything drips out, you're not testing for density. Such a test is a leak test, and indeed, "плотность" can be used in the sense of "tightness" (as in "leak tightness") or "the quality of being leakproof." So there's no problem there; leak testing is pretty common in the engineering business.

Except that about the only meaning for "герметичность" in this context is... "tightness" (as in "leak tightness") or "the quality of being leakproof."

See the problem? They both seem to be "leak tests."

And it's not a case of synonymous usage; the text is referring to two distinctly separate tests (two-thirds of a trio, the third being a material strength test).

After noodling around for about 20 minutes and looking at text that assumes the reader just intuitively knows what's what in the discussion, I ran across the following in a fire safety standard:
Проверку на прочность, плотность материала и герметичность соединений всасывающих головок ... проводят на гидравлическом испытательном стенде.

Suction nozzle strength, плотность of material, and герметичность of joints ... are tested on a hydraulic test stand. [my translation]

It was as if someone had thrown a switch.

Apparently, an "испытание на плотность" for piping refers to a test to make sure the pipe hardware doesn't leak (i.e., the pipes have only two holes, one at each end). And consequently, an "испынание на герметичность" tests for leakage at the places where pipes connect to each other (i.e., at the joints).

I think I will call these "pipe leak test" and "joint leak test" (unless I find something better, which I really don't have time for right now).

alexpgp: (Interpreter's life)
It would appear that РН and РКН are basically the same thing: LV, or launch vehicle.

РКК, on the other hand, denotes a ракетно-космический комплекс (literally, a "rocket and space complex"). The world "complex" in technical Russian is one of those catch-all words that doesn't really mean much, sort of like "unit" in English.

Unfortunately, "complex" has a second, more common meaning in English, so that while one might tread safely with "launch complex," things get dicey when "complex" becomes part of a modifier, as in "onboard complex control system" (meaning "the control system for the onboard complex" as opposed to the "complex control system that's on board").

I'm babbling, sorry.

So, how to render РКК in English? space-rocket complex? facility? package? unit?

I'll have to sleep on it.

alexpgp: (St Jerome a)
The staff at the doctor's office did the usual stuff and I walked out with prescriptions to keep me going for awhile, though I did promise to get some blood work done tomorrow. The break sort of put a crimp in my grandiose plans to Get Everything Done As Soon As Possible™, and after making a couple of calls, I managed to stretch some deadlines, so I may end up working a few extra days before we leave for New York to take care of... well... New York stuff.

I've accepted some more work (so much for my resolution), but to be fair, a piece of the new stuff is directly linked with an upcoming interpretation gig, so it's hard to refuse.

As is often the case, the client supplied a glossary with the work, except this is actually a glossary and not a digital slop bucket of stuff that may or may not be actual terminology. Looking the document over (because it's actually possible to do so, as opposed to one of those multi-megabyte, 300-page collections of fish guts), I noticed some terminology issues.

Basically they all have to do with the abbreviations РН, РКН, and РКК, which all appear to be applicable when referring to what is called in English, a "launch vehicle" or LV.

The problem (at least from my perspective) is this: is that the case or are there some subtlties here that escape me, making it incorrect to use LV in each case?

One of these abbreviations, РН, is an old friend. It stands for ракета-носитель or, literally, a "carrier rocket." I have no problem using LV as the equivalent abbreviation.

What the other two guys may mean isn't as clear-cut.

In previous assignments, РКН has expanded to "ракета космического назначения," which has really no good translation, as the Russian literally means "rocket intended for use in space" (as opposed to, I suppose, "rocket intended to blow up that ship over there," mais je rigole...).

The first attempt at standardizing an equivalent English term was "space rocket," which sounds as if the speaker has spent too much time watching serial episodes of Buck Rogers on Saturday morning. Eventually, "integrated launch vehicle" (meaning a launch vehicle with all of the parts attached, ready for propellant loading and launch) gained favor - as did the abbreviation, ILV - and it was a quantum improvement, let me tell you.

However, on this assignment, РКН seems to refer to only the launch vehicle (no payload, no upper stage), so it's not an ILV. Multitran gives "flight vehicle," "space-mission vehicle," and "space rocket" as alternatives. None, as it were, light my fire. So, what is it?

Then there is РКК. I've only seen this Russian abbreviation in one place, and that's as the run-in to the name of one of the (if not the) principal Russian aerospace company, РКК Энергия (or "Rocket-Space Corporation Energia," or "RSC-E" if you're really pressed for time).

"Rocket-Space Corporation" might just work if you're trying to translate the descriptive "ракетно-космическая корпорация," but what might РКК mean when used to describe a launch vehicle?

There's no time to dally now. I've got 3,500 words due starting tomorrow morning!


Term hunt!

Apr. 14th, 2008 09:52 am
alexpgp: (Default)
Fees and fines in countries of the former CIS are sometimes calculated on the basis of salary class, or some other similar government-set parameter, meaning that people who earn more will pay commensurately higher fines. It's a concept that makes sense, at least on the surface, as it offers an opportunity - in terms of fines, at least - to discourage certain behavior without either making the cost of violations disproportionately large for the less well-to-do or disproportionately small for the wealthy.

But that's not the point of the post.

It turns out that in Belarus, the fee for court costs is calculated in something called a "базовая величина" ("basic amount" which is literal and ugly). Searching online for the Russian yields the following:
Согласно Постановлению Совета Министров Республики Беларусь от 28.03.2005 №330 «Об установлении размеров тарифной ставки первого разряда для оплаты труда работников организаций, финансируемых из бюджета и пользующихся государственными дотациями, и базовой величины» с 01.04.2005 базовая величина установлена в размере 25500 белорусских рублей.
Basically, this is an item reporting the fact that the Belarus Council of Ministers issued Decree No. 330 on 28 March 2005, in which the "базовая величина" was set to 25,500 Belarus rubles as of 1 April of that year.

Curiously, I wasn't able to find any English-language reference to the decree, or what it did (finding one from a source such as CNN or IHT would provide an answer), but there was a site that referred several times to a "basic unit." I don't much like this term, either, but it's an improvement.

What relation this "basic unit" might have to anything is explained by a FAQ at LexPatent (my translation follows):
Что такое «базовая величина»?

Базовая величина — это устанавливаемая Советом Министров Республики Беларусь величина, на основании которой исчисляются размеры некоторых платежей, осуществляемых в соответствии с законодательством Республики Беларусь. С 01 декабря 2007 года базовая величина составляет 35000 (Тридцать пять тысяч) белорусских рублей, что на 01.12.2007 составляло примерно 16,3 долларов США.

What is a "basic unit"?

The "basic unit" is a quantity, set by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, on whose basis the amounts of some payments to be made pursuant to Republic of Belarus law are calculated. As of 01 December 2007, the "basic unit" is 35000 (thirty-five thousand) Belarus rubles, which is approximately equivalent to US$16.30 as of 01 December 2007.
I would guess that this "basic unit" is sorta-kinda supposed to correspond to an "average daily salary," but time is getting short.

In the absence of something in fairly common use, I'm going with "basic unit."

alexpgp: (Default)
The word is one I haven't heard before and which Feht says isn't a real word: накоротке.

There's no entry for it in Multitran (although there is a phrase, "контратака накоротке" which is given as a military term meaning "hit-and-run counterattack"). My Oxford dead wood dictionary gives only an example: "произвести атаку накоротке" ("to carry out an attack at close range"), which gives накоротке an initial definition of "at close range," which doesn't work for the sentence I'm translating. So, it's back to Firefox.

The word appears often enough on the Runet, but short of finding a definition (no joy), the trick is to finagle a way (and there is always a way).

One of the Google hits is for an open source program called ++Sim that targets the IM segment and has the tagline "общение накоротке." Might there be an English equivalent? (Frankly, "messaging at close range" sounds pretty lame.) Hmm. I'm not allowed into the SourceForge page, so let's look elsewhere.

Aha! There's a forum post at something called with the following (with my sight translation beneath):
Горизонтальный крупнокалиберный штуцер целесообразен для опасных охот накоротке (у нас - медведь на берлоге)

A horizontal, large-caliber short rifle is advisable for hazardous hunting <накоротке> (bears in their dens, where we are)
The title of the thread has накоротке in quotes, and suddenly, it occurs to me that I've often heard the phrase "up close and personal" in reference to hunting big game (there are, in fact, over 6,000 hits on Google for the search string "hunting bear 'up close and personal'"). Heck, it's almost a cliché.

There's not much to work with to check my hypothesis, but "Messaging up close and personal" seems to have a certain ring to it, and even better, it makes sense for the context in my translation.

alexpgp: (Default)
Тонкозернистая and мелкозернистая are two troublesome words (at least for me) that are often encountered in geological descriptions of rock structure. The problem has to do with the fact that sources such as Multitran and dead wood dictionaries tend to offer the same term or set of terms for the equivalent English: fine grained, close grained, short grained, and so on.

In my experience, "тонко-" as a prefix implies something that would be smaller than "мелко-", and I recall I've run into this problem before. As I have the opportunity and some time right now, I decided to go out on the internet to see if there was any better solution.

First, I managed to find a table from the Tyumen State University that purports to define absolute grain sizes in rock structures of various origin (igneous, metamorphic, and some sedimentary), reproduced below (with my English translations):

Structure NameGrain size, mm
микрозернистая (micro grained)less than 0.1
тонкозернистая (???)0.1 - 1
мелкозернистая (???)1 - 3
среднезернистая (medium grained)3 - 5
крупнозернистая (coarse grained)5 - 10
гигантозернистаяmore than 10

(Honestly, I've never seen гигантозернистая, but tentatively, I think I'd call it "macro grained" instead of "giant grained," first, because it balances "micro grained" and second, "giant grained" sounds juvenile.)

I recall further that the previous time this was an issue, I settled on "small grained" for "мелкозернистая" and "fine grained" for "тонкозернистая." This, however, doesn't communicate any kind of relation between the two (unless the reader, like myself, thinks of "fine" denoting something smaller than "small.")

Looking back at Multitran, more the result of idly switching from the browser to another open app, my eyes almost miss "v-f-gr" under "тонкозернистый," denoting "very fine grained."

Wow... I like it!

Structure NameGrain size, mm
тонкозернистая (very fine grained)0.1 - 1
мелкозернистая (fine grained)1 - 3



alexpgp: (Default)

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