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Off topic: Where is Charlie?
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:25
English to French
+ ...
Nov 23, 2006

Dear fellow translators,

Please take a look at this page, http://www.ec.gc.ca/tmb/resilog/fr/juin03.htm, and tell me if you can spot the error (warning: if you don't speak French, you might have a hard time).

This is a website of Canada, the most bestest (sic) country in the world. To those who have been under a rock for the past century, Canada has two official languages. Also, one has to be a certified translator AND have liability insurance in order to work for the Translation Bureau of the Canadian Government.

Here's my question: if certified translators working for the government, no less, make this kind of error - do you even wonder why there are so many bad translations out there that we increasingly refuse to proofread them?

Comments, anyone?


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:25
Flemish to English
+ ...
Avis belge Nov 23, 2006

As a non, but almost native of French (petit belge) :
In French, its: ce numéro. "Numéro" est masculin.
---
I don't wonder. It is a free world and a free market.

[Edited at 2006-11-23 08:37]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:25
French to English
Do you mean me? :-) Nov 23, 2006

[removed]

[Edited at 2006-11-23 11:00]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Noooo, not at all! I meant the Charlie with the striped shirt... :D Nov 23, 2006

Maybe I need to elaborate a bit (I'll try to keep it short).

I am basically expressing my total incomprehension of such a flagrant error on a government site, and not any government site - we're talking about regulations here.

The error I am referring to could and most likely would have been spotted by any first-grade student - and that's saying a lot! I just don't understand how a translator could have made such an error - unless the person behind that title is not a translator, but even so. I expect for a government site to be written or at least proofread by someone who speaks the language it's published in.

As for proofreading, don't get me wrong. I do proofread and when I don't like the proofreading jobs I get, it's not about the money either. It's about being angry that people who haven't got a clue about translating still go ahead and translate, and also sometimes because I have to spend much more time on the proofreading than it would have been reasonable - with a poor quality like this, sometimes a proofreader has to work night and day to meet the deadline and that can be really frustrating (I am sure we all have come across proofing jobs where the outsourcer, not to mention the proofreader, would have been better of having it translated from scratch). Also, even if you take a look at a job before accepting it, that's no guarantee that a 70-page document you only had a couple of hours to examine before accepting it will be of a consistent quality. I've worked on texts before that were written or translated by several different people and they were not all equally skilled.

I am more or less wondering how it is possible to find something like this on a site like that, that's all. I find it strange that this was probably translated or proofed by the same people (the Translation Bureau) who sell Termium, one of the most trusted terminology services in translator circles. How are we to trust these people after having seen such horrors? It simply beats me...


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Natasha Dupuy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:25
French to English
Little mixup Nov 23, 2006

In Australia, Charlie is in fact called Wally. So the books are called "Where's Wally?". I believe it is the same in the UK.
I wonder if the US have their own version?


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Natasha Dupuy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:25
French to English
Waldo Nov 23, 2006

Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where's_Waldo

In the US he is known as Waldo. Sorry Viktoria, my posts have nothing to do with your topic. I just thought it might be useful to explain how the mixup occurred


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Natasha Nov 23, 2006

This is soooo funny - I guess my being native in French took over for a moment there. You're right, it's Waldo. But in French, it's "Où est Charlie" - Waldo doesn't make much sense in French.

So there! I guess being native in a language can also have its disadvantages

Now, how do I edit the title of the thread...?

[Edited at 2006-11-23 20:55]


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 09:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Classic problem! Nov 23, 2006

We all know - don't we? - that the bigger it's written the easier it is to miss spelling and grammar errors.

And when, to boot, it's a bit of text that we don't need to read anyway - it's mere position on the page above a list of contents tells us all we need to know - then that's a safe place to hide a stupid mistake.

IMHO, although there 'might' be a translator lurking behind the error, it was more-likely perpetrated by someone in the web-site crew, since these titles don't get translated every time the thing's updated. They are part of the page design, not the content. That such a thing goes public suggests to me a lack of editorial control more than sloppy translation per se.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2006-11-23 11:37]


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 09:25
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Agree with mediamatrix Nov 23, 2006

Possibly the title was changed from something like "cette version"... but, yes, I agree, agreement in gender and number is elementary, dear Watson, in our beautiful official language.

I've been known to write to webmasters to point out the error of their ways when I come across such comedies

As for the thread title, alas, I'm coming in too late to fix it; I mean, I could fix it, but then some of the subsequent posts would really be nonsensical! So I guess it's best to leave it...

Nancy

[Edited at 2006-11-23 14:57]


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
French to English
+ ...
I Agree Nov 23, 2006

mediamatrix wrote:

We all know - don't we? - that the bigger it's written the easier it is to miss spelling and grammar errors.

And when, to boot, it's a bit of text that we don't need to read anyway - it's mere position on the page above a list of contents tells us all we need to know - then that's a safe place to hide a stupid mistake.

IMHO, although there 'might' be a translator lurking behind the error, it was more-likely perpetrated by someone in the web-site crew, since these titles don't get translated every time the thing's updated. They are part of the page design, not the content. That such a thing goes public suggests to me a lack of editorial control more than sloppy translation per se.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2006-11-23 11:37]


I agree, that is the likeliest scenario, and from what I've heard, a daily headache for many translation services within government departments - getting the web people (and even the client originally requesting the translation) to check back with translation before making their "little" changes. Don't automatically blame the translator!!


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Yes, it happened to me, too. Nov 23, 2006

I translated part of a book, including the intoduction and someone added a line in the intro. to thank me for being the "Englisch" translator.

I was crushed. .

Linda


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Either way Nov 23, 2006

mediamatrix wrote:

IMHO, although there 'might' be a translator lurking behind the error, it was more-likely perpetrated by someone in the web-site crew, since these titles don't get translated every time the thing's updated.



Yes, that is possible, if not most likely.

However, I still think that something is wrong. I know where such errors come from and that we see so many of them nowadays that we have come to accept them without questioning. But isn't someone supposed to keep an eye out for those, especially if its government material, and especially since it has to do with regulations? I wasn't pointing at the translator per se, but rather trying to understand how such an error could be found on a "serious" site like this one. I sincerely doubt a translator would have made such an error and therein lies the problem - a translator or proofreader should have validated this, but it was not done, and this is anything but serious on their part.

And Linda, what a horror! I can only imagine how reluctant you must feel to show that book to anyone - everyone most likely will point out the error before commending you on your work - and they may even forget to compliment you altogether, so baffled they may be by the error... That is the ultimate error!


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Sonia Dorais
Canada
Local time: 09:25
French to English
+ ...
des mouvements transfrontaliers? Nov 23, 2006

Is that the mistake you are referring to? It should be des mouvements “transfrontaliers” instead of “transfrontalières,” right? Does “transfrontières” even exist in French?

(I could be wrong. I translate towards English)...

[Edited at 2006-11-23 20:03]

But if that is the alleged mistake, I think it was either the translator's fault or editor or writer (it could have been translated from French into English afterall, right?)... those who make the web usually make typographical or clerical errors. Not this kind of error.

Then again, I haven't worked with too many Web designers so I could be wrong about that too.

[Edited at 2006-11-23 20:08]

[Edited at 2006-11-23 20:18]


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Sonia Dorais
Canada
Local time: 09:25
French to English
+ ...
dans cette numéro!!! Nov 23, 2006

I just read a bit more and noticed that! Ahhhhhhh!

(Sorry, I just wanted to express my sentiments...)

[Edited at 2006-11-23 20:17]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I noticed the "transfrontières" too :D Nov 23, 2006

Transfrontières doesn't even exist (but I am saying this without looking it up in the dictionary). I agree: transfrontalier or transfrontalière.

I don't even want to read through it - I will probably rip my hair out. And this is just one of tens of thousands of Canada pages...

It sucks, because I am working on a text that uses government terminology and it is imperative that I search the Canada site. So, here I am, correcting the text I am supposed to base my terminology on... It sure is a long day!


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