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Bill Brooks

Translating photographer and client instruction pages

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I would suggest that Alamy make a start at translating their english website into multiple languages. Parts are in German but only parts.

 
Alamy is an english speaking UK company dealing internationally with both clients and photographers, some of whose first language is not english. This means that the subtleties of english language instruction from Alamy are lost for some clients and photographers. Lost on those clients and photographers who only speak english as a second language, or not at all.
 
I see confusion on the Forum because of the english only Alamy photographers instructions.
 
In Toronto the language of commerce is mainly english. However 46% of Toronto residents speak a language other than english at home. Bank branches in Toronto do their business mainly in english, but post multilingual signs saying in multiple languages “We can also serve you in the following languages” This phrase is translated into multiple languages depending on the staff language abilities in that particular branch.
 
Hospitals do the same thing, whenever possible.
 
We all know that bankers everywhere are a flinty hearted bunch, so the posting of multilingual signs, and dealing in multiple languages, must make economic sense beyond good public relations.
 
For further clarity I am not talking about translating keywords, but the simpler process of translating the instruction pages for both clients and photographers.
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I've just machine translated the sub guidelines into French and Spanish and it back-translates quite well.. Certainly good enough for the Spanish chap who's just asked the usual question about file size.

German isn't quite as good.

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I am German and I actually prefer sites in English, reason being that for more than 20 years I work in international environments, where the prime language happens to be English. 

But also I am in support of the request while a lot of Europeans may have studied English for only two or three years at school and learning English does not really improve photography skills. 

The downside is that somebody has got to pay for a translation and its maintenance.

In addition need to keep in mind that this is not only a one time translation but a constant effort to keep everything in every language up to date while maintaining the site. 

 

<sarcasm>

I believe Europe should really become a biligual community, where local language is still spoken in the countries but all Europeans shall have a second and common language. 

Naturally I would say that should be the language spoken natively by biggest population in Europe, German that is, but may now get killed and earn a few red points for this. 

</sarcasm>

Personally I can also befriend with the language spoke by most Europens as either a first or second language, that would probably be English I guess. 

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OT, it was interesting to find in Dresden that no-one over about 40 spoke much English because the communists taught them Russian as a second language, not English as in the West.

Of course every one under 40 spoke it very well.

<joke> How am I supposed to improve my German?</joke>.

(Of course Germans have a sense of humour. Just a different sort).

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Do local distributors have a role here?

 

dd

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I definitely prefer the English versions. A photographer selling from an international agency just need to master the language to a certain degree or even worse problems will be ahead with description, keywording and various issues.

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I definitely prefer the English versions. A photographer selling from an international agency just need to master the language to a certain degree or even worse problems will be ahead with description, keywording and various issues.

Sounds like this could turn into a business. 

Happy to take on and sell any German's professional pictures, who do not want to master English. 

I will take a cut though ;)

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I think my translation suggestion would open the door a little wider for Alamy to deal directly with clients and photographers in international markets with more culturally sensitive international images. It would also eliminate some of the fees that both photographers and Alamy have to pay the international distributors.

 
My suggestion is neither expensive nor time consuming for Alamy.

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English is the official language of air travel. And it's the unofficial language of the stock photo business. In the real world, these are practical considerations. "They" say that there are some 700 languages spoken in Lower Manhattan. Where would Alamy draw the line with additional languages? German, French, Spanish and Mandarin? What about those Hmong speakers? 

 

My son, who lives in Montreal and is fluent in French and English, spent over a year working in Germany, and he found that his fellow workers continuously used him to practice their English. 

 

Edo

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I was once told by a German that English is easier to learn than German, even for schoolchildren, because of its lack of case and different word endings. Interesting.

Edited by spacecadet

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Learning to speak English may not be so hard, but even for a native speaker, learning how to spell it is.

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English is the official language of air travel. And it's the unofficial language of the stock photo business. In the real world, these are practical considerations. "They" say that there are some 700 languages spoken in Lower Manhattan. Where would Alamy draw the line with additional languages? German, French, Spanish and Mandarin? What about those Hmong speakers? 

 

My son, who lives in Montreal and is fluent in French and English, spent over a year working in Germany, and he found that his fellow workers continuously used him to practice their English. 

 

Edo

Fully agree and can confirm.  Learning German in Germany as a native English speaker is challenging - Germans prefer to improve their English. :)

 

I was once told by a German that English is easier to learn than German, even for schoolchildren, because of its lack of case and different word endings. Interesting.

Yep, English is much easier and the English do not invent new words by concatenating substantives, which we Germans do every time. 

 

Learning to speak English may not be so hard, but even for a native speaker, learning how to spell it is.

I was once told a word and did not know if it spelt hare, hair or heir ...... 

Edited by hdh

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Ah yes, we're very good at homophones.

You, however, have the Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.

Edited by spacecadet

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Where would Alamy draw the line with additional languages? German, French, Spanish and Mandarin? 

My son, who lives in Montreal and is fluent in French and English, spent over a year working in Germany, and he found that his fellow workers continuously used him to practice their English. 

 

Edo

 

 

Edo all good suggestions for Alamy languages. I would add Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese. I am only suggesting that Alamy make a translation of some of their web pages, not the keywords.

 
The city of Toronto distributes garbage recycling and pickup instructions in English, French, Tamil, Chinese, Italian, Tagalog, Portuguese, and Spanish. The city does not have to do the translations, but it makes for a cleaner city. 
 
You point out your son living in Montreal and speaking french. It is a good thing he is fluent in both official languages of Canada, because to limit yourself only to english in Quebec is to limit your opportunities. You get more honey if you make an attempt to deal with people in their own language.
 
English is the unofficial language of the Stock Photo business, but I have been at stock photo meetings where translators were brought in for participants with only a rudimentary knowledge of English. It really helps when you are trying to get a signature on a contract, or to disallow the legal wiggle room inherent in “my english was not that good”.
 
There are some very big markets and some great photographers among other linguistic groups. Local international agents are usually small and only scratch the surface of the marketplace.
 
If Alamy is to be truly international, it needs to be multilingual like Edo’s son.
 
Here is a map with majority english speaking countries in dark blue, and substantial english knowledge countries  in light blue
940px-Anglospeak.svg.png

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Deleted as I discovered I was commenting on the German language instead of following the original idea of this thread. (It took some time, had to try three different browsers before I could remove the quoation box.)....

Edited by Niels Quist

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Deleted as I discovered I was commenting on the German language instead of following the original idea of this thread. (It took some time, had to try three different browsers before I could remove the quoation box.)....

 

 

Whoops! now I have the same problem. Will come back to it when I find out how. :huh:

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell

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