Friday, April 28, 2006

Spring vs. Springtime explanation

An English speaking colleague has asked me to explain the problem with the Spring translation. The word spring has several meanings in English: the noun can mean a place where a river is born, or the river itself, a season of the year, or, in the technical world, a helical device that changes shape (like the springs in your mattress).

While I do not know what the translator actually understood, he/she obviously chose the wrong equivalent. This most likely happened because of his lack of knowledge of English.

This has consequences not only for the translator but for the supplier of the water and Air Canada, who chose to purchase mislabeled merchandise. A French speaking customer may deduce that the airline's committment to bilingualism is not genuine and decide, next time, take another airline.

As they say, "Get it right the first time".

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