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32074Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website

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  • James Kirchner
    Oct 13, 2006
      On Oct 13, 2006, at 2:22 PM, Terminus Technicus wrote:

      >>> The introduction of the OREA ACADEMY educational projects is a road
      >>> on which we would like to share with you and your colleagues our
      >>> experience with the development of the OREA HOTELS employees and
      >>> thus to contribute to the general improvement of the standard of
      >>> services rendered in the Czech Republic � the member of the
      >>> European Union.
      >> The sentence is a massive snake, the word order is weird, it starts
      >> with a strange metaphor... How much time and energy should a reader
      >> be expected to spend analyzing something like that? That assumes a
      >> tremendous amount of goodwill, which people don't have.

      > What always frustrates me is that it would cost the translator just
      > few
      > minutes more to break the sentence up, chuck away a few weird
      > concepts, make
      > it more "normal".., but then I know that on a very bad day, for a
      > very bad
      > pay and with a very bad original text, I would have/could have
      > produced
      > something to this order if I didn't take the extra few minutes to
      > think back
      > about every sentence and shuffle the words around a little..

      You're giving the translator too much benefit of the doubt. I'd bet
      a dinner that the text was translated either by my former department
      head at the hotelovka, who knows his English isn't good but will do
      anything for money, or by the court-approved translator of the area.
      Both of them fill the world with the worst imaginable rot.

      > The website translation-not-localisation
      > problem here is IMHO largerly a combination of most people's
      > ignorance about
      > foreign languages and cultures (and about ordering translations)

      What amazes me is that in the Czech Republic -- a country where
      everyone has to learn at least one foreign language to some degree of
      meaningful utility, and some have to learn three -- clients and other
      people involved in the process are just as ignorant of foreign
      languages and cultures as in the United States, where most people
      learn NO foreign language. This could be the subject of someone's
      doctoral dissertation.

      > and most people's ignorance, or at least partial ignorance, about
      > the purpose of
      > Internet... if they think pages-long blah-blah that's extremely
      > difficult to
      > digest in Czech is going to win them clients and business, and that
      > that's
      > what Internet is for, they probably think that it should get even
      > longer and
      > even more formal in the foreign language version

      As I think I've mentioned here before, a bank manager once asked me
      how to say, "Vazeni zakaznici" in English. I smelled trouble, so
      instead of answering him, I asked him what he wanted to use the
      expression for. He wanted to post a sign inside the bank's vestibule
      door that said, "Dear customers, the management request that you
      kindly close the door after you have finished using the ATM," or
      maybe something wordier than that. I told him the sign should say,
      "Close door after using ATM." He jolted and said, "Neni to
      nezdvorile?" I then amended it to, "Please close door after using
      ATM." He still found it kind of rude, but I told him that in the
      anglophone world it's ruder to waste people's time than it is to word
      things concisely.

      Jamie



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