BBC: Olympics security poster 'gibberish' to Arabic speakers

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Hebrew to English
Excuses, excuses Jul 20, 2012

"However, our supplier substituted one font for another so that the wrong alphabet was used for the Arabic message, rendering it meaningless."

I don't quite get how changing fonts is supposed to have done 'that' to the text. Reeks of a desperate excuse to me to try to save face.


 

shfranke
United States
Local time: 18:27
English to Arabic
+ ...
Major defect was that the PC used did NOT have RTL Arabic language support installed Jul 20, 2012

Greetings.

After checking that cited source article in UK, may one mention that one of the major defects in that [ahem] translation service firm was that its PC used for word-processing and printing that Arabic text did not have any Arabic language support installed. That support feature would have included the usual right-to-left (RTL) drivers so that the Arabic characters would have been correctly connected and displayed in print, instead of that mangled mess. Accordingly, whichever Arabic font was first used, or substituted later, is not an issue.

Where was a bilingual editor when one was so basically needed? Sigh....

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California

[Edited at 2012-07-20 23:29 GMT]


 

TargamaT team  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 04:27
Member (2010)
English to Arabic
+ ...
DTP requirements for RTL and especially for Arabic alike languages! Jul 21, 2012

This a common DTP issue that we face with our clients. They have not the right DTP software to accept Arabic "cursive" writing and, the most important, they have not the right RTL perception of the document.

The best solution we found is to take responsibility for the entire life-cycle, translation and "ready to print" delivery of the final document (with Arabic DTP).


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Hebrew to English
What happened to a final round of proofing? Jul 21, 2012

You'd have thought they'd have got someone to read it as a final stage just before printing, which would have avoided this.

As usual, taking shortcuts in translation just seems no big deal to these people.


 

Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:27
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
It's get worse Jul 25, 2012

And now there's this from Westfield Shopping Centre, right next to the Olympic site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18971686
"Cringeworthy" indeed, and I agree that there is no excuse for it.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Hebrew to English
No common sense Jul 25, 2012

It's shameful that they had to be advised:

"It advised that Arabic posters should be checked by a speaker of the language."


 

liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Avoid a human translator at all costs Jul 25, 2012

How ridiculous! These people have no idea, instead of using software, why don't they use the services of a decent translator and proof reader!

 

Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:27
Chinese to English
+ ...
I wonder if they used Adobe software Jul 26, 2012

A PC (or Mac) without RTL support is actually extremely hard to find these days, so I doubt the problem is the lack of RTL support on the system level. These days about any word processor can do proper RTL.

However, normal versions of Adobe’s Creative Suite—even the absolute latest version—can’t handle RTL unless you buy a special ME version. (This is despite the fact that they have a special CJK version for Chinese and Japanese but normal versions can still handle CJK—you just can’t control the typesetting.) This is one thing that I never understood.

Perhaps—if Adobe software really is involved—this high-profile screw-up will finally force Adobe to include proper RTL support in normal versions of CS?


 

Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:27
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Process Jul 26, 2012

liz askew wrote:

How ridiculous! These people have no idea, instead of using software, why don't they use the services of a decent translator and proof reader!



As mentioned by some of the above posts, chances are that they did use a real translator but forgot (deliberately or otherwise, to cut corners) about the DTP/formatting requirements. The translation itself is correct and the formatting issue is real enough (not just for Arabic). They didn't bother with a proofreader though and merely cut out elements of the process of producing the translation. Very sloppy work.

As pointed out by Ty, "It's shameful that they had to be advised:

"It advised that Arabic posters should be checked by a speaker of the language." "(at the end of the article)

I suspect there'll be plenty more where that came from over the next few weeks. Enjoy the circus!


 

urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
German to English
+ ...
who was the provider? Jul 26, 2012

Does anyone have any information on who supplied the translations (and the DTP services)?

 


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BBC: Olympics security poster 'gibberish' to Arabic speakers

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