hiyodori_patransの特許翻訳日記

特許翻訳のあれこれを綴るブログです。

「複数のデータ」はどう訳す?

「複数のデータ」。どう訳しますか?

 

data とは、もともと datumの複数形ではあるが、現在では物質名詞のように不可算・単数の扱いをする、というのが定説のようです。

 

Oxford Dictionary の用例説明では、以下の通り。

Usage

In Latin, data is the plural of datum and, historically and in specialized scientific fields, it is also treated as a plural in English, taking a plural verb, as in the data were collected and classified. In modern non-scientific use, however, it is generally not treated as a plural. Instead, it is treated as a mass noun, similar to a word like information, which takes a singular verb. Sentences such as data was collected over a number of years are now widely accepted in standard English

 

 (データはラテン語で datum の複数形で、科学分野では複数として扱い、動詞も複数形として扱ってきた。現在では、非科学分野では、複数として扱わず、informationなどと同様に抽象名詞として扱う。data was collected over a number of yearsといった用法が標準的英語として認められている。)

 

Merrium-Webster ではこう言っています。

Is data singular or plural?

 

Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (such as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (such as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (such as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun (it). Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, evidently because the house style of several publishers mandates it.

 

 (もともとは複数形であるが、①複数として扱い、動詞も複数、代名詞も複数で受ける ②抽象名詞としてとらえ、動詞も単数、代名詞も単数で受ける。どちらも標準的)

 

辞書は、どちらもあり、と言っているようですね。

 

 

かつて特許明細書でdatum, dataと使い分けているものを見た覚えがありますが、最近では、 information と同様に数えられない名詞として単数扱いが一般的のように思えます。

 

さて、明細書で「複数(個)のデータ」という表現を時々見かけます。

 

抽象名詞ととらえるならば、「物質名詞の量の表し方」として、advice や information と同様に "a piece of" をつけるのか。

であれば、a plurailty of pieces of data とするのか。でも、これはまどろっこしい。ワード数も増える。

 "a plurality of data are ... " でいいのでは?と思ってしまいます。(この場合、dataは単複同形と考える。)

 

ここで、a plurality of に続く動詞は単数扱いか複数扱いかという問題も。複数とするのは誤用であるという意見もあります。が、モノが複数個あることがわかりやすいので、私は個人的には複数扱いが好みです。ネイティブも複数で書いている人がが多いような…

 

米国の公開公報でもいろいろな表現を見かけます。

 

USP 7930262(International Business Machines Corp)

1. A computer implemented method for performing analysis on a plurality of data stored in a database, the computer implemented method comprising:

generating a first cohort from the plurality of data;
generating an optimal control cohort from the plurality of data, wherein generating is performed based on the first cohort and at least one constraint, and wherein a mathematical process is used to derive the optimal control cohort;
generating a first inference based on a comparison of the first cohort to the optimal control cohort, wherein the first inference is absent from the database; storing the first inference; receiving an Ith query at the database regarding an Ith fact, wherein I is an integer reflecting how many times a recursion process has been conducted, wherein the Ith fact becomes a compound fact that includes multiple sub-facts on a subsequent iteration of the recursion process;
establishing the Ith fact as a frame of reference for the Ith query based on the first cohort and based on the optimal control cohort;
applying an Ith set of rules to the Ith query, wherein the Ith set of rules is determined for the Ith query according to a Jth set of rules, wherein J is equal to I−1, wherein the Ith set of rules determines how the plurality of data are to be compared to the Ith fact, and wherein the first set of rules determines an Ith search space for the Ith query;
executing the Ith query to generate a second inference, wherein the second inference is determined from comparing the plurality of data according to the Ith set of rules; storing the second inference; and
evaluating a hypothesis within a research study based on the first cohort, the optimal control cohort, the first inference, and the second inference performed by a processor.
 
(中略)

Uwherein each datum of the plurality of data has associated metadata and an associated key,

 

この例では、データを個々に数えたいときは each datum としていますね。

 

USP5793351 (Texas Instruments Inc)

A video display processor comprising:
a memory port for reading and writing a plurality of display data from an external memory, said external memory further storing data corresponding to a sprite horizontal location, a sprite vertical location, a sprite pattern and sprite color data for each of a plurality of mobile patterns of a predetermined size in pixels smaller than said video display, said sprite data including a single bit for each pixel of a horizontal extent of each horizontal line of said corresponding mobile pattern;
特に複数を表したいときはa plurailty of をつけています。
 
USP5881275 (Intel Corp)
A method for manipulating packed data in a computer system comprising the computer implemented steps of:
a) decoding a Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) unpack instruction, the instruction identifying a first and second packed data respectively including a first plurality of data elements and a second plurality of data elements, each data element consisting of a separate multiple bit data field, each data element in the first plurality of data elements corresponds to a data element in the second plurality of data elements in a respective position; and
b) simultaneously copying, in response to the unpack instruction, less than all data elements from the first plurality of data elements and corresponding data elements from the second plurality of data elements into a third packed data as a plurality of separate result data elements.
データを一つの塊として数えています。a first plurality of → the first plurality of という表現も使えそう。
 
 
結論としては…
これという正解はなさそう。翻訳全般に言えることですが。いろいろな表現を知っておいて臨機応変に使い分けたらよいのではないでしょうか。
自分の頭の中に引出しをたくさん持っておくことが重要かと。