Category Archives: General

Why Professional Translation is Needed – 5 Funny Examples

Underestimating the value of certain jobs is something common, mainly in the not-so-popular fields of work. The translation industry is not an exception. Many people still believe that some language classes at secondary school are enough to consider oneself bilingual and undertake the endeavor of translating. Others think that Google Translate can do the job. We can warn them about the perils of using just a machine and explain to them the reasons why a professional translator  ̶ with years of university education and experience ̶ should be in charge of this task, but, if they still want to look down upon translation as a profession and rely on Automated Translation, chances are they will regret. Some of these consequences may be serious as they imply political and legal matters, while others are simply funny. 

Careless use of automatic translation is so widespread that we have come up with a top 5 compilation of the latest public mistakes made by a machine and not corrected in time.

1. International singer Ariana Grande’s tattoo: at the end of January, the pop singer wanted to record her successful single called “7 rings” on her skin. Thus, she had a tattoo on her palm. It was intended to say “7 rings” in Japanese. However, after posting the picture of her tattoo, her fans told her that there was a spelling mistake and that it actually said “small barbecue grill”. Fortunately, she took it with humor and made a joke about the barbecue. As a lesson, before tattooing, always run a spell check or ask a native speaker, if possible.

 

2. Ecuadorian football player Bryan Cabezas: the failure of his arrival to Independiente, an Argentine football team, has become widely known not only due to the fans’ disappointment but also due to the great translation mistake: Bryan Heads. This sportsman was about to sign a contract to start playing in this Argentinian team, but his surname was translated into  English on his labor contract. After this huge mistake, negotiations came to an end, and Bryan stayed in Italy.

3. Olympic eggs: for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, the chefs of the Norwegian team wanted to order 1,500 eggs. However, when the delivery arrived, there seemed to be no end: they received 15,000 eggs. Some sources say that Google Translate was used to place this order; others, that there was a mistake in the number punctuation. Chefs were just happy to have the opportunity of returning 13,500 eggs. For sure they had egg white omelets, boiled, fried and scrambled eggs.

4. Speaking of deliveries, there is a very funny translation at the museum of the Sporting Gijon club. The text on the museum’s walls, which reads “Entrega, valor y compromiso”, was translated as “Delivery, value and commitment”.
This translation mistake became quite popular on social media after a picture was posted on Twitter and the mistake was indicated by a user. The problem here is that “delivery” is the literal translation of “entrega”, the first entry in Google Translate, and it does not make sense in this context (followed by the words “value” and “commitment”). It should have been better to write “dedication” or “determination”. Maybe, if the translation had been checked by a language professional, this mistake could have been avoided.

5. The automobile industry is not an exception. Companies are supposed to consider translation an investment both for selling but also for clients’ satisfaction. If you buy a brand new Nissan Frontier in Argentina, you’ll be able to read “Empuje larga: Reponga” on the board. Puzzled by this nonsense, we wondered what they meant by this phrase to find out it was a literal translation of “Press long: Reset” meaning you had to press and hold the button to reset the indicator to zero. Thus, this literal and wrong translation, not only hinders the user’s understanding of how to reset the indicator, but it also leaves the client with an unfavorable impression of the company.

The wrong perception of the importance of professional translation can lead to using only a machine or someone who can speak two languages, which can result in embarrassing mistakes or missed opportunities. It is true that when time and money are limited, automatic translation can be helpful. However, it is of high importance that a professional experienced translator participates in the translation process. At Baquero Translations, we take our profession seriously and do it with passion. We use machine translation, we post-edit, we translate, we edit, we proofread, we carry out QAs, we reformat, etc. to ensure excellence in the final product.

By: Andrea Chetti

CILE: Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española

The CILE (International Congress of Spanish Language) is a salient event about Spanish language and culture that gathers linguists, journalists, writers, translators from all around the world and all kinds of people interested in various aspects of Spanish. At this conference, topics related to the current state of affairs of Spanish language are discussed. The International Congress takes place every 3 years; and our city, Córdoba, has been chosen as the host for its eighth edition. From the 27th to the 30th of March, Córdoba will welcome many well-known figures, including the King and the Queen of Spain, who will be opening the congress together with the Argentine president Mauricio Macri. At this opening event, other famous people will be present, such as the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, and the Argentina-born poet and Portuguese translator Santiago Kovadloff.

The people and organizations that make this possible are the leading entity in Spanish vocabulary and grammar rules Real Academia Española (RAE), the Argentine Government, its Ministry of Education, the National University of Córdoba, and several other private and public institutions.

With the slogan “América y el futuro del español. Cultura y educación, tecnología y emprendimiento” (America and the Future of Spanish. Culture and Education, Technology and Entrepreneurship), the main focus will be on 5 topics: Spanish as a universal language, interculturalism, challenges of teaching Spanish in the XXI century, digital revolution, competitiveness of Spanish as a language for innovation and entrepreneurship. These 5 pillars will branch out into subtopics regarding the current position of Spanish, problems, and challenges.

Apart from the international conference, the “Festival de la Palabra” (The Word Festival) will also take place. This festival is held before and during the congress as preparation for CILE and complement of it. Through the “Festival de la Palabra”, the rich and varied art of Córdoba will be appreciated. Books will be presented, and there will be art exhibitions and entertainment, such as plays, concerts, and workshops for both adults and children. The underlying idea of it is to avoid reducing this event to just linguists and grammarians. Thus, by offering a great variety of activities from interactive games to music concerts without any cost, everybody can become involved.

CILE is a congress of paramount importance for the Spanish language as its key aim is to raise awareness of the responsibility the Government, various institutions and people have in fostering the language, bearing in mind that each language is part of cultural heritage. At Baquero Translations, we are glad to be in the city where there will be a rich exchange of ideas and hope that everybody gains a new perspective on different aspects of Spanish.

 

By: Andrea Chetti

The Role of Translation in Humanitarian Response

When it comes to world crises, translation plays a more essential role than it can be imagined. Communication between affected people and aid workers cannot be carried out properly without an accurate translation, mainly in places where the majority of citizens do not speak a lingua franca or common language. What is more, information provided by world campaigns regarding health, human rights, and environmental disasters can be misunderstood by or even seem incomprehensible to local people when it is not translated into their native language.

 

Fortunately, in the last years, there has been greater awareness of this issue, and many translators have helped individually or through official organizations. A clear example of a non-profit organization is Translators Without Borders (TWB), which works to demolish language barriers around the world. This means providing vital content in the corresponding native tongue using plain language so that a great number of people can understand it.

Some clear illustrations of how translators have contributed to humanitarian aid are mentioned below.

 

Preventive material for diseases, violation of human rights or world crises. People from minority language groups did not know much about their rights, prevention of certain diseases, nor about proper action to be taken in a natural disaster. However, nowadays, citizens in West Africa can read information about protection against Ebola issued by the World Health Organization in their native languages. These translated leaflets, videos and manuals contribute to preventing other outbreaks such as the one occurred in 2014.

 

Response material in natural disasters. When an earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, TWB quickly activated a response team of translators and editors in order to provide translated material for first aids. Translation also contributed to finding missing people and making information about relief and recovery available in Nepal’s native language.

 

Glossaries for accurate translations of key issues. These play an important role in helping interpreters, aid workers, and affected people to understand each other, standardizing concepts related to human rights and life-saving issues. For example, a Rohingya translator pointed out that, as there is no equivalent for the word “gender” in Rohingya, the expression “gender based-violence” had originally been translated as “violent women”, which conveys a totally different meaning.

 

The work of translators and editors is of paramount importance in giving a voice to vulnerable people and making life-saving information available. Baquero Translations is aware of the importance of professional translations to help various people and communities around the world.

 

By: Andrea Chetti

A Pillar of Culture: Traditional Festivals

One of the best ways to learn the culture of a country is through traditional festivals. In Argentina, there is a great variety of traditional celebrations carried out since the XIX century. Several cities in Argentina have, at least, one traditional festival, which can range from commemorating music to local drinks. Some of them are well known, such as the festival of the grape harvest in Mendoza, while others are only known and celebrated by the people who live in those regions.

In Córdoba, in the city of Jesús María, there is one main festival in January: Festival Nacional de Doma y Folklore (National Festival of Taming and Folk Music). This event consists of a horse-taming competition which, at the same time, is an entertainment. Also, it includes shows, such as concerts and traditional dances. The first celebration was held in 1966 with the aim of raising funds for schools. After half a century, this objective is still present and each year a great percentage of the profits from the festival —50% to 60%— is distributed among 20 schools.

In the west of Argentina, there is another national festival: “Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia” (National Festival of Grape Harvest). This annual celebration begins on the last Sunday of February and finishes on the first Saturday of March. It has four main events: Bendición de los frutos (Blessing of the Fruits) Vía blanca de las reinas (White Route of the Queens), Carrusel (Parade Float) and Acto central (Central Act). Bendición de los frutos marks the start of the celebration. Through this blessing, saints are thanked for the good harvest. Vía Blanca and Carrusel consist in a parade of the beauty princesses and queens from different cities that belong to the province of Mendoza. Each queen stands on a float designed according to the economy and symbols of the city she represents. In the Acto Central, the National Queen of Grape Harvest is chosen and there is a great show of typical music and dance. The grape harvest festival has been celebrated since 1936. The main reason was to commemorate not only the fantastic transformation from grape to wine but also all the hard work of the people at the vineyards, labs, and wineries.

In the north-east of the country, in the city of Gualeguaychú, province of Entre Rios, there is a highly popular event: Gualeguaychú’s Carnivals. These carnivals take place each year, at weekends in January and February. They involve a parade at which several official groups dance to cheerful music similar to the Brazilian samba. Each group has a theme, and has to design their carnival suits and floats accordingly. Their original designs are handmade, made with sequins and feathers, and are part of the entertainment. Similar to the festivals previously mentioned, competition is part of the celebration. Thus, the best design, dance, and group are chosen. Since the end of the XIX century, carnivals have evoked the joy in the heart of people.

In Córdoba, Baquero Translations’ place of origin, is now celebrating the Festival Nacional de Doma y Folklore. We recognize the importance of promoting national and regional traditions as they constitute a pivotal element in our country’s identity.

By: Andrea Chetti