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Permalink 09:03:04 am, Categories: For translation buyers, For professional translators, 421 words  

Translation is a disaster looking for a place to happen!

Is it? It can indeed be, when you don't take appropriate measures to assure a professional and high-quality translation. Can't you believe it? Take a look at this piece of news from

Doris Moore was shocked when her new couch was delivered to her Toronto home with a label that used a racial slur to describe the dark brown shade of the upholstery.

The situation was even more alarming for Moore because it was her 7-year-old daughter who pointed out "nigger brown" on the tag.

"My daughter saw the label and she knew the color brown, but didn't know what the other word meant. She asked, 'Mommy, what color is that?' I was stunned. I didn't know what to say. I never thought that's how she'd learn of that word," Moore said.

The mother complained to the furniture store, which blamed the supplier, who pointed to a computer problem as the source of the derogatory label

Kingsoft Corp., a Chinese software company, acknowledged its translation program was at fault and said it was a regrettable error.

"I know this is a very bad word," Huang Luoyi, a product manager for the Beijing-based company's translation software, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

He explained that when the Chinese characters for "dark brown" are typed into an older version of its Chinese-English translation software, the offensive description comes up.

"We got the definition from a Chinese-English dictionary. We've been using the dictionary for 10 years. Maybe the dictionary was updated, but we probably didn't follow suit," he said.

Moore, who is black, said Kingsoft's acknowledgment of a mistake does not make her feel better.

"They should know what they are typing, even if it is a software error," she said. "In order for something to come into the country, don't they read it first? Doesn't the manufacturer? The supplier?"


Moore is consulting with a lawyer and wants compensation. Last week, she filed a report with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Commission spokeswoman Afroze Edwards said the case is in the initial stages and could take six months to two years to resolve.

Moore, 30, has three young children, and said the issue has taken a toll on her family.

"Something more has to be done. We don't just need a personal apology, but someone needs to own up to where these labels were made, and someone needs to apologize to all people of color," Moore said. "I had friends over from St. Lucia yesterday and they wouldn't sit on the couch."



Permalink 02:49:10 pm, Categories: For translation buyers, Spanish language & translation, 160 words  

Spanish and US Hispanics

Another proof of the importance of the Spanish language for US Hispanics. Not that it is surprising, but just to strike a balance with other recent reports which suggest a rapid assimilation of US Hispanics into American culture and language...

Via Hispanic Trending:

Report: Spanish-language websites in demand

By Chris Reidy
April 26, 2007

A report from Forrester Research Inc. says 51 percent of US Hispanics who use the Internet prefer Spanish-language websites, and 23 percent must have Spanish online.

Forrester, a Cambridge technology and market research company, did a telephone survey of 3,000 US Hispanics earlier this year.

‘‘English-language sites are currently underserving 7.1 million online Hispanics,’’ said a Forrester data researcher, Tamara Barber. ‘‘If companies are serious about reaching this growing audience, they need to offer Spanish-language sites.

‘‘Not only does Spanish online help those who depend on Spanish for interactions, but it also builds brand value with consumers who can transact in English but prefer to be served in Spanish.’’

Source: Boston Globe



Permalink 07:25:21 am, Categories: For professional translators, 381 words  

Unable to access IATE?

If you are a professional translator, chances are that you have been trying to access IATE, the European Union terminological database, with little or no success. Indeed, they have been experiencing technical problems, and though these are over now, there is something to do on your computers to make it work. Fellow Greek translator Nick Lingris explains here how to go about it (copied below for your convenience):

At the bottom of the IATE search screen there is a frame which reads: Your last 10 requests. If you have been having problems with your searches and you click on ‘Select a saved request’, you will see that there is a very long string which has been created as a result of incorrect saving of your searches by the IATE program. This string is saved in the IATE cookie and, when it can no longer be updated, searches stop functioning. This happens regardless of the browser you use. The solution, for the time being, seems to be to delete the IATE cookie. DO NOT follow the solution that says ‘Delete cookies’ because there are many cookies there which you need.

For IE, follow these steps:
In Windows Explorer go to Documents and Settings > Your Computer Name (mine, for example, is Nick) > Cookies. Click on Search at the top. Choose to Search for Documents. Use Advanced search options and, where it says ‘All or part of the document name’ type ‘iate’ (without the quotes). Press Search and, once the results of the search come up, delete the iate cookie(s) (mine is called nick@iate.europa[2].txt).
Close and re-open Internet Explorer so it forgets the cookie it had in memory. When you reconnect to IATE, the ‘Select a saved request’ frame should be empty and the searches should function properly until a false string is recreated, in which case you will have to repeat the procedure. Or, hopefully, the IATE team will soon solve the problem.

For Firefox, do not use Windows Explorer. In the Firefox browser, go to Tools > Options > Privacy > Show Cookies. In the Search box type ‘iate’ (without the quotes) and Remove cookies with the iate name. Close and re-open Firefox.

I followed the procedure myself (on FireFox) and I can again access IATE, which is of course great news!


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