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10/07/06

Spamish translation of the week #7

More Spamish fun, this time from a Spanish page on http://www.britainusa.com (no less than the British Embassy in the United States.) From what I understand, this page is intended for Spanish-speaking USA residents wanting to study in the UK:

britainusa.com Spanish page

And the back-translation (starting from the 5th requirement):

5) a) birth certificates naming both parents.
b) The costday order probaring the legal costday of the children accompanied of a previous marriage.

NOTE: A separate application, fee and related documents must be subjugated for each applicant.

Dependents of the student he can not precede the main applicant for the United Kingdom.

Applicants are strongly is warned to subjugite their application in good weather. Not all visas are is approved the same day.

So what are the chances of submitting an application to the United Kingdom in good weather?

(Please excuse the easy sunny-Spain/rainy-UK teasing.)

Actually, "tiempo" means both "time" and "weather" in Spanish, depending on the context. But "buen tiempo" is always "good weather"!

One would think that the British Embassy in the United States could afford to have their six Spanish pages professionally translated...

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09/30/06

Funny translation of the week #6

The latest Spamish translations were admittedly slightly depressing. So this time I was determined to find a really funny one, and I found it at coolest-gadgets.com. Here goes the screenshot:

coolest-gadgets.com

And the back translation:

Subjugate the news

We are always in the look towards the outside in order to the most last one news in the contrivances and the technology. If you find anything that you would like to share with the rest of the world please may we know about him. We can't guarantee in order to publish all the news that we receive but if they are accesorioy, it makes us laugh and to know what the F5 key does, he you have a great opportunity.

The best place to leave a suggestion of the contrivance is via our contrivance suggestions forum (fun that), if you have a sensation of the launching of press freely to fix it in press launchings and the product news forum where it will be seen by the CG team and other bloggers of the contrivance.

You can send rotatingly a message via the form but this is generally slower than fixing in the forum.

It's obviously an automatic translation, and if you are in that kind of mood, a funny one. Not sure if they have much success in getting their Hispanic readers to subjugate news for them though...

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09/25/06

Another disappointment with a "hyper-qualified" Spanish translator

So I had the chance to test a new professional Spanish translator who seemed very promising. He had a wide scope of education in several subjects including university training in translation, along with years of experience in the profession and clearly determined areas of expertise.

The outcome? The Spanish text he delivered was mostly terminologically accurate and it carried no misspellings. That is almost all the positive side there was to it.

Two basic principles were completely overlooked: the passive voice is far less commonly used in Spanish than in English (Spanish uses the active voice in all but rare cases), and possessive adjectives are also less frequently used in Spanish which just constructs sentences in a different way. These are just two examples, and when basic principles such as these are not respected by the translator, then it is likely that many other basic and not that basic issues will be present in his or her text. The overall translation in these cases is somewhat artificial and uses a poor style, reproducing the way sentences are constructed in English rather than generating a Spanish text that looks like an original, which should be the aim of all professional Spanish translators.

Solid qualifications are many times the only means for some translation buyers to predict the performance of a potential translator provider. The problem is, a solid profile alone is not a full guarantee of quality performance as I have regular proof. This is why I apply the utmost care and careful testing to my prospective collaborators. I also always review the work of my trusted and regular collaborators, because even highly skilled professionals are human and can produce light errors. I am far from infallible myself, but when two quality-aware professionals work together and complement each other, chances are that they will produce an excellent quality final product. But quality must be there from the beginning (the translator).

I am considering the possibility of creating a new weekly section sharing key Spanish translation guidelines, because I can't stand the thought of this kind of performance becoming the standard, and I would like to help my Spanish translator colleagues if I can, whether they work for JB Translations or not.

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09/23/06

Spamish translation of the week #5

Just to prove me wrong, here comes New Zealand College with an even higher density of serious misspellings than the Spamish translation featured last week. Here is a screenshot from one of their "Spanish" pages.

Screenshot from New Zealand College website's Spanish version

My back translation follows. Please note that the title "Application Procedure" was left in English for no good reason, so I rightly translated it into Spanish for effect. Also, when you see an accent in English—which of course uses none—this is because of an accent mistake in the Spanish translation. All misspellings are in italics:

Procedimiento de inscripción:

1. Sénd ás soon as possible the applicatión and the homestay request form by fax or mail.

2. NCZ will sénd the invoice minus the commissín of the agent. And other data about th estudent to be confirmed.

3. Sénd the fees by wire transfer, certified check, Visa card.

4. Upon receiving from the fees NZC will sénd an acceptánce letter. In order to accelerate this procedure, you can send a copy of your transfer of bank by telefax, NZC alternatedly to send by telefax a copy of the acceptnce letter. All charges of the bank in your cóuntry must be covered by the agent or by the student. NZC will cóver charges of the local bank only. Please investigate in your bank in order to other details.

5. The whole payment of funds must be received before arranging Homestay, collection of the airport be organized and at least ten das before the student startz classes

That's at least 20 word-level errors on this short text, not to mention errors beyond the word level. This time there is no possible excuse, defense, or extenuating circumstance for such a poor language performance. They are a language school! They offer English, not Spanish classes all right. But they have (or should have) enough linguistic awareness not to assign their website translation into Spanish to the first Spanish-speaking student of theirs who will accept ten bucks to do the job. Sorry for the acid criticism, but I find this intolerable on the part of a language school. They would have been much better off by just keeping the English version if they didn't feel like investing in professional translation. I know that as a father, I would never send my children to learn a language in a school which seems to care so little about the language they use. Pretty obvious reasoning, but apparently not so obvious for them...

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09/22/06

Permalink 04:53:48 pm, Categories: For translation buyers, Spanish language & translation, 96 words  

Hispanic Marketing Conference

Taken from Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations weblog and podcast:

Next week, marketing experts will present different ways on how marketers can reach Hispanic consumers at the U.S. Hispanic Marketing Conference, held at the Hilton Del Mar in San Diego, California from Monday through Thursday. During the conference, which is produced by the International Quality and Production Center, speakers will share marketing approaches and available strategies to brand products to the escalating Hispanic consumer population in the United States.

Looks like a very interesting offering if you are considering the significant U.S. Hispanic market...

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