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32060Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website

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  • James Kirchner
    Oct 12 6:40 PM
      On Oct 12, 2006, at 8:54 AM, Michal Boleslav Měchura wrote:

      > And then there is the whole issue of date formats, currency
      > formats, address formats, and so on. I live in a country that does
      > not use postcodes, but many website simply won't let you submit an
      > online order without filling in something for postcode. I usually
      > put in a series of dummy zeros or ones, but the thing is, I
      > shouldn't have to do that.

      I specifically don't order my German language instructional materials
      from Klett, because, although they supposedly ship to any country,
      their site requires the postal code to be in European format, and I
      can't enter my US zip code. Hueber's site doesn't have this flaw, so
      Hueber Verlag has gotten a couple thousand dollars of business from
      me that Klett would have gotten if not for that one tiny website defect.

      > How websites (and other types of software) handle people's names
      > can also be a problem. Not all languages have names in the neat
      > "name + surname" pattern.

      Indonesians with no surnames tell me they're used to this problem
      everywhere they go, and they just fill their only name in as both
      first name and surname.

      > I could just go on - but I won't because I would be boring you :-)

      It's not boring to me! Go on and on!

      In my class tonight I showed the English-language versions of the
      "Gastronomy" and spa services pages at the website of Hotel Excelsior
      in Marianske Lazne (http://hotelexcelsior.cz/en/). The comments were
      interesting. About half the class didn't know what those little
      national flags at the bottom were for. One student who did thought
      that for Spanish they should have chosen the Spanish flag instead of
      the flag of one of the Latin American or Caribbean countries. She
      didn't realize she was looking at a Czech flag and that it was
      supposed to indicate the Czech language. There's no Spanish on the

      Once I got past the students' revulsion at the bad English, they
      noticed other things. Only one person knew what Pilsner Urquell was,
      so the fact that the hotel's restaurant is "well known by Pilsner
      Urquell experts" was completely lost on them. They also didn't know
      that Pilsner Urquell and "the Pilsner brewery" referred to the same
      place. They found the word "gastronomy" to be a little nauseating,
      perhaps a bit medical sounding, and one student didn't even know what
      it meant.

      On the spa services page, it was agreed that none of them would ever
      want to go there for any reason. One said, "When I think of going to
      a spa, I imagine going somewhere to get pampered and made to feel
      good, not to have them experiment on me with some kind of weird,
      scary medical treatments!" They found the whole page rather
      Frankenstein-ish. The page evidently does more to repel people in my
      part of the English-speaking world than to attract them.

      The hit of the night was the web page for an English language school
      run by the Orea hotel chain, because it was in nearly unintelligible

      This is a fun exercise!


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