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Why bad Spanish turns out to be spamish

Since I am the one who insists that poor Spanish translations look and feel spamish, I figured out that I should probably explain why:

- A spam e-mail message is usually (among other things) a poorly fitted mosaic of misspellings and grammar errors. A bad Spanish translation carries just about the same traits, with an added artificial flavor resulting from the transferring of English words and grammar structures to Spanish without the sound judgement that is the knack of skilled professional translators.
- In both cases, the terrible texts hurt the eye and put readers off, no matter what is being sold or offered.
- The companies from which those messages or translations arise are considered as amateurish by their audiences. There is no real connection established between the providers and the potential customers due to lack of trust.

More about the metaphysical relationship between poor translations and spam in this blog's earlier post.



Spanish or spamish?

When you are not very careful in selecting your translation provider, tricky things may happen to you. You may order a Spanish translation but end up with a spamish translation, which looks like Spanish to you but is perceived as spam by your Hispanic audience. An example:

I am going to try to convey to you the same impression that a Hispanic reader would have by reading the Spanish text on this page (only the first lines.) I will do this by back-translating the text and recreating the mistakes as faithfully as possible. Also, when I give a word in Spanish this is because the Spanish readers got it in English (the translator didn't bother to translate it.) Some mistakes are impossible to reproduce due to the differences between English and Spanish, so when you read this, do not think I am exagerating. It is actually worse than this!

The page is supposed to be the privacy policy of the Oona Health site:

Isolation Policy

Oöna has a firm committee to the isolation.

We can use your IP DIRECCIÓN to help diagnose problems with our server and to manage our site. Your IP DIRECCIÓN is used to help identifyyou and your shopping cart and to compile the basic demographic information.

Our site uses the biscuits in order not to lose sight of your shopping cart. In the future, they will make sure that you don't see the same advertisement several times.

The site contains fittings to other sites and is not responsible of the practices of the isolation or of the content of such sites of the fabric.

Oh, and the slogan to the left is also worth mentioning:

"To grab the treasures of your moments"

The whole site is packed full of extremely sub-standard Spanish translations. The sad thing is, the Internet in general is full of Spanish translations such as these. The companies that decide to translate their materials into Spanish but get spamish translations instead probably get disappointed very quickly with the results of their efforts, and wonder if the Hispanic market is such a worthwhile investment after all.

It is, but you absolutely need to get it right!



Permalink 08:13:28 am, Categories: For translation buyers, Spanish language & translation, 34 words  

Reaching U.S. Hispanics

Here is an excellent post on how to target U.S. Hispanics by offering them a Spanish version of your key materials. A very recommended read if you intend to target this blossoming market!



Who said language and translation aren't fun?



Permalink 01:16:56 pm, Categories: For translation buyers, Spanish language & translation, 86 words  

Do apostrophes matter?

According to marketing expert Seth Godin, they do!

Glad to see an influential marketing expert highlighting the critical importance of language correction and correct spelling. It is as important for your original materials as it is for your translated materials. You know that IBM, Sony, or any other leading global company wouldn't allow any misspellings in their message. So if you want to portray as professional an image as theirs, you shouldn't allow them in yours either!

More thoughts about the subject on this recent post.


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