German translators' opinions of this translation (iTunes App Store rating text)
Thread poster: Neil Coffey

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:39
French to English
+ ...
Mar 17, 2012

I hope this is the appropriate forum. This is sort of "half" off topic: I'm interested in feedback on a translation used in Apple's iTunes store.

The context is that applications sold in the App Store are given a rating, much like other software and movie ratings.

The text for the "9+" rating is:

"Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes"

In the German App Store, Apple display the following "equivalent":

"Selten/schwach ausgeprägt: Szenen mit erotischen Anspielungen"

The issue came up because, e.g. I rated one of my apps, a word game, with this rating (based on the English) because it can include very occasional items of vocabulary such as "cigarette", "sex", "prostitution" (not because it is in any way 'adult' or sexually themed per se, but simply because out of the 16,000 or so words in the game-- based on vocab found in a sample of newspapers-- one or two words of this ilk inevitably crop up).

A German friend who I asked to review the app was immediately surprised by the description, and looking at it with my rusty knowledge of German it does seem that it suggests something more graphic/erotic than the English. What do German translators here think?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2012-03-17 12:08 GMT]


 

Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:39
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Difficult Jul 21, 2012

This is an example of a text that very hard to translate without context.

"Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes"
"Selten/schwach ausgeprägt: Szenen mit erotischen Anspielungen"


I really don't understand what "Mild Mature" means, and "Suggestive Themes" could be anything depending on the context, right?

"Selten/schwach ausgeprägt: Szenen mit erotischen Anspielungen"


The back translation (not a good translation, just so you understand what the German says) could be:

"Rarely/Less pronounced/Scenes with erotic innendo"

Does that help?


 

Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
German to English
+ ...
Mature/suggestive = sex Jul 22, 2012

Maybe this is just from an American viewpoint (the old Puritan hang-ups still), but to me, mature and suggestive refer to something of a sexual nature. Graphic is often used to indicate violence (and sex).

There is nothing in mature/suggestive that would make me think it would include cigarettes or drugs or violence.

In any case, the German translator maybe could have used "nicht jugendfreier Inhalt" "contents not suitable for young people", which might be more appropriate for the German market.

BTW, I don't like the "Szenen" part for a word game anyway (are there scenes?), and I would have used gelegentlich (occasional) instead of selten (rare). But I'm not a German translator, of course.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:39
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your comments Jul 22, 2012

Thanks -- it sounds like broadly you share some of the concerns that I did. The thing is that this is supposed to be a *general* categorisation applicable to all types of app -- hence e.g. mentioning "themes" in English, whereas indeed "Szenen" seemed more specific to me.

It's something I'll raise with the developer community as it may not be obvious to English speaking developers that they could choose a categorisation which in English doesn-t sound particularly off-putting but which in other languages could.


 

urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:39
German to English
+ ...
original difficult to parse Jul 23, 2012

Elke Fehling wrote:

I really don't understand what "Mild Mature" means, and "Suggestive Themes" could be anything depending on the context, right?


The slashes make the original English version difficult to parse. There are two sets of alternatives:
(infrequent and/or mild) (mature and/or suggestive) themes

"Mature themes" includes things like death, violence, gambling and drug use.
"Suggestive themes" includes references to sex (but not explicit sex).

See http://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.jsp and http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ContentWarnings for a variety of examples of warnings that appear on U.S. TV shows, video games and other media products.

I would agree that the German translation does not reflect the range of topics covered by the English advisory.


 


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German translators' opinions of this translation (iTunes App Store rating text)

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