Sunday, July 20

Blogger in Bahasa Malaysia/ Native Language Evolution

Blog Bahasa Malaysia

Blogger is finally out in Bahasa Malaysia. As announced in the Blogger Buzz, blogger has a large following in Malaysia, I guess much much larger than wordpress, so its about time. After Gmail which is out in both Tamil and Malay (a many other native languages), I suppose this is the second product of Google in Malay.

The translation is pretty good if not excellent, and yeh well some of you know why I always say this for Tamil and Malay translations of web related stuff :P , but I can't still understand why some terms still doesn't follow Industry standards or the current trend that's already defined and being used as...umm...Industry standards!!!. And some a downright funny: 'Blogger on the Go - Blogger tak henti henti sibuk'? what the? Blogger on the Go means mobile blogging and not blogger thats busy which the Malay translation here refers to. It just doesn't make sense! Oh well, maybe they would iron this out soon, language translations have cycles (normally) and big co's usually update the mass regularly.

And Something Else

As a translation philosophy, the translators output or work should always be considered the ultimate result and the reviewers 'suggestions' must prove indisputably that the original translation is wrong (remember; not even stylistically different, or sound different or is used differently by 'some' native users), it must be outright wrong. And when the cycle of translation fails to meet this simple philosophy, we have weird phrases that stick out as sore thumbs in an otherwise clear and good effort. Not to say that they're (the reviewers) wrong, but I guess I just love what I'm doing now to know that there's so much corporate influences and cost crunches that can turn translations into zombie texts...stiff and unfriendly.

With native languages featuring prominently in product expansions for nearly all the important web and telecommunication companies, we could yet again see the revival(?) of local languages. Surely this is a fresh massive effort (which actually started a 5 or 6 years back in small scales) to encourage better communication of ideas. It all boils down to web advertisement and localized adverts in native languages. There is a huge market out there and native language supports are important to capture the niche markets, as well as even the most stubborn customers. In all ways this is good because we get to reach out to our own intended audiences as well, be it for work or socializing. Its a tool and the tool is to be exploited for the greater benefits.

Encouraging native language proficiency is hard for the current generation., trying to impose it to them is harder. English has become the first language for many, and it must be, for reasons that only time will tell. But native languages represents our culture and the conservation of dying cultures. Think of it as a tie in, no language no communication and no culture. And no, digital cameras will not save cultures or colors. We wont get another chance like this if we are conveniently willing to miss out on language tools. We must demand for the language tools to be made for us. As always, users can at anytime switch back to English and be comfortable with what they have. The focus here would then be for the task at hand solely, to blog or to work or to business. But native language support enables us to see how our own languages evolve to meet the technological transcendence, which is happening fast....too fast.

Lets not be left behind :)

[#] BBD, dude we're on air! LOL...some of it are I guess. hehehhe.


Solitaire said...

Haha!! Are you trying to make more money?

Kavi said...

Language is a means to a greater end. When we understand that, everything else falls by the wayside.

And each language represents a civilisation. A way of being. A tradition.

To adapt it to new methodologies like blogs and wikis, is always going to have a deep impact !

Anonymous said...

BBD - And so starts the roller coaster :)

Prof Wizenheimer said...

Language is one of the most powerful weapons on the planet that is used to separate and isolate us. While it is understandable that tradition dictates that everyone's mother tongue must be preserved it does little to promote global unity.

In the Old Testament God separated humans at the Tower of Babel because they all spoke one language and could accomplish 'anything' and apparently that must have included proving that they had made HIM up?

What I find interesting is that the global village ideal is only desirable to a small percentage of people. Our species is so poorly educated that we look at others as threatening enemies instead of helpful the possibility that we will someday be one, big, happy family is utter bullsh*t. Never happen.

It would help if everyone got on board by learning BBC proper English but government leaders want to keep control of 'their' populations and make sure that they don't get any fancy ideas about Freedom.

xenobiologista said...

Imagine a language as a 2D matrix of dots (words). A sentence is a string of connected points, which forms a pattern.

Then imagine all the languages in the world as a 3D stack of these 2D matrices. Translating a single word is a matter of finding a point in the second language that's closest to the point in the first language. However, when translating whole ideas, it may be more desirable to find a string of dots that forms a more similar pattern to the original (the "sense" of a sentence or the concept behind a phrase), rather than translating the words in the sentence singly and stringing them together.

Ignoring context and sense is what gives you stuff like the "tak henti-henti sibuk". Basic fluency is not enough, translators should be really literate in both languages.

Ghost Particle said...

[sol] keep it down da...hehehe :P

[kavi] very nice observation sar. i agree with you. I hope this is a small start to finally create unity in diversity. and ensure tradition and modernity necessities rather than far ends of the same technological line.

[bbd] LOL...true true...tomorrow the world.

[Wizenheimer] this is a true real world situation. especially your last line, rule by fear, cut of information. in todays world that is harder to do. thank god to the internet, the masses are actually waking up, finally. what we have here are tools, but to create unity in diversity is not easy. this is the first step i suppose.

//What I find interesting is that the global village ideal is only desirable to a small percentage of people//

this is another pain in the process of translations, so little people will adopt it anyway. I always believe this news should come up in newspapers to tell people a new service is available for them.

And English is exactly what everyone must know, even to appreciate their own language. there is no question here. I like this comment alot.


[xenobiologista] Excellent learning alot from this post's feedback.

//However, when translating whole ideas, it may be more desirable to find a string of dots that forms a more similar pattern to the original.../ I wish alot more translators take this effort. But the situation is when the translator do take the effort, the clients and the testers has the upper hand. what they think is correct in their definition of the project, will make ours wrong. and no amount of argument changes that. its a sad predicament actually.

and its true that translators are more retro ground. when new ones like me crop up, those old translators are like walls who prevent the assimilation of broad ideas because they still think in the single word one track translation method.

welcome here, hope you come back for more.