I was commenting all books coming out should at least have e-book version, because if a book was in data form, translation software can be used to translate anything, and it would promote better understanding of attitude of a culture on certain topics. My friend disagreed whole heartedly. He said, even working with the best of translators, ideas and explanations are often mis-translated, and that is translation from one Latin language to another. E-book, therefore, could not even be idea provoking source. Worse, it would give illusion to readers that they understand the thinking or attitude other country has on certain topic.
Okay, I agree with that.
Marketing research, off shoring, it is so easy to fall into the trap that we understand the other culture through book learning. We are reading stuff that is never 100% reliable. How do we become certain? Only through real communication with real people.
2 thoughts on “Translation”
You wrote this several years ago, and I found it now while searching something on this topic on Google. Funny, that 🙂
Very true. Language has a lot of nuances developed over centuries. Software can only go so far. It’s not too bad in shared-roots languages like Spanish or Italian, which have a lot in common with English. But Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian languages–software is not even close.
Hi Shanx! Thank you for your comment. I see what you mean by shared-roots languages. Do you think shared roots in writing is easiest to recognize? I find it fascinating that some of Asian written languages have one form in Chinese, yet they are mixed with each country’s own writing symbol system. Hangeul in Korea, hiragana/katakana in Japan.