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32076RE: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website

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  • Helga Listen
    Oct 13, 2006
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      Within this whole discussion I am missing two points:
      a) how can one localize, when not being a "local" of the target language?!
      AND how can clients, who may not even realize that there is a need to
      localize, ask for a localized version of their text (and how can they make
      sure, that what they get, is localized, when they do not speak the target
      language)
      b) (probably) not only Czechs first need proof of the fact, that it is worth
      the investment (to pay "the horrendous amount" someone skilled and/or
      trained in the use of languages AND a local of the target language, and
      maybe even "target area" with specialist knowledge in the specific field of
      the clients business).
      Let us face it, none of us would pay for something, we are not convinced
      that we are receiving an "added value" from. And now tell me, how you want
      to proof that a localized and properly written text wins more business (or
      is more efficient) than the "ordinary" one. (see Jamie's example with the
      bank / the client is rather reluctant to trusting recommendations, because
      he does not see the "added value").
      You also should not forget, that many clients do "kind of speak" the target
      language and they will simply protest, if they read a different wording in
      the translation. Quite often I hear "why did you not say bla bla bla in your
      translation, I wanted it exactly the way I wrote it, this does not sound
      right, you left a sentence here, you broke this sentence into three, please,
      stick exactly to the original, this is my business and I know how to sell my
      goods/services, you cannot say "agreement" when I called it "contract", and
      so on and so on.....
      Of course, there are a few clients out there who know that, but the big
      crowd will learn this only after a very long time, or never (and this is not
      only true for the CR - I've never come across this attitude also in
      industrialized countries).
      Helga


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Czechlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of James Kirchner

      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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