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Re: FUN: Try these terms

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  • melvyn.geo
    ... bejkarnu ... To jsou ale hezke vyrazy!!!! Diky, Sarko. A bejkarna ma sirsi vyznam - volovina, ze jo? There you go, Jamie. Megahrabarna Inc. is what you
    Message 1 of 26 , Sep 27, 2006
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      --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, ing.Sárka Rubková <rubkova@...> wrote:

      > Sekaci se taky rika "hrabarna".
      > A pokud jde o ten superlaciny market - nevim, ale lidi na nejakou
      "bejkarnu"
      > (jak rika moje matka) prijdou.


      To jsou ale hezke vyrazy!!!! Diky, Sarko. A bejkarna ma sirsi vyznam -
      volovina, ze jo?

      There you go, Jamie. Megahrabarna Inc. is what you are after. And
      thanks for the info on the course.

      BR

      M.
    • James Kirchner
      ... Some writer in a translation journal once claimed that absolutely anything can be translated, and maybe she s right. Thanks to all who joined in this
      Message 2 of 26 , Sep 27, 2006
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        On Sep 27, 2006, at 5:01 AM, melvyn.geo wrote:
        > There you go, Jamie. Megahrabarna Inc. is what you are after. And
        > thanks for the info on the course.
        Some writer in a translation journal once claimed that absolutely
        anything can be translated, and maybe she's right.

        Thanks to all who joined in this exercise.

        Jamie
      • ing.Sárka Rubková
        V podstate ano Sarka ... From: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Czechlist@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of melvyn.geo Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 11:01 AM
        Message 3 of 26 , Sep 30, 2006
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          V podstate ano

          Sarka
          -----Original Message-----
          From: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Czechlist@yahoogroups.com]On
          Behalf Of melvyn.geo
          Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 11:01 AM
          To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Czechlist] Re: FUN: Try these terms


          --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, ing.Sárka Rubková <rubkova@...> wrote:

          > Sekaci se taky rika "hrabarna".
          > A pokud jde o ten superlaciny market - nevim, ale lidi na nejakou
          "bejkarnu"
          > (jak rika moje matka) prijdou.

          To jsou ale hezke vyrazy!!!! Diky, Sarko. A bejkarna ma sirsi vyznam -
          volovina, ze jo?

          There you go, Jamie. Megahrabarna Inc. is what you are after. And
          thanks for the info on the course.

          BR

          M.






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • James Kirchner
          Another favor, folks. My translation students are studying translation and culture this week, and instead of focusing on the thick, deadly chapters from their
          Message 4 of 26 , Oct 11, 2006
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            Another favor, folks.

            My translation students are studying translation and culture this
            week, and instead of focusing on the thick, deadly chapters from
            their textbooks on translation studies (which say the same thing over
            and over again), I'm giving them (intelligible!) articles on
            localization of advertising and digital media.

            What I need from you folks is a few links to totally horrible
            websites that have not been localized but should have been.

            The hotels of Marianske Lazne are a treasure trove of that kind of
            thing, with their gas injections, peat packs, gas sacks and other
            treatments that sound so freakish to Western ears, along with that
            word "gastronomy" that Czechs love to use so much in English.

            Can any of you suggest some really awful corporate site I can have my
            students look at as well? Or some other kind of site? It doesn't
            matter what country it's from.

            Thanks for any suggestions.

            Jamie
          • Michal Boleslav Měchura
            Jamie, If you re looking for examples of bad translation on-line, you won t be hard-pressed to find them. The tourism industry is a treasure trove for such
            Message 5 of 26 , Oct 12, 2006
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              Jamie,

              If you're looking for examples of bad translation on-line, you won't be hard-pressed to find them. The tourism industry is a treasure trove for such things. A friend of mine calls these "machine translation performed by a human".

              But there are other ways to mislocalize a website, beside the text. I teach a course in multilingual computing practices at a university here in Dublin and website localization is one of the things we cover. It's a huge area, but one topic that keeps coming up in discussions again and again is the use of flags to represent languages - such as, you click the Czech flag to switch to a Czech version of the website, and so on. This only works up to a point, though. What flag do you pick to represent English, German, Spanish?

              A common geopolitical blunder is using the UK flag as a symbol for English - not only inaccurate and but also potentially confusing and offensive for some people. I remember talking to a group of Irish boy scouts recently who visited the website for an international scout camp in the Czech Republic they were planning to visit, and they complained that there wasn't anything in English on it. It simply didn't occur to them that they were supposed to click the Union Jack. They found it strange when I explained that to them.

              You wouldn't believe how many websites are guilty of this, including the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://www.mzv.cz/ - there it is, a big Union Jack sitting in the middle of the page as a language switcher for English.

              A great deal has been written about this, just do a Google search for "flags as language selectors" or some such. It's just one example of the many ways you can insult people's cultural sensitivities online.

              Michal


              > ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
              > Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
              > Předmět: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
              > Datum: 12.10.2006 04:19:39
              > ----------------------------------------
              > Another favor, folks.
              >
              > My translation students are studying translation and culture this
              > week, and instead of focusing on the thick, deadly chapters from
              > their textbooks on translation studies (which say the same thing over
              > and over again), I'm giving them (intelligible!) articles on
              > localization of advertising and digital media.
              >
              > What I need from you folks is a few links to totally horrible
              > websites that have not been localized but should have been.
              >
              > The hotels of Marianske Lazne are a treasure trove of that kind of
              > thing, with their gas injections, peat packs, gas sacks and other
              > treatments that sound so freakish to Western ears, along with that
              > word "gastronomy" that Czechs love to use so much in English.
              >
              > Can any of you suggest some really awful corporate site I can have my
              > students look at as well? Or some other kind of site? It doesn't
              > matter what country it's from.
              >
              > Thanks for any suggestions.
              >
              > Jamie
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • James Kirchner
              I plan to bring up the problem of flags and language selectors in the class today. I have the same problem with the Union Jack being used as a symbol for
              Message 6 of 26 , Oct 12, 2006
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                I plan to bring up the problem of flags and language selectors in the
                class today. I have the same problem with the Union Jack being used
                as a symbol for English, because I grew up near the border between
                two English-speaking countries, neither of which is under the Union
                Jack. It never occurred to me that that flag would symbolize a
                language, so the first time I was in Germany, I read the German
                instructions over the pay phone, because I assumed the instructions
                under the Union Jack were only for people phoning Great Britain. Now
                that I know it's used to symbolize the English language, it always
                strikes me as a little insulting, as if the owner of the website is
                saying, "We're only interested in British visitors, but if you speak
                English, I suppose you can look at this also." I know this is not
                their intention, but it's the feeling I get from it anyway.

                And what about when they use the Saudi flag to symbolize the Arabic
                language -- isn't that ghastly? It would really disgust many Arabs.

                There's an even stranger example: Until last year, when I sent them
                an irate e-mail about it, the website of the Czech embassy in
                Washington used the Union Jack to symbolize English. A few days
                after I complained, they replaced it with the US flag, which is still
                stupid, because, again, so many Americans don't know that flags are
                supposed to symbolize languages, and English is not just our language.

                My dream is to have a bilingual Czech-English website and use the
                Texas flag to symbolize the Czech language, since like Great Britain
                for English, Texas is where a large minority of the speakers of Czech
                live.

                Thanks very much for the tip.

                One of the things I find interesting on some Czech websites for
                hotels, for example, is that the way they describe their cuisine
                would be rather nauseating to people in North America, and the
                descriptions of spa treatments can sound scary and freakish to people
                in countries that have no strong spa tradition. They should
                completely change the focus of the English site, but they don't know
                any better.

                Jamie

                On Oct 12, 2006, at 6:42 AM, Michal Boleslav Měchura wrote:

                > Jamie,
                >
                > If you're looking for examples of bad translation on-line, you
                > won't be hard-pressed to find them. The tourism industry is a
                > treasure trove for such things. A friend of mine calls these
                > "machine translation performed by a human".
                >
                > But there are other ways to mislocalize a website, beside the text.
                > I teach a course in multilingual computing practices at a
                > university here in Dublin and website localization is one of the
                > things we cover. It's a huge area, but one topic that keeps coming
                > up in discussions again and again is the use of flags to represent
                > languages - such as, you click the Czech flag to switch to a Czech
                > version of the website, and so on. This only works up to a point,
                > though. What flag do you pick to represent English, German, Spanish?
                >
                > A common geopolitical blunder is using the UK flag as a symbol for
                > English - not only inaccurate and but also potentially confusing
                > and offensive for some people. I remember talking to a group of
                > Irish boy scouts recently who visited the website for an
                > international scout camp in the Czech Republic they were planning
                > to visit, and they complained that there wasn't anything in English
                > on it. It simply didn't occur to them that they were supposed to
                > click the Union Jack. They found it strange when I explained that
                > to them.
                >
                > You wouldn't believe how many websites are guilty of this,
                > including the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://
                > www.mzv.cz/ - there it is, a big Union Jack sitting in the middle
                > of the page as a language switcher for English.
                >
                > A great deal has been written about this, just do a Google search
                > for "flags as language selectors" or some such. It's just one
                > example of the many ways you can insult people's cultural
                > sensitivities online.
                >
                > Michal
                >
                >
                >> ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
                >> Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
                >> Předmět: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                >> Datum: 12.10.2006 04:19:39
                >> ----------------------------------------
                >> Another favor, folks.
                >>
                >> My translation students are studying translation and culture this
                >> week, and instead of focusing on the thick, deadly chapters from
                >> their textbooks on translation studies (which say the same thing over
                >> and over again), I'm giving them (intelligible!) articles on
                >> localization of advertising and digital media.
                >>
                >> What I need from you folks is a few links to totally horrible
                >> websites that have not been localized but should have been.
                >>
                >> The hotels of Marianske Lazne are a treasure trove of that kind of
                >> thing, with their gas injections, peat packs, gas sacks and other
                >> treatments that sound so freakish to Western ears, along with that
                >> word "gastronomy" that Czechs love to use so much in English.
                >>
                >> Can any of you suggest some really awful corporate site I can have my
                >> students look at as well? Or some other kind of site? It doesn't
                >> matter what country it's from.
                >>
                >> Thanks for any suggestions.
                >>
                >> Jamie
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Michal Boleslav Měchura
                Czech embassy websites worldwide are actually quite a good example of bad localization. They use (uncaptioned) flags consistently for languages. In Ireland,
                Message 7 of 26 , Oct 12, 2006
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                  Czech embassy websites worldwide are actually quite a good example of bad localization. They use (uncaptioned) flags consistently for languages. In Ireland, they have the Union Jack for English. In Austria, they have the German flag for German. In Canada, they have the Union Jack for English and the French tricolour for French. You'd have to wonder are they not getting tonnes of hate mail?

                  Another problem I often see is the question of which language does the website present first? Apart from actually asking you, not many website authors know that most browsers have a feature for passing on the user's preferred language, and the website can use this information to present content in the user's language straight away. Many websites here in Ireland have the nasty habit of always throwing the English version at you first, with the Irish-language link hidden somewhere in the corner. Some examples: http://www.oasis.gov.ie/ http://www.irlgov.ie/ http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/

                  A related bad practice is when a website reads the user's IP address, guesses his or her geographical location from it, and then further guesses the language. I can't think right now of a website that does it, but I've seen it and it's wrong. Just because I'm in, say, Italy today does not mean I speak Italian or want to read content in it.

                  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.

                  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.

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

                  Michal


                  > ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
                  > Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
                  > Předmět: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                  > Datum: 12.10.2006 13:40:20
                  > ----------------------------------------
                  > I plan to bring up the problem of flags and language selectors in the
                  > class today. I have the same problem with the Union Jack being used
                  > as a symbol for English, because I grew up near the border between
                  > two English-speaking countries, neither of which is under the Union
                  > Jack. It never occurred to me that that flag would symbolize a
                  > language, so the first time I was in Germany, I read the German
                  > instructions over the pay phone, because I assumed the instructions
                  > under the Union Jack were only for people phoning Great Britain. Now
                  > that I know it's used to symbolize the English language, it always
                  > strikes me as a little insulting, as if the owner of the website is
                  > saying, "We're only interested in British visitors, but if you speak
                  > English, I suppose you can look at this also." I know this is not
                  > their intention, but it's the feeling I get from it anyway.
                  >
                  > And what about when they use the Saudi flag to symbolize the Arabic
                  > language -- isn't that ghastly? It would really disgust many Arabs.
                  >
                  > There's an even stranger example: Until last year, when I sent them
                  > an irate e-mail about it, the website of the Czech embassy in
                  > Washington used the Union Jack to symbolize English. A few days
                  > after I complained, they replaced it with the US flag, which is still
                  > stupid, because, again, so many Americans don't know that flags are
                  > supposed to symbolize languages, and English is not just our language.
                  >
                  > My dream is to have a bilingual Czech-English website and use the
                  > Texas flag to symbolize the Czech language, since like Great Britain
                  > for English, Texas is where a large minority of the speakers of Czech
                  > live.
                  >
                  > Thanks very much for the tip.
                  >
                  > One of the things I find interesting on some Czech websites for
                  > hotels, for example, is that the way they describe their cuisine
                  > would be rather nauseating to people in North America, and the
                  > descriptions of spa treatments can sound scary and freakish to people
                  > in countries that have no strong spa tradition. They should
                  > completely change the focus of the English site, but they don't know
                  > any better.
                  >
                  > Jamie
                  >
                  > On Oct 12, 2006, at 6:42 AM, Michal Boleslav Měchura wrote:
                  >
                  > > Jamie,
                  > >
                  > > If you're looking for examples of bad translation on-line, you
                  > > won't be hard-pressed to find them. The tourism industry is a
                  > > treasure trove for such things. A friend of mine calls these
                  > > "machine translation performed by a human".
                  > >
                  > > But there are other ways to mislocalize a website, beside the text.
                  > > I teach a course in multilingual computing practices at a
                  > > university here in Dublin and website localization is one of the
                  > > things we cover. It's a huge area, but one topic that keeps coming
                  > > up in discussions again and again is the use of flags to represent
                  > > languages - such as, you click the Czech flag to switch to a Czech
                  > > version of the website, and so on. This only works up to a point,
                  > > though. What flag do you pick to represent English, German, Spanish?
                  > >
                  > > A common geopolitical blunder is using the UK flag as a symbol for
                  > > English - not only inaccurate and but also potentially confusing
                  > > and offensive for some people. I remember talking to a group of
                  > > Irish boy scouts recently who visited the website for an
                  > > international scout camp in the Czech Republic they were planning
                  > > to visit, and they complained that there wasn't anything in English
                  > > on it. It simply didn't occur to them that they were supposed to
                  > > click the Union Jack. They found it strange when I explained that
                  > > to them.
                  > >
                  > > You wouldn't believe how many websites are guilty of this,
                  > > including the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://
                  > > www.mzv.cz/ - there it is, a big Union Jack sitting in the middle
                  > > of the page as a language switcher for English.
                  > >
                  > > A great deal has been written about this, just do a Google search
                  > > for "flags as language selectors" or some such. It's just one
                  > > example of the many ways you can insult people's cultural
                  > > sensitivities online.
                  > >
                  > > Michal
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >> ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
                  > >> Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
                  > >> Předmět: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                  > >> Datum: 12.10.2006 04:19:39
                  > >> ----------------------------------------
                  > >> Another favor, folks.
                  > >>
                  > >> My translation students are studying translation and culture this
                  > >> week, and instead of focusing on the thick, deadly chapters from
                  > >> their textbooks on translation studies (which say the same thing over
                  > >> and over again), I'm giving them (intelligible!) articles on
                  > >> localization of advertising and digital media.
                  > >>
                  > >> What I need from you folks is a few links to totally horrible
                  > >> websites that have not been localized but should have been.
                  > >>
                  > >> The hotels of Marianske Lazne are a treasure trove of that kind of
                  > >> thing, with their gas injections, peat packs, gas sacks and other
                  > >> treatments that sound so freakish to Western ears, along with that
                  > >> word "gastronomy" that Czechs love to use so much in English.
                  > >>
                  > >> Can any of you suggest some really awful corporate site I can have my
                  > >> students look at as well? Or some other kind of site? It doesn't
                  > >> matter what country it's from.
                  > >>
                  > >> Thanks for any suggestions.
                  > >>
                  > >> Jamie
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Valerie Talacko
                  ... Google, of all sites. It decided a couple of weeks ago that my husband was Czech. He can speak Czech, but that doesn t mean he wants to Google in it. I was
                  Message 8 of 26 , Oct 12, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    >A related bad practice is when a website reads the user's IP address,
                    >guesses his or her geographical location from it, and then further guesses
                    >the language. >I can't think right now of a website that does it, but I've
                    >seen it and it's wrong. Just because I'm in, say, Italy today does not mean
                    >I speak Italian or want to >read content in it.

                    Google, of all sites. It decided a couple of weeks ago that my husband was
                    Czech. He can speak Czech, but that doesn't mean he wants to Google in it.
                    I was going to say that I still have English Google, but that's only because
                    I use a toolbar shortcut for it. I just tried entering .google.com into the
                    address bar, and lo - it jumps to cz.

                    The whole flag thing is completely bizarre. There's also the one where they
                    split the flag into UK/US (like they're the only two English-speaking
                    countries) and you can hardly make out what the thing is.

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Michal Boleslav Měchura" <MichalMechura@...>
                    To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2006 2:54 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website


                    Czech embassy websites worldwide are actually quite a good example of bad
                    localization. They use (uncaptioned) flags consistently for languages. In
                    Ireland, they have the Union Jack for English. In Austria, they have the
                    German flag for German. In Canada, they have the Union Jack for English and
                    the French tricolour for French. You'd have to wonder are they not getting
                    tonnes of hate mail?

                    Another problem I often see is the question of which language does the
                    website present first? Apart from actually asking you, not many website
                    authors know that most browsers have a feature for passing on the user's
                    preferred language, and the website can use this information to present
                    content in the user's language straight away. Many websites here in Ireland
                    have the nasty habit of always throwing the English version at you first,
                    with the Irish-language link hidden somewhere in the corner. Some examples:
                    http://www.oasis.gov.ie/ http://www.irlgov.ie/ http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/

                    A related bad practice is when a website reads the user's IP address,
                    guesses his or her geographical location from it, and then further guesses
                    the language. I can't think right now of a website that does it, but I've
                    seen it and it's wrong. Just because I'm in, say, Italy today does not mean
                    I speak Italian or want to read content in it.

                    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.

                    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.

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

                    Michal


                    > ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
                    > Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
                    > Předmět: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                    > Datum: 12.10.2006 13:40:20
                    > ----------------------------------------
                    > I plan to bring up the problem of flags and language selectors in the
                    > class today. I have the same problem with the Union Jack being used
                    > as a symbol for English, because I grew up near the border between
                    > two English-speaking countries, neither of which is under the Union
                    > Jack. It never occurred to me that that flag would symbolize a
                    > language, so the first time I was in Germany, I read the German
                    > instructions over the pay phone, because I assumed the instructions
                    > under the Union Jack were only for people phoning Great Britain. Now
                    > that I know it's used to symbolize the English language, it always
                    > strikes me as a little insulting, as if the owner of the website is
                    > saying, "We're only interested in British visitors, but if you speak
                    > English, I suppose you can look at this also." I know this is not
                    > their intention, but it's the feeling I get from it anyway.
                    >
                    > And what about when they use the Saudi flag to symbolize the Arabic
                    > language -- isn't that ghastly? It would really disgust many Arabs.
                    >
                    > There's an even stranger example: Until last year, when I sent them
                    > an irate e-mail about it, the website of the Czech embassy in
                    > Washington used the Union Jack to symbolize English. A few days
                    > after I complained, they replaced it with the US flag, which is still
                    > stupid, because, again, so many Americans don't know that flags are
                    > supposed to symbolize languages, and English is not just our language.
                    >
                    > My dream is to have a bilingual Czech-English website and use the
                    > Texas flag to symbolize the Czech language, since like Great Britain
                    > for English, Texas is where a large minority of the speakers of Czech
                    > live.
                    >
                    > Thanks very much for the tip.
                    >
                    > One of the things I find interesting on some Czech websites for
                    > hotels, for example, is that the way they describe their cuisine
                    > would be rather nauseating to people in North America, and the
                    > descriptions of spa treatments can sound scary and freakish to people
                    > in countries that have no strong spa tradition. They should
                    > completely change the focus of the English site, but they don't know
                    > any better.
                    >
                    > Jamie
                    >
                    > On Oct 12, 2006, at 6:42 AM, Michal Boleslav Měchura wrote:
                    >
                    > > Jamie,
                    > >
                    > > If you're looking for examples of bad translation on-line, you
                    > > won't be hard-pressed to find them. The tourism industry is a
                    > > treasure trove for such things. A friend of mine calls these
                    > > "machine translation performed by a human".
                    > >
                    > > But there are other ways to mislocalize a website, beside the text.
                    > > I teach a course in multilingual computing practices at a
                    > > university here in Dublin and website localization is one of the
                    > > things we cover. It's a huge area, but one topic that keeps coming
                    > > up in discussions again and again is the use of flags to represent
                    > > languages - such as, you click the Czech flag to switch to a Czech
                    > > version of the website, and so on. This only works up to a point,
                    > > though. What flag do you pick to represent English, German, Spanish?
                    > >
                    > > A common geopolitical blunder is using the UK flag as a symbol for
                    > > English - not only inaccurate and but also potentially confusing
                    > > and offensive for some people. I remember talking to a group of
                    > > Irish boy scouts recently who visited the website for an
                    > > international scout camp in the Czech Republic they were planning
                    > > to visit, and they complained that there wasn't anything in English
                    > > on it. It simply didn't occur to them that they were supposed to
                    > > click the Union Jack. They found it strange when I explained that
                    > > to them.
                    > >
                    > > You wouldn't believe how many websites are guilty of this,
                    > > including the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://
                    > > www.mzv.cz/ - there it is, a big Union Jack sitting in the middle
                    > > of the page as a language switcher for English.
                    > >
                    > > A great deal has been written about this, just do a Google search
                    > > for "flags as language selectors" or some such. It's just one
                    > > example of the many ways you can insult people's cultural
                    > > sensitivities online.
                    > >
                    > > Michal
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >> ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
                    > >> Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
                    > >> Předmět: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                    > >> Datum: 12.10.2006 04:19:39
                    > >> ----------------------------------------
                    > >> Another favor, folks.
                    > >>
                    > >> My translation students are studying translation and culture this
                    > >> week, and instead of focusing on the thick, deadly chapters from
                    > >> their textbooks on translation studies (which say the same thing over
                    > >> and over again), I'm giving them (intelligible!) articles on
                    > >> localization of advertising and digital media.
                    > >>
                    > >> What I need from you folks is a few links to totally horrible
                    > >> websites that have not been localized but should have been.
                    > >>
                    > >> The hotels of Marianske Lazne are a treasure trove of that kind of
                    > >> thing, with their gas injections, peat packs, gas sacks and other
                    > >> treatments that sound so freakish to Western ears, along with that
                    > >> word "gastronomy" that Czechs love to use so much in English.
                    > >>
                    > >> Can any of you suggest some really awful corporate site I can have my
                    > >> students look at as well? Or some other kind of site? It doesn't
                    > >> matter what country it's from.
                    > >>
                    > >> Thanks for any suggestions.
                    > >>
                    > >> Jamie
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >





                    Yahoo! Groups Links
                  • Valerie Talacko
                    (aha, it s because my toolbar icon is bookmarking google.co.uk - not that I ever wanted the UK version particularly; again it was just shoved at me one day).
                    Message 9 of 26 , Oct 12, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      (aha, it's because my toolbar icon is bookmarking google.co.uk - not that I
                      ever wanted the UK version particularly; again it was just shoved at me one
                      day).

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Valerie Talacko" <valerie@...>
                      To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2006 9:11 PM
                      Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website


                      > >A related bad practice is when a website reads the user's IP address,
                      > >guesses his or her geographical location from it, and then further
                      > >guesses the language. >I can't think right now of a website that does it,
                      > >but I've seen it and it's wrong. Just because I'm in, say, Italy today
                      > >does not mean I speak Italian or want to >read content in it.
                      >
                      > Google, of all sites. It decided a couple of weeks ago that my husband was
                      > Czech. He can speak Czech, but that doesn't mean he wants to Google in it.
                      > I was going to say that I still have English Google, but that's only
                      > because I use a toolbar shortcut for it. I just tried entering .google.com
                      > into the address bar, and lo - it jumps to cz.
                      >
                      > The whole flag thing is completely bizarre. There's also the one where
                      > they split the flag into UK/US (like they're the only two English-speaking
                      > countries) and you can hardly make out what the thing is.
                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "Michal Boleslav Měchura" <MichalMechura@...>
                      > To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2006 2:54 PM
                      > Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                      >
                      >
                      > Czech embassy websites worldwide are actually quite a good example of bad
                      > localization. They use (uncaptioned) flags consistently for languages. In
                      > Ireland, they have the Union Jack for English. In Austria, they have the
                      > German flag for German. In Canada, they have the Union Jack for English
                      > and the French tricolour for French. You'd have to wonder are they not
                      > getting tonnes of hate mail?
                      >
                      > Another problem I often see is the question of which language does the
                      > website present first? Apart from actually asking you, not many website
                      > authors know that most browsers have a feature for passing on the user's
                      > preferred language, and the website can use this information to present
                      > content in the user's language straight away. Many websites here in
                      > Ireland have the nasty habit of always throwing the English version at you
                      > first, with the Irish-language link hidden somewhere in the corner. Some
                      > examples: http://www.oasis.gov.ie/ http://www.irlgov.ie/
                      > http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/
                      >
                      > A related bad practice is when a website reads the user's IP address,
                      > guesses his or her geographical location from it, and then further guesses
                      > the language. I can't think right now of a website that does it, but I've
                      > seen it and it's wrong. Just because I'm in, say, Italy today does not
                      > mean I speak Italian or want to read content in it.
                      >
                      > 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.
                      >
                      > 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.
                      >
                      > I could just go on - but I won't because I would be boring you :-)
                      >
                      > Michal
                      >
                      >
                      >> ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
                      >> Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
                      >> Předmět: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                      >> Datum: 12.10.2006 13:40:20
                      >> ----------------------------------------
                      >> I plan to bring up the problem of flags and language selectors in the
                      >> class today. I have the same problem with the Union Jack being used
                      >> as a symbol for English, because I grew up near the border between
                      >> two English-speaking countries, neither of which is under the Union
                      >> Jack. It never occurred to me that that flag would symbolize a
                      >> language, so the first time I was in Germany, I read the German
                      >> instructions over the pay phone, because I assumed the instructions
                      >> under the Union Jack were only for people phoning Great Britain. Now
                      >> that I know it's used to symbolize the English language, it always
                      >> strikes me as a little insulting, as if the owner of the website is
                      >> saying, "We're only interested in British visitors, but if you speak
                      >> English, I suppose you can look at this also." I know this is not
                      >> their intention, but it's the feeling I get from it anyway.
                      >>
                      >> And what about when they use the Saudi flag to symbolize the Arabic
                      >> language -- isn't that ghastly? It would really disgust many Arabs.
                      >>
                      >> There's an even stranger example: Until last year, when I sent them
                      >> an irate e-mail about it, the website of the Czech embassy in
                      >> Washington used the Union Jack to symbolize English. A few days
                      >> after I complained, they replaced it with the US flag, which is still
                      >> stupid, because, again, so many Americans don't know that flags are
                      >> supposed to symbolize languages, and English is not just our language.
                      >>
                      >> My dream is to have a bilingual Czech-English website and use the
                      >> Texas flag to symbolize the Czech language, since like Great Britain
                      >> for English, Texas is where a large minority of the speakers of Czech
                      >> live.
                      >>
                      >> Thanks very much for the tip.
                      >>
                      >> One of the things I find interesting on some Czech websites for
                      >> hotels, for example, is that the way they describe their cuisine
                      >> would be rather nauseating to people in North America, and the
                      >> descriptions of spa treatments can sound scary and freakish to people
                      >> in countries that have no strong spa tradition. They should
                      >> completely change the focus of the English site, but they don't know
                      >> any better.
                      >>
                      >> Jamie
                      >>
                      >> On Oct 12, 2006, at 6:42 AM, Michal Boleslav Měchura wrote:
                      >>
                      >> > Jamie,
                      >> >
                      >> > If you're looking for examples of bad translation on-line, you
                      >> > won't be hard-pressed to find them. The tourism industry is a
                      >> > treasure trove for such things. A friend of mine calls these
                      >> > "machine translation performed by a human".
                      >> >
                      >> > But there are other ways to mislocalize a website, beside the text.
                      >> > I teach a course in multilingual computing practices at a
                      >> > university here in Dublin and website localization is one of the
                      >> > things we cover. It's a huge area, but one topic that keeps coming
                      >> > up in discussions again and again is the use of flags to represent
                      >> > languages - such as, you click the Czech flag to switch to a Czech
                      >> > version of the website, and so on. This only works up to a point,
                      >> > though. What flag do you pick to represent English, German, Spanish?
                      >> >
                      >> > A common geopolitical blunder is using the UK flag as a symbol for
                      >> > English - not only inaccurate and but also potentially confusing
                      >> > and offensive for some people. I remember talking to a group of
                      >> > Irish boy scouts recently who visited the website for an
                      >> > international scout camp in the Czech Republic they were planning
                      >> > to visit, and they complained that there wasn't anything in English
                      >> > on it. It simply didn't occur to them that they were supposed to
                      >> > click the Union Jack. They found it strange when I explained that
                      >> > to them.
                      >> >
                      >> > You wouldn't believe how many websites are guilty of this,
                      >> > including the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://
                      >> > www.mzv.cz/ - there it is, a big Union Jack sitting in the middle
                      >> > of the page as a language switcher for English.
                      >> >
                      >> > A great deal has been written about this, just do a Google search
                      >> > for "flags as language selectors" or some such. It's just one
                      >> > example of the many ways you can insult people's cultural
                      >> > sensitivities online.
                      >> >
                      >> > Michal
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >> >> ------------ Původní zpráva ------------
                      >> >> Od: James Kirchner <jpklists@...>
                      >> >> Předmět: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                      >> >> Datum: 12.10.2006 04:19:39
                      >> >> ----------------------------------------
                      >> >> Another favor, folks.
                      >> >>
                      >> >> My translation students are studying translation and culture this
                      >> >> week, and instead of focusing on the thick, deadly chapters from
                      >> >> their textbooks on translation studies (which say the same thing over
                      >> >> and over again), I'm giving them (intelligible!) articles on
                      >> >> localization of advertising and digital media.
                      >> >>
                      >> >> What I need from you folks is a few links to totally horrible
                      >> >> websites that have not been localized but should have been.
                      >> >>
                      >> >> The hotels of Marianske Lazne are a treasure trove of that kind of
                      >> >> thing, with their gas injections, peat packs, gas sacks and other
                      >> >> treatments that sound so freakish to Western ears, along with that
                      >> >> word "gastronomy" that Czechs love to use so much in English.
                      >> >>
                      >> >> Can any of you suggest some really awful corporate site I can have my
                      >> >> students look at as well? Or some other kind of site? It doesn't
                      >> >> matter what country it's from.
                      >> >>
                      >> >> Thanks for any suggestions.
                      >> >>
                      >> >> Jamie
                      >> >>
                      >> >>
                      >> >>
                      >> >>
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • James Kirchner
                      ... I specifically don t order my German language instructional materials from Klett, because, although they supposedly ship to any country, their site
                      Message 10 of 26 , Oct 12, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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
                        site.

                        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
                        English.

                        This is a fun exercise!

                        Jamie



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Terminus Technicus
                        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 English. Did you mean
                        Message 11 of 26 , Oct 12, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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
                          English.

                          Did you mean this one?:

                          http://www.orea.cz/Default.aspx?server=3§ion=20024&article=90

                          It's definitely not very brisk, a typical example of blah blah-style pompous
                          kind of marketing material that sort of works in Czech because it (Czech) is
                          so formal, but when translated without necessary changes, it's almost
                          putting you off. I still think it's well above the average as far as website
                          translations (I'm not saying localisations because they're not), though.. I
                          can see long and complicated sentence structures, bad articles, bad
                          wordorder, some questionable terminology, but overall, I would classify it
                          as heavy-going, but OK to understand if one wants to (which of course
                          shouldn't be the case with marketing materials).

                          Can you explain why your students and you thought it unintelligible? - If
                          you were looking at the same page, that is..

                          Thanks

                          Matej
                        • Jan Culka
                          Thank you, Jamie, for new information - I really did not know that Indonesians have one name only. I am in daily correspondence with business partners there
                          Message 12 of 26 , Oct 13, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Thank you, Jamie, for new information - I really did not know that Indonesians have one name only. I am in daily correspondence with business partners there and I felt it always impolite to address them only Januar or Arthur or Danic, especially when we have never met, I have never seen their business cards. Thanks to you, now I am much more even-minded.
                            Honza




                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: James Kirchner
                            To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 3:40 AM
                            Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website



                            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
                            site.

                            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
                            English.

                            This is a fun exercise!

                            Jamie

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • James Kirchner
                            Yes, that was the site. The reason my students thought was nearly unintelligible was the thick, pompous Slavic-tinged syntax combined with bad grammar and odd
                            Message 13 of 26 , Oct 13, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Yes, that was the site. The reason my students thought was nearly
                              unintelligible was the thick, pompous Slavic-tinged syntax combined
                              with bad grammar and odd turns of phrase. It's enough to wrestle
                              with one of those defects, but to try to deal with all three at the
                              same time taxes the reader too much and causes comprehension
                              problems. Look at this, for example:

                              > 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.

                              Another problem is that the page never really seems to get to the
                              point, so the reader is never quite sure if the facility is a
                              language school, a remedial training program, some kind of punishment
                              cell for employees who've made mistakes or what.

                              Lastly, if a company is running an English school, shouldn't its page
                              be in good English? If it's not, then people will just laugh and
                              move on.

                              Who is this "English" page communicating to? If it's meant to tell
                              its story to English speakers, it utterly fails. If it's meant to
                              attract people who speak a little English but want to improve, it
                              likewise fails, because those people won't be able to dissect the
                              language in order to understand it. If it's meant to impress Czechs
                              with the fact that the company has English verbiage on the web, then
                              that's about the only purpose the page could serve.

                              Jamie


                              On Oct 13, 2006, at 2:42 AM, Terminus Technicus wrote:

                              >
                              > 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
                              > English.
                              >
                              > Did you mean this one?:
                              >
                              > http://www.orea.cz/Default.aspx?server=3§ion=20024&article=90
                              >
                              > It's definitely not very brisk, a typical example of blah blah-
                              > style pompous
                              > kind of marketing material that sort of works in Czech because it
                              > (Czech) is
                              > so formal, but when translated without necessary changes, it's almost
                              > putting you off. I still think it's well above the average as far
                              > as website
                              > translations (I'm not saying localisations because they're not),
                              > though.. I
                              > can see long and complicated sentence structures, bad articles, bad
                              > wordorder, some questionable terminology, but overall, I would
                              > classify it
                              > as heavy-going, but OK to understand if one wants to (which of course
                              > shouldn't be the case with marketing materials).
                              >
                              > Can you explain why your students and you thought it
                              > unintelligible? - If
                              > you were looking at the same page, that is..
                              >
                              > Thanks
                              >
                              > Matej
                              >
                              >
                              >



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • James Kirchner
                              I m glad I put your mind at ease, Honza. Some Indonesians have surnames and some don t. I had to go help an Indonesian man apply for a US social security card
                              Message 14 of 26 , Oct 13, 2006
                              • 0 Attachment
                                I'm glad I put your mind at ease, Honza.

                                Some Indonesians have surnames and some don't. I had to go help an
                                Indonesian man apply for a US social security card once, and his
                                father had a surname and his mother didn't. He had to work out a
                                solution to that right there on the spot.

                                Jamie

                                On Oct 13, 2006, at 3:01 AM, Jan Culka wrote:

                                > Thank you, Jamie, for new information - I really did not know that
                                > Indonesians have one name only. I am in daily correspondence with
                                > business partners there and I felt it always impolite to address
                                > them only Januar or Arthur or Danic, especially when we have never
                                > met, I have never seen their business cards. Thanks to you, now I
                                > am much more even-minded.
                                > Honza
                                >
                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                > From: James Kirchner
                                > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                                > Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 3:40 AM
                                > Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website
                                >
                                > 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
                                > site.
                                >
                                > 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
                                > English.
                                >
                                > This is a fun exercise!
                                >
                                > Jamie
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Terminus Technicus
                                Yes, that was the site. The reason my students thought was nearly unintelligible was the thick, pompous Slavic-tinged syntax combined with bad grammar and odd
                                Message 15 of 26 , Oct 13, 2006
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                                  Yes, that was the site. The reason my students thought was nearly
                                  unintelligible was the thick, pompous Slavic-tinged syntax combined
                                  with bad grammar and odd turns of phrase. It's enough to wrestle
                                  with one of those defects, but to try to deal with all three at the
                                  same time taxes the reader too much and causes comprehension
                                  problems. Look at this, for example:

                                  Right, I guess I'm more used to seeing this type of thing, plus being able
                                  to read the Czech behind the bad translation helps me to actually understand
                                  it withiut too much frustration - but that's just me and years of exposure
                                  to this kind of thing ... I thought there was something terrible in there
                                  that I missed.

                                  > 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..

                                  I'm sure I'm guilty of having infested the world with something similar, but
                                  hopefully not as bad, in the past, when the source text was really terrible
                                  and the ignorance of the client high - and hence the price really low... I
                                  do have a semi-automated mode whereby all long sentenced get chopped up and
                                  all misleading/repetitive and otherwise confusing bits get straightened out
                                  or dispersed with - at least I would like to think I do - but some source
                                  texts are just too much and you can only go so far.. especially when the
                                  client is going to- and you know they will - complain if you steer too far
                                  away from the original ideas. 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) 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

                                  Matej
                                • James Kirchner
                                  ... 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
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Oct 13, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    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



                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Helga Listen
                                    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
                                    Message 17 of 26 , 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

                                      --
                                      Ausgehende eMail ist virenfrei.
                                      Überprüft durch AVG.
                                    • James Kirchner
                                      ... You get locals of the target language to do it for you. The CR is crawling with them. You don t even have to be that experienced, for example to see
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Oct 13, 2006
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        On Oct 13, 2006, at 8:33 PM, Helga Listen wrote:

                                        > 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)

                                        You get locals of the target language to do it for you. The CR is
                                        crawling with them. You don't even have to be that experienced, for
                                        example to see immediately that Czech spas' descriptions of their
                                        treatments sound Frankenstein-ish to the general anglophone populace,
                                        or to give suggestions as to what should replace them. As I
                                        mentioned, an inexperienced girl identified the problem immediately
                                        last night, so any kid bumming around the CR who speaks a little
                                        Czech could put his finger on it.

                                        > 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).

                                        However, they are already paying big money to create repulsive,
                                        unintelligible sites that make English-speaking visitors want to stay
                                        away. It's ultimately cheaper to pay a reasonably intelligent
                                        English-speaking resident of the CR local wages as a consultant than
                                        it is to pay Czechs to create a page that drives away the customers
                                        it's supposed to attract.

                                        > 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.

                                        There's plenty of proof of that. Just do a web search on
                                        localization, and you'll find plenty of examples. You can even put
                                        the advertisement into the hands of some English-speaking tourists
                                        and watch them through a one-way mirror (just kidding) or going over
                                        it at their breakfast table. I've seen this actually happen a few
                                        times: Educated English speakers of the target demographic were
                                        guffawing over some badly translated promotional materials, and when
                                        the Czech client who actually commissioned them came, they told him
                                        politely that there are some very embarrassing problems with the
                                        materials. Instead of asking to have them pointed out, the Czech's
                                        usual reaction is to get defensive and say, "A Canadian went over the
                                        whole thing and said it was okay!" which in those cases is obviously
                                        a lie. Whether the Czech client is lying or whether some real
                                        Canadian diplomatically lied to him is hard to determine. But you
                                        would think that if a business owner walks in on native English
                                        speakers practically falling off their chairs laughing at his
                                        promotional materials, he'd see it as a free opportunity to improve
                                        his business.

                                        > (see Jamie's example with the
                                        > bank / the client is rather reluctant to trusting recommendations,
                                        > because
                                        > he does not see the "added value").

                                        That wasn't really the case. The sign was not made yet, and the
                                        translation was going to cost the client nothing. He wasn't worried
                                        about added value, but about the fact that the normal English way to
                                        word a sign clashed with his Czech linguistic sensibilities.

                                        > 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.....

                                        If this results in materials that drive customers away or make the
                                        business owner look stupid, this sort of client deserves what he gets.

                                        > 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).

                                        You never have, or you have?

                                        The results of this kind of attitude can be seen on some of the
                                        English-language pages of the Henkel company, although it's gotten
                                        better over the past couple of years. Their biggest problem is that
                                        they translated their slogan word for word from German to English,
                                        and some people laugh at it.

                                        Jamie
                                      • Valerie Talacko
                                        ... They re certainly going to stay away from the special offers section of the Orea site, because it s labelled Action Offers . So all their special offers
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Oct 14, 2006
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          >unintelligible sites that make English-speaking visitors want to stay away.

                                          They're certainly going to stay away from the special offers section of the Orea site, because it's labelled 'Action Offers'.

                                          So all their special offers are going to go unnoticed...


                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: James Kirchner
                                          To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2006 3:44 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Please recommend a rotten website



                                          On Oct 13, 2006, at 8:33 PM, Helga Listen wrote:

                                          > 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)

                                          You get locals of the target language to do it for you. The CR is
                                          crawling with them. You don't even have to be that experienced, for
                                          example to see immediately that Czech spas' descriptions of their
                                          treatments sound Frankenstein-ish to the general anglophone populace,
                                          or to give suggestions as to what should replace them. As I
                                          mentioned, an inexperienced girl identified the problem immediately
                                          last night, so any kid bumming around the CR who speaks a little
                                          Czech could put his finger on it.

                                          > 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).

                                          However, they are already paying big money to create repulsive,
                                          unintelligible sites that make English-speaking visitors want to stay
                                          away. It's ultimately cheaper to pay a reasonably intelligent
                                          English-speaking resident of the CR local wages as a consultant than
                                          it is to pay Czechs to create a page that drives away the customers
                                          it's supposed to attract.

                                          > 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.

                                          There's plenty of proof of that. Just do a web search on
                                          localization, and you'll find plenty of examples. You can even put
                                          the advertisement into the hands of some English-speaking tourists
                                          and watch them through a one-way mirror (just kidding) or going over
                                          it at their breakfast table. I've seen this actually happen a few
                                          times: Educated English speakers of the target demographic were
                                          guffawing over some badly translated promotional materials, and when
                                          the Czech client who actually commissioned them came, they told him
                                          politely that there are some very embarrassing problems with the
                                          materials. Instead of asking to have them pointed out, the Czech's
                                          usual reaction is to get defensive and say, "A Canadian went over the
                                          whole thing and said it was okay!" which in those cases is obviously
                                          a lie. Whether the Czech client is lying or whether some real
                                          Canadian diplomatically lied to him is hard to determine. But you
                                          would think that if a business owner walks in on native English
                                          speakers practically falling off their chairs laughing at his
                                          promotional materials, he'd see it as a free opportunity to improve
                                          his business.

                                          > (see Jamie's example with the
                                          > bank / the client is rather reluctant to trusting recommendations,
                                          > because
                                          > he does not see the "added value").

                                          That wasn't really the case. The sign was not made yet, and the
                                          translation was going to cost the client nothing. He wasn't worried
                                          about added value, but about the fact that the normal English way to
                                          word a sign clashed with his Czech linguistic sensibilities.

                                          > 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.....

                                          If this results in materials that drive customers away or make the
                                          business owner look stupid, this sort of client deserves what he gets.

                                          > 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).

                                          You never have, or you have?

                                          The results of this kind of attitude can be seen on some of the
                                          English-language pages of the Henkel company, although it's gotten
                                          better over the past couple of years. Their biggest problem is that
                                          they translated their slogan word for word from German to English,
                                          and some people laugh at it.

                                          Jamie





                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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