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Everything posted by eulenspiegel

  1. Definitely get a human native speaker of the target language. Nothing else, not even a fluent foreigner, will work. It's going to cost you! There are so many examples of almost right translations out there to warn you. I had a female friend with reasonable English say to me "My husband won't sleep with me any more." She meant that he was sleeping on the couch while she was sick. Tony Blair was speaking to the French media in French, and trying to say that he found many of their prime minister's policies attractive. What he actually said was more like "I desire your prime minister in many positions." Close, but not quite right. If it needs to be right it needs to be a native speaker.
  2. I've had a go at this and got nowhere. I think the general-purpose sites like odesk, freelancer, guru etc. are the worst bet. There are specialised sites like translatorscafe and proz where at least there is a community of actual translators. I don't have any qualifications beyond fluency in two languages. On the two sites I mentioned you can help translate tricky phrases or words in a help forum and so build some status in the group. That being said, the only job I ever got out of it was a scammer who wanted a small sample translated first, and then vanished, presumably to collate her set of "small samples" fornher actual client. I shudder to think what that looked like!
  3. I think Google translate is a great tool for a first pass. It gives a rough translation you can go through and fix up. It's not much use after that. I find it often helps with finding words that are on the tip of my tounge. The very early AI translators tried to use rules and were hopeless. Google is instead running off a huge database of translations it has found all over the web. This makes it a lot better. The other nice thing for programmers is that it has an API so it can be built into other sites or apps. There's a free database at www.linguee.de which I find very helpful between German and English when I'm truly stuck.
  4. You want "lie" not "lay". Lay is transitive. A *very* common mistake. I can't think of a close translation. "This pizza is to die for!" works, but it's a very different image. EDIT Oh, yes, a new sentence. Umm. "Ja, dann sind meine Scheibenwischer eventuell defekt."
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