Lost in Translation


Posted by wendy | Posted in knit, work | Posted on 11-09-2007

I am working on a side project translating Ning into Traditional Chinese.

It’s not as impressive as it sounds. For one thing, bulk of the translation was done and converted from the Simplified Chinese version. My job for the older strings is to make sure they make sense for people who is used to Traditional Chinese. Well, and in the latest release a whole bunch of new strings were introduced, so now I have to make sure they are translated.

It’s not hard at all to translate the site. We made this awesome language editor. From this tool, you can search, find out what is translated, and what is not, etc. The changes happens as soon as you commit in the language editor. So you can check as you go. In addition, if you want to take your translation to another network, just download the translation and upload it to a different network. And if you mess up, we have back ups.


But… translation is still hard. I have to scour through the files to make sure the words are used make sense. That’s the tough part, because I don’t really know the technical terms in Chinese. I have no clue how to translate blog, html code, widgets, etc. I have to look them up, and different people use these terms differently. ACK!

What I found the hardest is translating sentences. You can have all the right words, but together they make no sense. Direct translation from English to Chinese just doesn’t work. You have to finesse some culture aspect into it.

What I end up discovering is that Yahoo/Flickr Taiwan is incredible in terms of translation. The translation looks like someone in Taiwan wrote it rather than some US person (i.e. some one like me) using a automated translation tool.

I always have a lot of respect for GOOD translators.

When I was at Borland testing i18n version of JBuilder, we had an automated translated tool. You can translate help file in to French and German. We used to translate into one of these language and then translate back to English. It’s great fun just to see how much it changes between each transformation.

Looking at the automated translation tool (i.e. this one from google : Google Translator), things have not changed much since then. There’s no substitute (yet) for having a human translator.

Enough about work. It’s been a while since I post about my knitting. Here’s one of my latest finished project.

What do you think?

Luv Gun

Fully Loaded and ready to go!
Loaded Luv Gun

My new bag!


Posted by wendy | Posted in work | Posted on 29-08-2007

I love bags. I didn’t used to like them, but now I do for some reason. One of my ex-interns loves bags and shoes as well. Her theory was that it is easier to buy bags and shoes. You don’t have to take clothes off to try them on and no matter how much weight you gain or lose, the bags/shoes are always there for you. They will always love you. Better than any boyfriends she says.

To tell you the truth, I don’t even know why I like bags. I don’t carry purses/bags on my day to day life. I don’t even carry wallet sometimes. I just stuff all my cash in my pocket.

So, today as I was in the supply closet getting a pen, I saw the bags of all bags. Not just any bags, but special Ning bags. I have seen them floating around in the office, and never knew where I could get one. Secretly I am jealous of people who owned these bags. It’s like they have their secret club!

As I was eyeing them and making an plan to liberate one from the supply closet, Scott walks in. I think he went in there to get pens as well. I jokingly said to him I was thinking of breaking one of the bags out of the supply closet. He said no need, just ask Sara.

I was not serious when I said that. I don’t like it when people take stuff without asking so I was not about to take stuff without asking for one. I wanted one but I didn’t want to ask for one (I am shy). I was prepared to walk away from my lovely, lovely bag and be sad and lonely without it.

But, this story has a happy ending! Scott asked Sara, and Sara said ok. Now I have a brand new Ning bag!

Scott is the hero of this story.

Now I am in the club!

I feel so special!

My Bag