Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Language - it's a scream!

I was asked earlier today to help a friend of a friend of a friend to help with a translation into English of a German website for migrants, amongst others including social services terminology.

It was very interesting, and very hard - there are ideas that foreigners just cannot conceptualise! Like 'Baby Klappe' - which is a box at the side of a maternity hospital where mothers wishing to abandon their new-borns can pop the baby, secure in the knowledge that the box will be checked every 15 minutes or so. Much demand for this then, is there? Though it's an easy solution to an awful problem. 'Familienkasse' is not a 'family cash box', but a kind of insurance which pays child benefit. 'Jugendweihe' - only in the former DDR is a kind of secular confirmation event for young people; I wonder what people will make of the 'initiation to adulthood' translation - it should not involve physical pain.

However, for a total scream you should click on my new buttons, if they exist in your own language, and read the translation by Google. You'll not recover for a long time!


Tristano said...

You are right.But we have to study also other cultures.
Best Regards

violainvilnius said...

Indeed we should - but even this software produces some very 'interesting' translations which may not aid mutual understanding..