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 TIP #159   This tip was sent on the week: 11th - 17th May, 2008

Handling of Proper Names

This Tip applies to the following products:  

The handling of proper names is always a problem when translating.  Must they be translated or not?   Must they preserve written accents in English or not?  And, what should one do with the names of historic characters?

Word Magic has a base of proper names of 4000+ historic characters with a very brief description of each.  Some of these are translated as a duplicate of the English name, translating only the title: 

  • Examples:
    President Bush translates to Presidente Bush.    
    Edith Piaf translates to Edit Piaf, and to El Pequeño Gorrión (synonym)

Then, there is an option in the toolbar for common proper names:

Tools / Options / Translation / Literal Proper Nouns

Removing the preference Literal Proper Nouns, the translator will automatically translate proper names in both directions:

  • Example: Paul = Pablo / Pablo = Paul

Choosing this same Literal Proper Nouns preference, the translator will preserve the original language: Paul = Paul / Pablo = Pablo

On the other hand, biblical, mythological, astronomical or geographical names will always be translated into the other language regardless of the option Literal Proper Nouns. 


  • Sansón = Samson
  • Jesús = Jesus
  • María = Mary ( biblical )
  • Mary = Mary (proper name, with María as an option)
  • Hércules = Hercules ( for any of its meanings )


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