Bookshelf update — controversial Russian reference

On Monday I have announced a «very special reference» to be posted the same day. Obviously it didn't happen, but it's better late than never. Without further ado I give you ГОСТ 2.105-95 Общие требования к текстовым документам. What's so special about it?

First of all, being an active [inter]national standard, this document is mandatory, and you are formally  obliged to follow it, at least for technical translation.

At the same time, it contains huge amount of outdated, unneeded, unrealistic, and controversial provisions, that nobody follows these days. Obviously, this opens a wide array of abuse possibilities for a willing reviewer. Here's some examples:

  • You can't use any acronyms, unless they are outlined in National Standards.
  • You can't use minus sign (-) in the continuous text, type the whole «minus» word or die.
  • Table of contents title should be centered.
  • You can't use borrowed words, if Russian analog exists (:trollface:).
  • Table column is actually called «графа», my friend.
  • A zillion of conventions for tables, UOMs, external, and internal references, you are definitely violating all the time.
  • Etc.

Have fun.

PS: <Serious mode on>Those who are making their first steps in this business, and aim for hardcore technical translation, should learn this this paper by heart, as well as all other relevant standards. We have all become too relaxed, too casual with all that MS Office apps, CATs, search engines, and online dictionaries around us. Being uncompromisingly rigorous, and precise in the world casual Margarita-drinking dabblers may become one's real competitive edge. Note however, that this path is tough is unrewarding for most.<Serious mode off>

PPS: I'd like to know more about applicability of government-imposed National Documentation Standards to real word translation work in different countries. Have you heard about those? Are they relevant? Usable? Feel free to post a comment, if you have something to say.

The first book in the Library

I have added Bookshelf tab to make this site erm... useful, one file is published already:

Справочная книга редактора и корректора by Milchin.

This book is a musthave for everyone, who is into revision/proofing/QA of Russian content, especially technical. It's not as popular as ubiquitous Rosentahl, but it covers many issues, that are simply omitted in other references, Rosentahl included. This is the the best, the first, the original revision. In later versions a lot of stuff was cut out.