Let us remember some common, quick trivia questions:
a) Did the Opel/GM Nova car model become a standard joke in Spanish speaking countries because “no va” means “it doesn’t work” in Spanish?
b) Did another famous Japanese car manufacturer indeed change the name of its “Pajero” model because of its sexual connotations for Spanish speakers?
c) Did a Japanese video game become an Internet joke in the early 21st century by spawning the phrase “All your base are belong to us”?
d) Is true that when President John F. Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner” in Berlin in 1963, did it really sound like “I am a jelly donut”?
For answers, click here.
This is exactly our point. Translation is not a word-translation job: there is much more. There is word meaning, there is sentence meaning and there is a coherent message for the whole document (a catalogue, a proposal, a legal document, a software application, a web page to be visited by hundreds or thousands of people). Meaning goes beyond stringing words together, and conveying full messages means even recreating the feeling for your target audience – this is not an easy business.
It is said that when you need a foreign language translation, you need a translator who is a native speaker of the target language, but the translator must also understand the original perfectly in order to convey the meaning of the original perfectly. For speakers of other languages, a foreign language is a maze of new sounds, a labyrinth of subtleties and new concepts and expressions.
Most buyers and users of translation services often forget that a perfect result will come as a result of a team at work. This means the client knowing exactly what he/she expects of the translation, who the target readers are, budget and time. We only use native translators and proof-readers at Pangeanic, all with a deep knowledge of the language combination required. There’s over 17 years of experience and history in translation to help you translate and publish your content in full confidence your message gets across.
a) mostly no, but sometimes yes
d) it depends on how you listen to some German accents
Lesson: translation is not a word-by-word exercise.