[Foundation-l] Translations fundraising.wikimedia.org

daniwo59 at aol.com daniwo59 at aol.com
Wed Dec 20 23:14:02 UTC 2006

Dictionary translations are infamously bad, as anyone who has worked in  
translation or even travelled overseas can tell you. In Israel, my friends and I  
used to love checking out the menus of cheap restaurants for the bad  
translations. Two favorites come to mind:
1. Difficult egg -- hard boiled egg
2. Grenade juice -- pomegranate juice
>From film subtitles (which I got a lot of money to correct) -- You sun of  
the beach -- You son of a bitch ( I remember this especially because the  
original translator argued furiously that I did not know popular idioms in  English 
because I had lived overseas for too long, while he had an MA in English  
I could go on and on. To translate adequately, you need to speak  both 
languages. To translate well, you have to be immersed in both  cultures.
(10+ years translating professionally)
In a message dated 12/20/2006 5:32:27 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
gerard.meijssen at gmail.com writes:

habj  schreef:
> 2006/12/18, Brad Patrick  <bradp.wmf at gmail.com>:
>> Most of  it
>> should be possible to translate with merely a  dictionary.
> I must warn  against this attitude. Hardly anything can be translated
> with merely a  dictionary, lacking context. If one tries, one ends up
> with a certain  percentage of errors which sometimes just look a little
> funny and  sometimes look very bad.
> /habj
Translation with the  knowledge of only a dictionary gets you a 
translation that is probably not  as good as a machine translation. For 
material that needs to be just so  and this is true for the whole of 
marketing / advertisement it PAYS to  have proper translations. It even 
PAYS to have it done by a professional  translator because it is pennies 
to the pound. When you have the  connections with translators you can 
even get these translations for a  very reduced rate. It needs however a 
proper understanding and approach. I  am sure you do not want to have a 
translation into English for a message  like this on the English language 
projects !!

I have been told that  a quality translation improves the reach of your 
communication by at least  15%.



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