While my rudimentary French and Spanish may be enough to get me a room for the night in a Paris or Madrid hotel, my foreign-language skills leave a lot to be desired. But still, it amuses me when I see translations such as this, where the penman has clearly used a Spanish>English dictionary to translate their message very literally.
It’s the bane of every blogger. Comment spam, blog spam…whatever you want to call it, has reached epidemic proportions. Bloggers from all backgrounds set aside time to sift through the steady stream of pseudo-comments that sit waiting for ‘approval’.
Most experienced bloggers can spot a counterfeit comment from a hundred yards. The grammar is normally passable, and it often adopts a rather complimentary approach, but it just never seems quite right.
A quick perusal of the thousand-odd comments awaiting approval on my own blog (most of the comments will never see the light of day, I must add…), reveals where the spammers are going wrong.
To read more on this, check out my piece over at The Next Web: ¿Habla Spamglish? Speaking the language of spambots.
That said, the internet has spawned the likes of Google Translate to help those seeking to converse with people of other linguistic persuasions. But let’s face it, online translation tools have very limited application, especially if you’re jetting off on a jungle-trekking excursion to Cambodia.
And this, of course, is where a little pocket phrase book or nifty iPhone app. may come in handy – so there are options for those wishing to venture into new territories without getting into translation tangles. But some words simply don’t translate all that well.
So I’ve done a little research. And the outcome is this compendium of phrases that apparently drive even the most tranquil of translators to despair.
With LinkedIn ads, users are restricted to 25 character headlines and 75 characters for the main body. Meanwhile, Google Ads give users a mere 70 characters to play within the text’s main body.
Reformulating an ad to fit within the pre-determined character limits can be frustrating at times, but it’s entirely necessary.
Keeping messages short, whilst still conveying the key information is an art in e-commerce. And the broader issue of how people shorten messages to friends by text, instant messaging, tweets and other social networking platforms raises the question: What impact does social media have on language?
And are textual truncations a manifestation of the net generation’s much-maligned attention span?
Read more on this in my feature piece over at The Next Web: WTF? Social Networking is good for Language?
Who could possibly resist clicking on a headline like that? Of course, the only problem with a headline like that is that the story contained within really has to deliver in a big way.