Why the World still needs translators II

How about using English globally? It makes life easier, you just turn on your translating machine (or even not if English is your language) and start conquering the World.

Now, yes, English has turned to be a fantastic instrument of international communication. Why not French or German? Because English is, put it that way, user-oriented, while the other two are rather complex languages for the sake of (not always needed) precision.

So, just like in the cuisine, English has become a kind of universal fast-food solution for linguistic bridging. Master it sufficiently and you need no translator to pay.

Does it hit the point? Yes, to a certain extent.

Compare it to your local restaurant and imagine the only meal being served there from tomorrow on is the Big Mac. It'll do to a certain degree, but sometimes you just look for a tad more.

As said last week, there are great differences within Europe in how we formulate things. Mentalities are different from one corner of the old continent to the other. Tastes are different. Value sets are different.

If you write »Listen, I have a business that can really help you earn millions instantly«, it looks quite plausible in the USA, less so in the UK – but try to translate this directly into German and mail it to some prominent Bavarian businesses. You'll be instantly erased from the market.

On the other hand, how does »We strive for satisfaction of our clients« sound to you in English? A sound reaction to this lovely piece of Slovene marketing would be »Of course you do, what else on Earth are you there for? «. Get lost if you’ve got nothing else to tell.

Both marketing claims above are genuine, by the way.

Your cross-European communication will always turn better when you hire a translator who knows how things turn right there where you want to hit your target. It will help if you find one who, in addition to mastering your target’s language, has some knowledge on your particular field of activity, your target market's local culture and preferences.

Having just returned from one of the World's most amazing place to observe this, I’ll report more about next week, plus what Jan Palach has to do with it.

Take care and read you next Friday!