Hi there! My name is Guston, and I am working on a JP > EN translation.


In the source text, there is a numbered list with suggestions, then a more detailed explanation after each item. Like so:



If you're hungry, you can do the following:

1. Eat a BLT

A BLT is a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. These bad boys are tasty.


2. Eat boiled lobster

Lobster is more expensive than either bacon, lettuce, or tomatoes (depending on the amount of each). It's also cruel to eat lobster, as they are boiled alive. Then again, pigs are killed alive for the purposes of bacon. Choose wisely.


3. Eat a horse.

A favorite expression in households across the nation. Do you accept the challenge?



Notice the period after suggestion number 3, and the lack of periods after suggestions 1 and 2.


Should I keep the single period in the translated version, should I add periods to suggestions 1 and 2 in the translated version, or should I omit the period for suggestion number 3?



Any suggestions will be helpful.




  • 0

    I would opt for a consistent style that appears natural in English. I think you actually have a lot of freedom in this case.

    To my eye, ending each suggestion with a period would be perfectly acceptable . I would also consider putting a colon or even an en dash after each of the suggestions, since that would help lead the eye of reader to the explanatory sentence that follows each suggestion. I think even leaving each suggestion open, without a period, is acceptable because they are like bullet points in an outline or a list, and don't absolutely have to be closed with a period.

    Bottom line, I don't think there's any one single answer because it's a matter of style.

    However, I do think that leaving it inconsistent as it was in the source text should be avoided.

    I realize that my answer isn't really much help, because I'm basically telling you that you can do pretty much whatever you want!

    I would be curious to read others' take on the matter.

    Best wishes!

  • 0
    Guston S. Rankin

    Thanks, Kevan! Your suggestion helped a lot!

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