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Thread: N/A (n/a)

  1. #1
    Tate1701 is offline Newbie
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    Default N/A (n/a)

    Hello, everybody!
    Glad to be here again. I'm a translator. I have a problem, which prevents me from sleeping. Help me, please. Let me explain. Recently, I was translating a documant with a table in it. The table listed different equipment items. The table had columns with registration numbers for the listed equipment items. Some items had no numbers. Which word should I use: unnumbered, "N/A (n/a)", "no number", "without number" or something else? By the way, when is "N/A" that stands for "not available, not applicable" the same as "n/a" used? Can I use it in my case? Hope, you will understand my problem and help me. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    How about using - to show it was not given?

  3. #3
    Tate1701 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    Yes, maybe. But the initiator used a word. Can I use a symbol to replace the word during translation? I am in doubt.
    Last edited by Tate1701; 18-Feb-2013 at 04:03.

  4. #4
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tate1701 View Post
    Hello, everybody!
    Glad to be here again. I'm a translator. I have a problem, which prevents me from sleeping. Help me, please. Let me explain. Recently, I was translating a documant with a table in it. The table listed different equipment items. The table had columns with registration numbers for the listed equipment items. Some items had no numbers. Which word should I use: unnumbered, "N/A (n/a)", "no number", "without number" or something else? By the way, when is "N/A" that stands for "not available, not applicable" the same as "n/a" used? Can I use it in my case? Hope, you will understand my problem and help me. Thank you in advance.
    The normal way to solve this problem is to put a list at the top of the table defining what certain notations mean. You could, as mentioned above, put a hyphen - to indicate that there is no registration number for an item. Some tables will have a 0 to indicate the lack of a number. N/A (non-applicable) doesn't really seem to be a solution unless you note at the top of the table that you have taken N/A to mean not available.

  5. #5
    Tate1701 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    Thank you. But as for the meaning of N/A: does N/A mean that no information is available concerning (in my case) the number of the item or does it mean that no number was assigned to the item? Or can it mean both?

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    Tate1701 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    Additionally, why don't you like the option with 'unnumbered'? The issue is that the initiator of the document for some reason has not used hyphen to denote absence of the number (he/she used a word). Can I deviate so far from the original and put hyphen instead of a word? Our customers very often ask questions why we use this or that word. That is why I need good explanation.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    Given that we often use - for this purpose, I can't see the problem. Unnumbered presents a problem because it is making an assumption that they don't have numbers outside the table either IMO, while not given/stated would avoid this.

  8. #8
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    "N/A" means "not applicable."
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 18-Feb-2013 at 18:16.

  9. #9
    Tate1701 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    "Given that we often use - for this purpose, I can't see the problem. Unnumbered presents a problem because it is making an assumption that they don't have numbers outside the table either IMO, while not given/stated would avoid this."

    Thank you. I felt that unnumbered was not the best option. Although, the items really have no Reg. No. both inside and outside the table.
    Last edited by Tate1701; 19-Feb-2013 at 11:29.

  10. #10
    Tate1701 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: N/A (n/a)

    "N/A" means "not applicable."


    Namely, a certain criterion is not used (applied) for this or that item? It is also used meaning that there is no data concerning some item, isn't it?
    Last edited by Tate1701; 19-Feb-2013 at 11:30.

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