Author Topic: [rant]why do english/chinese companies don't give a damn about other languages..  (Read 17756 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 19975
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Germany? When did that change? When I was going to school there back in the 80s, English was a required subject.
There is a difference between learning how a language sounds and being able to have a meaningfull conversation. I had French in school for 2 years and it is barely enough for me to order something in a restaurant. Relying on English in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, etc is definitely not a good idea. The main problem is that they dub the voices in English movies and TV series in many big countries so the people never really get to learn how the English language is used (and they seem to give actors like Silvester Stallone and 'Arnie' these weird girly voices :palm: ).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
The following users thanked this post: grizewald

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 19975
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Seriously though, both English and French have a lot of bugs in their language, mainly with ambiguities and inconsistencies. But having masculine and feminine for nouns is simply bad design. There is no logical reason to make a language more complicated by having gender for nouns.
You never tried to learn Dutch then!
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline JPortici

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2678
  • Country: it
(and they seem to give actors like Silvester Stallone and 'Arnie' these weird girly voices :palm: ).

many of the great dubbers are.. dead. Newer guys have weak voices and no expression at all.
And times have-a changed too, 15 to 5 years ago the bigger the budget the better the dubbing (before there was an overall good quality). last five years have been a nightmare, especially in TV shows. a new episode every week, all must come out the same day and there can't be spoilers. Dubbers have to work with the only script and a black screen where you only see the mouths, so they have no idea of the situation

one of the younger great voice actor hosts a radio show every sunday where he invites other voice actors to talk about their careers, make readings, phone calls and such. An orgasm for your ears :)
 

Offline vodka

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 534
  • Country: es
Germany? When did that change? When I was going to school there back in the 80s, English was a required subject.
There is a difference between learning how a language sounds and being able to have a meaningfull conversation. I had French in school for 2 years and it is barely enough for me to order something in a restaurant. Relying on English in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, etc is definitely not a good idea. The main problem is that they dub the voices in English movies and TV series in many big countries so the people never really get to learn how the English language is used (and they seem to give actors like Silvester Stallone and 'Arnie' these weird girly voices :palm: ).

Are you sure that Stallone and Schwarzenegger have a girl voice on spanish dub?

https://youtu.be/_YWzcWYvjGw

https://youtu.be/f-M3vvzQtnY

Let's that tomboys
 

Offline Macbeth

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2562
  • Country: gb
I hate dubbed movies. The mouth synching is absurd. I would much rather read the subtitles, indeed I find it much quicker to get into the movie with subtitles. There is also the opportunity to use subbed movies to help learn a foreign language. I am sure this works vice versa with English movies.

But I do have exceptions, like the classic Sergio Leone "Spaghetti Westerns". The dubbing is all part of the charm then.
 

Offline Brumby

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10277
  • Country: au
Generating documentation in the first place is an uphill battle when management just want the application up and running.  Generating good documentation is even more difficult still.  You have people who are creating it come from a technical environment and the people using it don't.  The subsequent 'vocational culture' gap requires journalistic writing skills - not technical ones, but it is extremely rare to find someone who not only understands the technical details, but can write clearly enough for the target audience at a speed (read 'cost') that management will tolerate.

But the real pickle, which AntiProtonBoy mentioned, is change management.
Anyone who has worked in a commercial software development environment will know the challenges here and most will cringe.  The mechanical changes to things like executables, parameters, databases, etc. are enough to keep you on your toes, but documentation...?

Keeping it current is nearly impossible as they don't want to give you any time to do it.  Added to this is the all-too-frequent urgent fix that needs to be done the day before yesterday - and once it has been done, then you are thrown back onto your current project with no opportunity to do anything about documentation other than to tell management that it needs to be updated ... which they quietly ignore.

And this is for only ONE language!
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline Brumby

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10277
  • Country: au
Seriously though, both English and French have a lot of bugs in their language, mainly with ambiguities and inconsistencies. But having masculine and feminine for nouns is simply bad design. There is no logical reason to make a language more complicated by having gender for nouns.

Here's my fave on the subject of 'making a language more complicated'....

How many different ways can you pronounce "ough" in the English language?
 

Offline blueskull

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 14119
  • Country: cn
  • Power Electronics Guy
How many different ways can you pronounce "ough" in the English language?

Average Japanese kanjis have more than or equal to 3 pronunciations, while some have more than 5.
Average Chinese characters have 1 or 2 pronunciations, while in some rare cases, up to 6.
AFAIK, "ough" can be pronounced "au", "ou", "af", "of". Additions are welcomed.
 

Offline Brumby

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10277
  • Country: au
I've done the exercise for "ough" - and there are more.....


Trivia:  I was first inspired to check this out when an episode of  'The Flying Nun' had an English lesson where one of the characters was reading out an English text...
 

Online coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5973
  • Country: gb
Most of the bad Chinese/English translations we see are in one direction - Chinese to English. Here's a nice example of an amusing bad English to Chinese translation at York Railway Station, in the UK, that will amuse the bilingual among you:

 

Offline Tomorokoshi

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 931
  • Country: us
Most of the bad Chinese/English translations we see are in one direction - Chinese to English. Here's a nice example of an amusing bad English to Chinese translation at York Railway Station, in the UK, that will amuse the bilingual among you:

Where does the correct luggage go?
 

Online CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3766
  • Country: us
Most of the bad Chinese/English translations we see are in one direction - Chinese to English. Here's a nice example of an amusing bad English to Chinese translation at York Railway Station, in the UK, that will amuse the bilingual among you:

Where does the correct luggage go?

I don't know about the Chinese part, but the English part can be confusing to speakers of American English.  I am assuming that "left luggage" in UK English translates to "missing luggage" or "lost luggage" in American English.

 

Online coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5973
  • Country: gb
Most of the bad Chinese/English translations we see are in one direction - Chinese to English. Here's a nice example of an amusing bad English to Chinese translation at York Railway Station, in the UK, that will amuse the bilingual among you:

Where does the correct luggage go?

I don't know about the Chinese part, but the English part can be confusing to speakers of American English.  I am assuming that "left luggage" in UK English translates to "missing luggage" or "lost luggage" in American English.
In the UK, and most other English speaking places, "Left Luggage" means a place where you can leave your stuff for safe short term storage, typically at a train station or airport. I've never seen one of these places labelled anything else..... except for this funky Chinese translation.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2020, 06:09:05 pm by coppice »
 

Offline rsjsouza

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4108
  • Country: us
  • Eternally curious
    • Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico
Most of the bad Chinese/English translations we see are in one direction - Chinese to English. Here's a nice example of an amusing bad English to Chinese translation at York Railway Station, in the UK, that will amuse the bilingual among you:
Dubious translations are everywhere. Pick this one from Fluke Brasil where it says: "The Fluke 117 is the ideal multimeter for the electrician with contactless voltage reading."
[attach=1]

All electricians I met need contact to see if there is voltage on a wire. A shocking experience.  :-DD

(not to mention electrician spelled wrong in the blue black part, but that is pure spell checking fail)

P.S. I worked many years translating press releases and technical articles from English to Portuguese. It is not an easy task.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 10:45:23 am by rsjsouza »
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Online bsfeechannel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1132
  • Country: 00
Dubious translations are everywhere. Pick this one from Fluke Brasil where it says: "The Fluke 117 is the ideal multimeter for the electrician with contactless voltage reading."

All electricians I met need contact to see if there is voltage on a wire. A shocking experience.  :-DD

Actually, the Fluke 117 has what they call the VoltAlert technology for non-contact voltage detection. The problem is that translator who translated "The Fluke 117 is the ideal multimeter for the electrician with non-contact voltage reading" doesn't know the meter very well. It just detects if a wire is live. It is not possible to read any voltages.

Quote
(not to mention electrician spelled wrong in the blue part, but that is pure spell checking fail)

You mean the black part. The blue part is correct.
 

Offline vk6zgo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5553
  • Country: au
Most of the bad Chinese/English translations we see are in one direction - Chinese to English. Here's a nice example of an amusing bad English to Chinese translation at York Railway Station, in the UK, that will amuse the bilingual among you:

Where does the correct luggage go?

I don't know about the Chinese part, but the English part can be confusing to speakers of American English.  I am assuming that "left luggage" in UK English translates to "missing luggage" or "lost luggage" in American English.
In the UK, and most other English speaking places, "Left Luggage" means a place where you can leave your stuff for safe short term storage, typically at a train station or airport. I've never seen one of these places labelled anything else..... except for this funky Chinese translation.

They used to call them "cloak rooms" in Western Australia (dunno about the rest of Oz), which really confused people from countries where the same term is used as an euphemism for "public toilets".

The latter were sometimes called "Conveniences", which prompted a jot of jokes about contacting someone at their "earliest convenience".

Back in the day, there were quite a lot of early conveniences about---most have gone, now which is a bit of a shame, as some were "a work of art".
 
The following users thanked this post: I wanted a rude username

Offline vk6zgo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5553
  • Country: au
Back in the day, we used to have a lot of trouble with German & French manuals.

The Germans normally included a "short form" English manual along with the original German one.
The translation wasn't the best, but more annoying was the difficulty in finding the appropriate diagram in the main manual.
They also truncated a lot of descriptions, which didn't help.

We eventually found it was easier to roughly translate as we went, using the much better German text.
After all, with Electronics, once you know some key words, you can usually "nut out" the rest.

The French, on the other hand, produced a complete English manual, but one which seemed to have been translated by someone with a vague knowledge of the language & a French/English dictionary.
Occasionally, they provided a French manual as well, but personally, I didn't find it as easy to understand as the German ones.
 

Offline rsjsouza

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4108
  • Country: us
  • Eternally curious
    • Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico
Dubious translations are everywhere. Pick this one from Fluke Brasil where it says: "The Fluke 117 is the ideal multimeter for the electrician with contactless voltage reading."

All electricians I met need contact to see if there is voltage on a wire. A shocking experience.  :-DD

Actually, the Fluke 117 has what they call the VoltAlert technology for non-contact voltage detection. The problem is that translator who translated "The Fluke 117 is the ideal multimeter for the electrician with non-contact voltage reading" doesn't know the meter very well. It just detects if a wire is live. It is not possible to read any voltages.
That is a very common problem in translations and even with headlines in Portuguese: the way it is written it indicates the electrician itself is the one that features the NCV, not the meter. The qualifiers/adjectives must be close to the noun - in this case, they should have put the "NCV" description near the word multimeter, not electrician.

A rewriting that makes sense is "The Fluke 117 is ideal for electricians that need a multimeter with contactless voltage reading (sic)." (Should be "detection").

Quote
(not to mention electrician spelled wrong in the blue part, but that is pure spell checking fail)

You mean the black part. The blue part is correct.
Thanks. Corrected.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Online coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5973
  • Country: gb
The French, on the other hand, produced a complete English manual, but one which seemed to have been translated by someone with a vague knowledge of the language & a French/English dictionary.
From reading Thomson documentation, I don't think they ever provided their staff with a French/English dictionary.
 

Offline SeanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15429
  • Country: za
Had both the English and the original French maintenance manuals, and the French ones were sort of readable, with the assistance of a dictionary, because the English one, while keeping in lockstep with the French, down to page and paragraph number in many cases, was often something less than usable in many respects.

Think I was the first person in years who actually read the French version, thanks to the few French English dictionaries also supplied with them, though they were very much lacking in any sort of technical translations, but you could muddle through thanks to the literal translations in the 2 versions. Did not help that the entire systems I worked on were covered in only a few chapters, in the 30 volume manual, but that at least helped with being able to see the connections between the systems, and also the fact that certain parameters were passed on via separate buses, even if they were the same data, in the same format, but with some slight variation, as they were both analogue voltages. Gave a way to tell the black box changers that, despite their insistence that this unit was faulty, it was actually the sender that had drifted out of tolerance, and they thus would have to do the big job and change that, instead of trying 15 units to see if one was on the other side of the curve to compensate. Changing the easy part was quicker for them.

 

Offline blacksheeplogic

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 446
  • Country: nz
Generating documentation in the first place is an uphill battle when management just want the application up and running.  Generating good documentation is even more difficult still.  You have people who are creating it come from a technical environment and the people using it don't.  The subsequent 'vocational culture' gap requires journalistic writing skills - not technical ones, but it is extremely rare to find someone who not only understands the technical details, but can write clearly enough for the target audience at a speed (read 'cost') that management will tolerate.

When I have written technical documentation, I was assigned a editor who reviewed the work, including it's grammar, formatting, and use of colotical terms. The editor was non-technical.  It then went though technical panel review and finally legal review. Fortunately, I was finished at that point and was not involved in NLS.

Good documentation is very expensive to produce and maintain, let alone the cost of NLS. If your low cost or low margin, this is an area your probably not going to invest in.
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki, I wanted a rude username

Offline SL4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2154
  • Country: au
  • There's more value if you figure it out yourself!
In public infrastructure situations, it’s always funny, because civil servants rarely give a shit, so doing ‘anything’ gets the salary paid.

Why do more if your boss is even more incompetent than you are.
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Offline Cerebus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5903
  • Country: gb
When I have written technical documentation, I was assigned a editor who reviewed the work, including it's grammar, formatting, and use of colotical terms. The editor was non-technical.  It then went though [a] technical panel review and finally [a] legal review. Fortunately, I was finished [with it] at that point and was not involved in NLS [non-universal term, spell out].

Good documentation is very expensive to produce and maintain, let alone the cost of NLS [non-universal term, spell out]. If your [a] low cost or low margin [operation], [then] this is an area your probably not going to invest in.

I wish you hadn't said editor in that it has activated my ex-editor gene - which means I was forced to notice every literal, grammatical error and mis-phrasing in those two short paragraphs. Painful. And let me be clear, yours is far from the worst English I've seen that needed beating into shape to make it publication ready. (The worst was probably a lawyer who used to write a computer law column for the magazine I was a section editor on.) I'm not picking on you, honestly, I'm underlining your point about needing an editor.

Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki, blacksheeplogic

Offline Domagoj T

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 451
  • Country: hr
You guys should consider yourselves lucky.
Over here in Croatia they like to, for some ungodly reason, translate software. And these are folks that translate into their native language. You would not believe how hard it is to find even the simple stuff such as the Control Panel in Windows, when it's all in Croatian. It's incredibly annoying with even simpler stuff, such as bringing up the Calculator app. You press the Windows key on the keyboard and start typing "Cal" and usually the top result is the Calculator, so typing "Cal" and Enter is enough so you develop muscle memory and are able to type it all out before the screen even displays the results. Then you sit in front to a machine with Croatian translation of Windows and that suddenly doesn't work any more, but you forgot that the Windows are in Croatian and try again, only to fail once more. Then you have a brain fart trying to remember what the Calculator is called in Croatian (it's Kalkulator, but "Kal" doesn't trigger the search for "Cal").

And don't even get me started on tutorials or GUIs that translate "Drop down menus", "Editor", "Debugger". That stuff is entirely incomprehensible once translated.
Some time ago I had an opportunity to talk to a guy who was so proud to be a part of the translation team for something. When I told him that he's wasting his time and that Croatian translations are less comprehensible than English originals (even to people who struggle with English) he had trouble grasping the fact that most people when they start using computers are faced with English terminology and learn and get accustomed to that, not Croatian, regardless of their general English skills.

I was forced to notice every literal, grammatical error and mis-phrasing in those two short paragraphs.
And even you missed a couple.
I was told that anything written should spellchecked then be put in a drawer and let sit for a few days. You then check it again, to find a whole bunch more stuff.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 11:39:13 pm by Domagoj T »
 
The following users thanked this post: grizewald

Offline blacksheeplogic

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 446
  • Country: nz
I wish you hadn't said editor in that it has activated my ex-editor gene - which means I was forced to notice every literal, grammatical error and mis-phrasing in those two short paragraphs. Painful. And let me be clear, yours is far from the worst English I've seen that needed beating into shape to make it publication ready. (The worst was probably a lawyer who used to write a computer law column for the magazine I was a section editor on.) I'm not picking on you, honestly, I'm underlining your point about needing an editor.

Trust me, I'm well aware of my need for an editor. Just be glad you were not reviewing my first draft of a chapter. I never put my hand up to write - nobody did, it was always an assigned task.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf