Do you actually use the translated version of your software?
Thread poster: Anders O.

Anders O.  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Dec 29, 2015

A little fun question that just popped up in my head...

As for me, I do use the Norwegian version of iOS on my phone, and the Norwegian version of Windows.

Trados, Photoshop, Ableton... I use everything else in English.

Sometimes, I wonder whether my/our work is in vainicon_razz.gif

Do you use translated versions of your software?

[Edited at 2015-12-29 19:54 GMT]


Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
German to Swedish
+ ...
Never Dec 29, 2015

Never if I can avoid it.

Reason: Distractingly bad UI translations by CAT-based translators who don't have a clue about the technological context and have obviously never used the software.

(Typical recent example: the same translation being used for "screen" regardless if it refers to a computer screen or to a dot screen used in printing.)


Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:56
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Spotify Dec 29, 2015

I listen to music with Spotify but not in the original Swedish.



Anders O.  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
English to Norwegian
+ ...
I read you Dec 29, 2015

Joakim Braun wrote:

Distractingly bad UI translations by CAT-based translators

It's funny, today I received a task to machine translate and review the UI translation for a renowned computer company. The AT segments were so poor, it just had to be a Chinese dude using Google Translate who translated them.

In English, one segment I am talking about would (if reverse engineered) look like this:
"Clicking Home button if wanting Open applist for app"

Nevertheless, I feel like SDL Trados helps me a lot, although I do feel a lot of its features are a bit redundant.

[Edited at 2015-12-29 23:41 GMT]


Anders O.  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Translating music Dec 29, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

I listen to music with Spotify but not in the original Swedish.


This is what happens when you translate Swedish music:


Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Never Dec 29, 2015

I have to follow the changes that are constantly being made to English interfaces. In my world the English interface is the standard and all other languages follow.



R Farhat  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Member (2004)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Never! Dec 29, 2015


A very interesting question.

Be it the OS, applications, TMs, including mobile phone and.. Proz. All in standard English.


Meta Arkadia
Local time: 23:56
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Same here: Never Dec 30, 2015

I suppose one of the reasons could be that there were no other languages in the menus of the OS and applications at first, but I'm afraid I can't remember (1987 is a long time ago).

But I do have a problem with it: I actively use three languages on a daily basis, and if I want to dictate in one of them, I only know the commands in English, I can guess them in Dutch, but in Bahasa Indonesia? And I also don't know what happens if you dictate in a language other than English in an app that only provides an interface in English?

Worries. Next year will be better. For all of us.




Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 18:56
English to Russian
+ ...
Never Dec 30, 2015

Unfortunately, the prevailing rates paid for software localization are very low, and I suspect that industrial associations are to blame for that because of their over-reliance on technology as a replacement for human brain. Accordingly, this industry is dominated by half-baked professionals like those described by Joakim. To illustrate the extent of negligence, sometimes the localizers don't even check that the translated string will fit into its allotted place at all resonable settings of the user interface. Sometimes it's even worse. A few years ago, I asked one civil engineer whether she and her colleagues use a localized version of a major CAD program (yes, the most popular one, No. 1 worldwide), and she said it was impossible because some functions were totally unusable in the localized version.


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Sometimes Dec 30, 2015

The advantage when using English versions is that you can easily find help when something goes wrong, and the explanations are easy to follow. But I haven't seen any bad translations in Finnish or German. Knowing translated systems is sometimes necessary when translating technical manuals for Windows-applications. At least the basic commands should be familiar.


Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
English to Estonian
+ ...
Not often Dec 30, 2015

Usually not because GUI translations are often poor quality due to bad engineering or bad translation.

Examples of bad engineering:
- same UI string pulled to multiple places where EN would be the same, but translation would differ (e.g. the word "screen" that was mentioned by Joakim. For example screen would have different translations in ET when meaning "display" and when meaning "monitor")
- target grammar breaks the translation (e.g. thinking that every language adds a simple suffix to distinguish singular/plural; or thinking that translation for points in "X points" would be the same as in "points" in every language)

Example bad translation reasons
- No context provided and client doesn't care
- No sense checks afterwards
- Cheap translators that can't tell a bus (vehicle) from bus (communication system)
- Awful EN source quality as it was itself translated cheaply from French or Chinese or German
- Bad project management and utilizing TM matching wrong (e.g. thinking that "Click to close " ("Click OK to close the window") would give great results in a language that has 28 different ways to write each noun. (I don't have one for Estonian, but you can get an idea from Finnish

I do have to use Google in my native language though, because otherwise I cannot filter search results by language. This creates its own problems: for some reason Google thinks it's a good idea to show me pages without Estonian translations in Finnish instead of defaulting back to English.

[Edited at 2015-12-30 11:28 GMT]


Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Always in English Dec 30, 2015

I've been living in Spain since 1977 and I speak Spanish or Catalan 99% of the time, so I try to get as much English input as possible.

I even make a conscious effort to think in English when I'm cooking, cleaning, shopping, driving, etc.


B. D. Laux  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
Member (2009)
German to Norwegian
+ ...
Yes I do Dec 31, 2015

Actually, I do (Microsoft Office, iPhone, Facebook, sometimes the GPS in the car). Since I live in Germany, I try to use Norwegian as much as possible. Sometimes it is also useful for my work, when I for instance need the iPhone terminology.


Adrien Esparron
Local time: 18:56
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Most of the time Dec 31, 2015

The first reason why, as a localization specialist, is that all original "English" supposed softwares are not written by native English developers and are often not "understandable" (a reason why localisations are sometimes much better than the originals...).

A second reason is that it is also often recommended to use (when possible) the same language as the OS one.

A third could be, but not relevant here because you write in English and that we are reading you in English, is that a lot of people do not know a word of English... They have no choice.

For the possible poor quality, I must admit that a poor localized soft is most of the time not worth using it.

May I ask which version are you using?

Season's greetings!


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Windows, Word, Powerpoint Jan 3, 2016

I use the Danish versions of the Microsoft package.
My Acrobat is also at least partially Danish.

They cope with the extra letters in the alphabet, and are reasonably well localised.

However, as my native = target language is English, I use the English versions for most things.


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Do you actually use the translated version of your software?

Advanced search

Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search