Off topic: suggest ProZ Hall of Shame Translation contest
Thread poster: Vito Smolej

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 09:39
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Nov 15, 2008

You have seen your share of horrible translations. So have I - yet another today. This one - and a huge PoS of them deserve exposure for their mastership in screwing up the source - AND getting paid for it. If you routinely warm your heart browsing through the finalists and the contestants in the Bulwer-Lytton (aka It-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night) contest, then you will know what I mean.

So why not:
i) start with a ProZ Hall of Shame. No names mentioned, it's the stink of the fish that we are after - the best repellant I would assume for this kind of fisher -.

ii) do yearly contests, induction into ProZ Hall of Shame etc.

Starting with the EN-DE-FR-RU would probably keep us rolling on the floor for years.

Regards

Vito

PS: I am pretty much sure I am not the first one to suggest this. But the translation I got to proofread was just too much for me and as I am in principle opposed to animal cruelty (no kicking our cat around then) I just wrote up this rant .. er ... suggestion.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Watch out Vito Nov 15, 2008

... we could start with your English in what you just said.

I shall resist the temptationicon_smile.gif


 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Because... Nov 15, 2008

...it is already frustrating to see bad translation in everyday's life. I don't think anybody really needs this...

 

Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:39
English to Croatian
+ ...
Spot on Tom Nov 16, 2008

Tom in London wrote:

... we could start with your English in what you just said.

I shall resist the temptationicon_smile.gif



I feel the same...


 

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 09:39
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Please note it was a dark and stormy night Nov 16, 2008

Kemal Mustajbegovic wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

... we could start with your English in what you just said.

I shall resist the temptationicon_smile.gif



I feel the same...


and 11PM after a frustrating day. So thank you all for resisting the temptation.


 

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hall of Shame Nov 16, 2008

The Plain English Campaign (www.plainenglish.co.uk) has been obtaining excellent publicity for many decades by organising an annual ‘worst examples of written English’ competition. If I remember correctly, they publish the corporate names of the guilty and even invite the ‘winners’ to an annual awards ceremony.

These annual awards have successfully raised the profile of the campaign by giving journalists great stories - perhaps we could consider something similar for each language combination at ProZ.

It could be great fun!


 

Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:39
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Might be educational, but confidentiality would probably be an obstacle Nov 17, 2008

Vito, thank you for suggesting this and taking the brickbats with a sense of humor. I dislike "trashing" on people, but one thing that has bothered me here a bit is the complaining about bad translations without examples. Sure, there are the ridiculous examples that make us laugh, but they aren't really interesting or educational. Now and then, Kudoz provide some "shame" / "fame" examples, but not in a structured way.

A translator I know has some examples at his web site that I think might provide a basic structure for such a "learning clinic." He uses the traffic light system - gives the original + 3 examples of a translation into English = red, yellow, and green + annotations. The comparison of three rather than two versions, and the discussion that such sets of red/yellow/green paragraphs would provoke, could be instructive both for translators and revisors.

I wouldn't be in favor of pilloring people by name (not that you suggested that). And would it be a thread within a forum or a separate forum, or a set of articles for different language pairs? And then there is the confidentiality issue - that strikes me as the hurdle that is practically insurmountable. (If I disguised my examples, they might turn out to be insufficiently disguised or so disguised that they are distorted and useless.)


[Edited at 2008-11-17 00:16 GMT]


 

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 09:39
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Warning: this is off-topic Nov 17, 2008

Terry Gilman wrote:

Vito, thank you for suggesting this and taking the brickbats with a sense of humor. I dislike "trashing" on people, but one thing that has bothered me here a bit is the complaining about bad translations without examples.


Providing examples would be a non-event in my case: they would be in Slovenian. I can handle this kind of a competition ("get me any on-line quote and I'll underbid it, spell checking and interpunction negotiable"). But they are just the top circle of this translational hell and we all have faced texts produced at lower levels. And there comes a moment, when you say "Am I am dreaming or is it really happening to me?" (quoting Rosemary). Anyhow, here's one example from the circle 7 or lower.

http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/79529-proofreading_an_instruction_manual_examples_of_sloppy_work_that_endangers_human_lives-.html

The case that made me boil over again last weekend was on a different level: it was not just one single black gem of a sentence as in the example above, it was the horrible consistency of it all...

A disclaimer: I was not serious with my suggestion. Just bitter. Difficile est Satyram non scribere...

[Edited at 2008-11-17 11:18 GMT]


 


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