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Off topic: The Little Translator goes commercial
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:05
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 21, 2007

The Little Translator 1:
http://www.proz.com/topic/79252

... 2:
http://www.proz.com/topic/79462

... 3:
http://www.proz.com/topic/79736

... 4:
http://www.proz.com/topic/81397


….


The Little Translator had been in Professor Brookesduddy’s office for half an hour or so, and was beginning to wonder why he had come, for his cause had advanced next to nothing. The Professor was all theory. So the Little Translator sat there in his sweaty jeans and listened dully as the aged academic dropped his irrelevant pearls …

“…. thus one could certainly infer from this anecdote that the maxim Honi Soit qui Mal y Pense is a truly fitting conclusion, my dear boy - by the way, there’s a paper you ought to read on this very subject”, smiled Professor Brookesduddy, adjusting one of the large striped bowties he liked to wear with his three-piece tweed suits. “Volume I was published by Oxford University Press back in ‘71, as I recall – The Hypothesis of the Urgency Criterion in Academic Translation. Brockenhäuser, Popov, Toglielli et al., part of the Whither our Hasty Renderings? colloquium for Salamanca University. Three volumes, in fact, and I might just have a copy here somewhere … Or was it Ramsbottom and Rickenbacker in ‘74? I must admit my memory is beginning to fail me … now WHERE did it put it? I know it’s here some place, if I could only find it …” He began to rummage around in the desk drawers.

“Look, Professor”, said the Little Translator, rather testily, “the urgency criterions are here and now. Please understand this isn’t some academic tract by Jean-Paul Sartre, it’s a technical report on something or other, and I don’t have time to pi-…, to mess around with Popov and Boggenstabber or whoever they are. What I want to know is, can you please give me a hand somehow with this translation?”

Professor Brookesduddy held up one wrinkled hand, a pained expression on his face. “CriteriA, my dear friend, cri-ter-i-A. One phenomenon and two or more phenomena, ergo one criterion and two criteria. But let’s keep our nerve here, a little sang-froid, I pray”, said Brookesduddy, boggling over at the Little Translator through the extra-thick glasses. “The circumstances may well necessitate the most expedient alacrity”, he added, nodding benignly at his former student, “although I would advocate, as Plato said, …”

That was quite enough for the Little Translator. He stood up and turned for the door. “Sorry Professor, I can’t waste my time here. I’ve got a real live translation to do. Carpe diem and all that”, he said over his shoulder, belatedly inspired, and hurried out.

Back at the little flat in front of his little computer, the Little Translator had another look at the beastly text. There weren’t actually so many words on the 12 pages, kind of bursts of text with a few tables showing “Parameters” and God knows what else inbetween, and all indentations and reindentations, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.1.1, that kind of thing, which admittedly took up a lot of the space. Wherever he started to read it, though, it never read like complete sentences. It was like the person who had written the text inbetween was idly chatting about his work to someone who knew exactly what he was talking about anyway. He eventually pieced together that they were discussing parts of a sewage system which compromised quality, safety, health and the environment. “But why on earth would anyone want to write a report on that in the first place?” he wondered, mystified and annoyed.

Yes, again he noticed he was beginning to lose his normal amiability. On the way back from the irritatingly non-productive session with Brookesduddy, he had narrowly managed to sidestep a lady who was so busy talking and laughing into her mobile she wasn’t looking where she was going. “Silly cow”, he had found himself muttering, and in fact only just stopped himself from saying it to her out loud. A little further on, he had been waiting to cross the street when a child of about five right next to him with his mother suddenly uttered an ear-piercing shriek for no apparent reason, as children sometimes do. The Little Translator, already on edge, nearly jumped out of his skin. “Bloody noisy kids!”, he had thought, glaring meaningfully at the two of them. There was a vague kind of unsettled nasty streak developing inside him for sure.

The Little Translator decided he needed help from people who would know. “There must be somebody out there who can help me”, he muttered to himself.

So he tapped “translation resources” into the search engine and went through the lists. “ … dictionaries, languages … mm, too general … er, on-line jobs, help, translation services, international listings … ah, now, this looks interesting …”

He read from the link: “On-line translator web site. Jobs, assistance, translators worldwide … PROS.COM …. hmm, I’ve got to take a look at these people ...”


…..


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
I just love this guy... Aug 21, 2007

I'm a huge fan of LT and of Mervyn's.

Much as we all want to help LT, let's hope he remembers: short phrases only when consulting Kudoz.

Thanks, Mervyn.


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Michał Szcześniewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:05
English to Polish
+ ...
the little translator's back in town:) Aug 21, 2007

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
He read from the link: “On-line translator web site. Jobs, assistance, translators worldwide … PROS.COM …. hmm, I’ve got to take a look at these people ...”


Great! Now, I'm wondering what our little translator will learn from all those pros;)


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
welcome back:-) Aug 21, 2007

Oops, hadn't notice I missed the last one ... I was away 2 days .. But as usual, a great read, and as usual, can't wait for the next instalment!

[Edited at 2007-08-21 14:50]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:05
English to Dutch
+ ...
Wonderful! Aug 21, 2007

Lectori salutis, and all that...

Thanks Mervyn, I'm looking forward to the next episode!

Best,
Margreet


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Ramon Inglada  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Simply great! Aug 21, 2007

I can't wait for the next one either, I'm completely addicted to the Little Translator's adventures since episode 1.

Thanks Mervyn!


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:05
German to English
+ ...
The Little Translator Aug 21, 2007

I predict cult status.

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:05
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Me, too! Aug 21, 2007

Can't wait for the next episode! No pressure, though, Mervyn!

Thanks for all your great work!!

Amy


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:05
Dutch to English
+ ...
Little Translator is breaking site rules Aug 21, 2007

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

He read from the link: “On-line translator web site. Jobs, assistance, translators worldwide … PROS.COM …. hmm, I’ve got to take a look at these people ...”


…..


Other site names may not be mentioned

Keep it coming!
Debs


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:05
Portuguese to English
I'm as addicted to ... Aug 21, 2007

...the Little Translator as everyone else, but what I'm really waiting for is the merchandising. When can I look forward to buying the Little Translator keyring, the Little Translator coffee mug and the Little Translator mouse mat?

This could be bigger than My Little Pony!


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:05
German to English
+ ...
Good point about the merchandising Aug 21, 2007

lexical wrote:
I'm as addicted to ...
...the Little Translator as everyone else, but what I'm really waiting for is the merchandising. When can I look forward to buying the Little Translator keyring, the Little Translator coffee mug and the Little Translator mouse mat?
This could be bigger than My Little Pony!


Good point.
And what CAT tool will he use? Will there be a group purchase with the LT logo? Will he be certified for his CAT tool (and will it do him any good?).
Mervyn, have the potential sponsors knocked on your door yet?

[Edited at 2007-08-21 18:48]


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I would definitely buy the Little Translator coffee mug!!! Aug 21, 2007

The best part...for me...

He eventually pieced together that they were discussing parts of a sewage system which compromised quality, safety, health and the environment. “But why on earth would anyone want to write a report on that in the first place?” he wondered, mystified and annoyed.


plus the hilarious conversation with the professor...just fantastic.

Back to work...

Love

Letty (LT's fan)


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Marsha Way  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
I can just imagine Aug 21, 2007

the colorful characters he will meet and the help he will get in Kudoz!

I sure hope LT has a happy ending after all he is going through! I would hate to see him give up on translation after all these scares and frustrations!

PS- I would also like a LT coffee mug. I think he would make me smile while working! Think about it!


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes... Aug 22, 2007

Marsha Way wrote:
PS- I would also like a LT coffee mug. I think he would make me smile while working! Think about it!


We're planning to visit Europe next year and my parents live in Barcelona, so I could go and pick up the coffee mug myself and meet you! Of course, I will buy one more for my husband/team mate too

Cheers,

Letty


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 06:05
English to Russian
+ ...
Time to meet The Little Translator face to face:-) Aug 22, 2007

It is becoming unbearable not to see the guy:-) He is so very much alive!

Please, pleease, anyone with drawing talent? Give us a 3-D fella. Let's open the contest!

Or do you have something (or someone) in mind already, Mervyn?


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