Se habla español, Charu Chandra?



  • Background:  My company outsources some software development to India.  I am generally in charge of QA/QC.  We release some products in both English & Spanish versions.

    My superiors think that, in theory, all that needs to be done is that the Indian developers will have to take our translations (which we provide them with both in PDF and MS Word format) and just "drop them into" the previously developed English software.

    Because it's only merely "dropping in" the translations, the translated software doesn't need to go through a very extensive QC & QA process - and the burden of doing QC/QA should be on the Indian company we outsource to.  After all, if the English version made it through our review okay, surely the same software in a different language will be perfectly fine; no need to waste our time & money reviewing the same software twice.

    Never mind the fact that the translations we have provided in the past were not without flaws, seeing them in context made some invalid, the Indian developers have no idea what the Spanish text actually says and they have put things in the wrong place, the Indian developers have trouble getting the accented characters correct (if they don't forget to put in the accents all together, or use a font or character encoding that does not support them), and the modifications made to the software to accommodate the translated text (which is often a lot longer than the original English) have broken some aspects of the functionality.

    I've been assured that the outside development firm has agreed to take on the task of doing most of the QA/QC themselves.  To be fair, on our last project, the Indian developers did discover
    approx. 70 bugs/issues or so themselves, through their internal QA/QC process. 
    Of course, my team discovered 1000+.  And the upcoming volume of projects in 2011-2013 is projected to be 10+ times larger than all of our previous ones combined.

    I have been told that I won't have to worry about  QA/QC as much going forward for both English & Spanish products - and that I should not be spending much of my time anymore on QA/QC.  The outsourced development firm will take care of it.

    Yes.  I am quite sure that will be the case.

    Just as I am quite sure I'll end up having to rush through the QA/QC at the last minute because the software will be filled with bugs and no time will have been scheduled for in-house software review, the budget won't be there to hire freelancers, deadlines will be missed which will push back related product release dates, and there will be a slew of bug reports and re-releases after the software goes out to customers, costing us more time and money than if we did proper software review in-house to begin with.

    I do like sweeping in to save the day (and getting paid time-and-a-half as I clean up the mess); but, it would be nice if they sometimes just listened to my recommendations in the first place.  sigh


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I work at a major international corporation and every web page we build has 23 distinct localized versions. Of course, the designer only ever gives me comps in English, and loves layouts where the text is nice and snug with no room to grow; also, layouts that are very fixed in dimensions (e.g. fixed background images). Invariably I produce an English web page, that then gets localized by our various content teams, and then the designer has to see how the text has no hope of ever fitting because it is three times as long as it was in English, so he gives me a revised design for several of the languages, and I have to implement each one with special-case rules.

    I would think that maybe after the twentieth web page following this exact same procedure, the designer might catch on. He hasn't.



  • Maybe you should give the designer some help?

    And with help I mean beat in the fact that computers are good at doing automated layout and that he should use it.



  • Why not simply do what I do when developing programs [I am based in New York City fwiw] that will be localized later in the process [typically by client teams]. Simply "babblefish" the code to get (poor) translations into each of the targeted languages (include "potential" languages too) and measure the textspace required. Sure, the translations will be rotten and useless if you want a proffesional result, but I have found that it solves the problem 95%+ of the time.



  • Its 24.

    Remember that show? I loved it!

    But there was one common theme that was predictable:

    Problem arises.

    Jack Bauer asses problem and makes recommendations.

    Some well meaning but inexperienced superior ignores Jack.

    It really hits the fan now!

    They still don't listen to Jack.

    Eventually Jack saves the day and those in the know are very grateful.

    Think of all the lives that would have been saved if they had just listened to Jack Bauer.


    Why do people hire us for our expertise, then refuse to listen to suggestions that anyone with the smallest amount of common sense would understand? Why do they not listen to Jack Bauer? Think of all the budget and effort that would be saved if they did.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    I work at a major international corporation and every web page we build has 23 distinct localized versions. Of course, the designer only ever gives me comps in English, and loves layouts where the text is nice and snug with no room to grow; also, layouts that are very fixed in dimensions (e.g. fixed background images). Invariably I produce an English web page, that then gets localized by our various content teams, and then the designer has to see how the text has no hope of ever fitting because it is three times as long as it was in English, so he gives me a revised design for several of the languages, and I have to implement each one with special-case rules.

    I would think that maybe after the twentieth web page following this exact same procedure, the designer might catch on. He hasn't.

    The designer at my work is similar, though I am training him to be better. He hates orphaned words (where a word is by itself on a line at the end of a paragraph) so much that he'll even put in <br>s to make it two words. Though what normally happens is windows will render it differently to his Mac, or there is some fluidity, making the entire idea useless anyway. More than once we've just put the entire page into an image to get exactly his Photoshop layout! I'm trying to move him away from pixel based layout but he is too stuck in his ways. He'll specify a font or image in pixels with no option to scale them, but he runs his 27inch iMac at 1920x1080: non-native so is scaled!



  • @Zemm said:

    he runs his 27inch iMac at 1920x1080: non-native so is scaled!
     

    I looked up the 27" spec. That's scaled to 1.333..

    It's not deformed, but how does that not look like blurry shit?

    @Zemm said:

    he is too stuck in his ways.

    Go to the manager, or send his shit back. No worker is so "set in his ways" that a firm slap to the cheek doesn't fix it. My designer's worst crimes are using raster layers where vector layers are better suited, and not aligning the vectors to the pixels, making it harder to slice. Easily tweaked. For other things, I talked to him. And then life was better.

     



  • @somedude said:

    Why do people hire us for our expertise, then refuse to listen to suggestions that anyone with the smallest amount of common sense would understand?
    Because IT people are very bad at communication, generally. Most techies don't understand how non-technical people think, and find it extremely hard to make themselves understood.



  • @intertravel said:

    @somedude said:
    Why do people hire us for our expertise, then refuse to listen to suggestions that anyone with the smallest amount of common sense would understand?
    Because IT people are very bad at communication, generally. Most techies don't understand how non-technical people think, and find it extremely hard to make themselves understood.

    Ding ding ding! You are correct.

    The entire web analytics industry is mostly a gap-bridger between marketing people and technical people. Google Analytics doesn't show you anything you don't already have in your web logs... if only you knew how to read your web logs!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @intertravel said:
    @somedude said:
    Why do people hire us for our expertise, then refuse to listen to suggestions that anyone with the smallest amount of common sense would understand?
    Because IT people are very bad at communication, generally. Most techies don't understand how non-technical people think, and find it extremely hard to make themselves understood.

    Ding ding ding! You are correct.

    The entire web analytics industry is mostly a gap-bridger between marketing people and technical people. Google Analytics doesn't show you anything you don't already have in your web logs... if only you knew how to read your web logs!

    I'm not talking about that kind of stuff. Of course someone from marketing can't read their logs. I am talking about the situations more like this:


    "No really, using MS Access for our online application is a very very very bad idea. We absolutely positively should not do it. Never."
    Manager orders MS Access to be used anyway.
    App is deployed. Performance is as the programmer warned. At this point, Mr Manager probably orders purchaser of all upgraded servers to fix the problem.

    And the programmer probably gets called to the carpet or fired.



  • @blakeyrat said:


    "No really, using MS Access for our online application is a very very very bad idea. We absolutely positively should not do it. Never." Manager orders MS Access to be used anyway. App is deployed. Performance is as the programmer warned. At this point, Mr Manager probably orders purchaser of all upgraded servers to fix the problem.

    And the programmer probably gets called to the carpet or fired.

     Where I see the WTF here, this that the programmer agreed to do the work if it was such a bad Idea. If a person goes to a doctor and says "I want my healty lliver removed", the doctor is going to refuse, no matter how persuasive the person is. If a person goes to a CPA, and requests that known fradulent documents are files, the CPA will refuse (excluding completely unethical ones who would be subject to severe legal reprocussions if caught). It is simply a matter of professionalism.

    WHY does the same not exist in the software industry???? Developers want to be treated as "professionals" and not "drones", but regularly violate "professional" standards.

     ps: I agree that Access was (is?) abused horribly. But contrary to much of the opinion here, I have been involved with significant business applications (multi-user, large DB, major logic) that was developed (not thrown together) using Access (going all the way back to Access 2.0) that were stable, performant, and well maintained.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

     Where I see the WTF here, this that the programmer agreed to do the work
    if it was such a bad Idea.
    Try real life sometime.



    I've spent the last 2 weeks coding an SNMP caching proxy (among other things.)



    Because I was told to.



    No "shouldn't the client cope with offline devices" or "what if the client ends up with 7 day old data" or the implied "you're asking for something that breaks the whole idea of SNMP" seemed to have any impact. I get paid for it though. And I've found a few minor WTF's in net-snmp through it.



  • @PJH said:

    ...Because I was told to. .

    "I was just following orders" - didn't work then, shouldn't work now. Barring a few exceptions, an employee is free to tell their boss that they will not engage in what they believe to be unprofessional activity, clean their desk and leave.

     I've been there, and that is eactly what I did. These days when I engage with a client, it is known right up front that since I am putting my (company's) name on the line, all work will be done to a standard so that I would be glad to see the results published [obviously the reality of disclosure/publication is subject to NDA and IP issues]

     



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    @blakeyrat said:


    "No really, using MS Access for our online application is a very very very bad idea. We absolutely positively should not do it. Never." Manager orders MS Access to be used anyway. App is deployed. Performance is as the programmer warned. At this point, Mr Manager probably orders purchaser of all upgraded servers to fix the problem.

    And the programmer probably gets called to the carpet or fired.

     Where I see the WTF here, this that the programmer agreed to do the work if it was such a bad Idea. If a person goes to a doctor and says "I want my healty lliver removed", the doctor is going to refuse, no matter how persuasive the person is. If a person goes to a CPA, and requests that known fradulent documents are files, the CPA will refuse (excluding completely unethical ones who would be subject to severe legal reprocussions if caught). It is simply a matter of professionalism.

    WHY does the same not exist in the software industry???? Developers want to be treated as "professionals" and not "drones", but regularly violate "professional" standards.

     ps: I agree that Access was (is?) abused horribly. But contrary to much of the opinion here, I have been involved with significant business applications (multi-user, large DB, major logic) that was developed (not thrown together) using Access (going all the way back to Access 2.0) that were stable, performant, and well maintained.

    Because there are (or can be) legal consequences for doctors and accountants for being unprofessional. There are no legal consequences for developers expect in some rare cases (like developing a virus is illegal in Finland), only for the company involved. And if the company (=developer's manager) tells to do X even if developer can tell it's a bad idea, he can either do it or get his final check (in which case someone else will do it).



  • @Buzer said:

    Because there are (or can be) legal consequences for doctors and accountants for being unprofessional. There are no legal consequences for developers expect in some rare cases (like developing a virus is illegal in Finland), only for the company involved. And if the company (=developer's manager) tells to do X even if developer can tell it's a bad idea, he can either do it or get his final check (in which case someone else will do it).

    Legal ramifications are relatively new [a few hundred years], the ethics date back at least 2400 years to the Hippocratic oath.

    I don't buy the "I can do it, or someone else will"...Would you use this same argument to rob a store in a bad neighborhood that had no security, simply because it is highly likely that it will be robbed by someone else in the near future?

    If more people made the decision to "get his final check" and seek employment at a firm with better professional practices, the situation would change. "the boss" would eventually be fired (because everyone kept resigning within a short period of being hired).

     



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    an employee is free to tell their boss that they will not engage in what they believe to be unprofessional activity, clean their desk and leave.
     

    Unfortunately, an employee is no such thing. It is not easy to quit and get a new job. There are strong effects on one's life if one quits and tries to get a new job. You appear to trivialize that; making it seem as though getting a job is the same as getting a loaf of bread. It's not a very realistic point of view.



  • @dhromed said:

    Unfortunately, an employee is no such thing. It is not easy to quit and get a new job. There are strong effects on one's life if one quits and tries to get a new job. You appear to trivialize that; making it seem as though getting a job is the same as getting a loaf of bread. It's not a very realistic point of view.

     I never said (or even implied) that getting a new job was easy, especially in todays economy. The closest I came was mentioning "seeking" (not finding) another job. What I do believe is that being able to go to bed at night knowing you did something that you can take (healthy) prinde in is worth more to me than any paycheck.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    What I do believe is that being able to go to bed at night knowing you did something that you can take (healthy) prinde in is worth more to me than any paycheck.
     

    +1



  • @somedude said:

    "No really, using MS Access for our online application is a very very very bad idea. We absolutely positively should not do it. Never."
    Manager orders MS Access to be used anyway.
    App is deployed. Performance is as the programmer warned. At this point, Mr Manager probably orders purchaser of all upgraded servers to fix the problem.

    I wonder how much of that is our fault as an industry for being bad at writing CBA (cost-benefit analysis) documents? The answer to the above situation should be "here is the CBA, see how choosing MS Access now will cost the company $X00,000 in the next three years."

    @somedude said:

    And the programmer probably gets called to the carpet or fired.
     

    This makes me both angry and sympathetic. Angry because it's not the programers fault - coders don't set policy, they implement it. The policy-makers are the ones who should be called on the carpet or fired. Sadly, they seldom are.

    Sympathetic because a lot of skilled, friendly, nice people don't have the ability to stand up to their boss and say "fuck that, your decision caused this mess, not mine, you are the one who should be fired, here is my CBA from two years ago, here is your email saying you are going to ignore my recommendation, now lets go talk to your boss about who cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars!". That takes balls and courage and self-confidence and the lack of a family depending on your paycheck to eat. Many of us can't say those things to our boss outside our imagination.



  • Ah, Spanish mistranslations. In the early 90's, it meant that Latin America would get Spain-centric translations, so Computers were called sorting machines (ordenador), files called index cards (ficheros) and other WTFy cases of TRANSLATION FAIL.

    But during the late 90's, some start-ups from the dot-com era started doing their own Spanish translation, which I increasingly suspected was actually Altavista's Babelfish at work. The result? A lot of programs and a couple of sites started reading like "All your base are belong to us" with hilarious results.

    One example: GetRight's "00:15:00 left" tooltip that showed the time remaining until your download was complete read "00:15:00 izquierda" in Spanish (00:15:00 [to the] left). Some translations were so screwed up that they were only readable by those who already knew English and thus would understand that things like "hablo para atrás" (talk backwards) actually means "devuelvo la llamada" (call you back).

    I've also seen the same blunder the other way, of course: "Indecorous proposal". Fun reading!



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    One example: GetRight's "00:15:00 left" tooltip that showed the time remaining until your download was complete read "00:15:00 izquierda" in Spanish (00:15:00 [to the] left). Some translations were so screwed up that they were only readable by those who already knew English and thus would understand that things like "hablo para atrás" (talk backwards) actually means "devuelvo la llamada" (call you back).
    Heh, this reminded me of how the Slovenian translation of "Online" in Disk management varies between XP, Vista and 7 - in XP, this was translated as "Available", which is the correct translation. Vista changed this to "In Internet", and 7 changed it again, to "On the web", both of which can be used as translation of Online, but definitely not in this context.


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