miércoles, 23 de mayo de 2012

The "Same length as English, please" Fallacy

Ever heard that? "Please keep same length as English, please". Well, mmm... Maybe not... Put those words together with “display real estate” and you are heading for localization trouble...

Just an image...

We now that all those cool UX designers are just trying to do their job and, once they do it, they will throw it over the fence and it will eventually "get translated". However, many companies have already learnt the hard way what happens if you do not plan these things in advance...

Translators are also trying to do their job. However, having to abbreviate, leave out articles and prepositions, and churn out SMS-style gibberish does not help.

Let's do everyone involved a favour and let's work together. At the end of the day we are all in the same team... Aren't we?

PS: You can also read The Economist's article SURPRISE Lost (or gained) in translation.

2 comentarios:

  1. Wow, we Spanish translators enjoy ourselves the most. Bert Esselink said "Text
    expansion in languages such as French or German accounts for a 20 to 30% increase on the text length.", so now everyone quotes 25% for text expansion from English into European languages, and it is clear that this is not enough for Spanish. Fun.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jordi. A few Twitter friends have sent me some stats on their own work and I have put together some more based on SW projects. I will be posting them soon. Very interesting... Watch this space!