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Frequency of typos, etc.
Thread poster: Kevin Fulton
Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 05:13
German to English
Apr 13, 2006

I recently posted a terminology query in the German>English section, and the majority of responses suggested that the term was a typo. It wasn't, but the suggestions were certainly reasonable. My question to the greater community is this: How common are are typographical errors? I've had several documents recently that were rife with misspellings, for example.

In German, which can use multiple prefixes for nouns/verbs, there is some likelihood of a prefix being omitted during typing or transcription. My own example was "Vormittlung" which several colleagues understandably suggested was missing a syllable.

Is this common in other languages? Do typos, misspellings, etc. occur frequently, and if so, do they seriously affect understanding of the text?

[Edited at 2006-04-13 12:11]

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:13
English to Turkish
Yes and yes Apr 13, 2006

Typos are common in my target language, Turkish, as much as in any other - I think. And this may seriously affect understanding, as it is an agglutinative language, that is, one missing syllable or misplaced letter may change the subject of the sentence (change it to singular 'you' instead of the plural one, for instance, or change 'you' to 'we'), change the tense, lose a suffix, and the sentence may well end up as something entirely different. Because in Turkish sometimes a whole sentence is made up of one single word, so you might imagine the extent of misunderstanding a lost syllable would create.

There is no radical cure to this situation, of course, but it can be improved and the only way to it seems to be getting more and more pairs of eyes involved. But then, this takes us to the two important keywords in any business: time and money.

[Edited at 2006-04-14 05:55]

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