Monday, 9 November 2009

Translations can be a funny thing!

How robotic and unprofessional translations can really get you in trouble!

The written word is a funny thing. It's a symbol of the sound you make with your voice. Different countries obviously have different sounds for the same object and actions - and that's tough enough, but you can really get into trouble if you only translate robotically (such as with translation machines) or without a proper (and especially professional) understanding of the language you are translating into.

If you are looking to approach foreign markets and need to communicate in a foreign language, then you would do well to take into account the hundreds of hours that you have spend on your marketing campaigns, or the literature describing your product or service. To have this wasted with a poor translation can be an expensive mistake.

Here are some mistranslations which are funny to read, but in a professional context you would not want to be on the other end of your enraged (or perhaps if you are lucky - bemused) boss' or client's response.

Take this one: When Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product something that when pronounced sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only problem was that the characters used meant "Bite the wax tadpole". They later changed to a set of characters that mean "Happiness in the mouth." Pepsi didn't do any better when they translated their "Come alive with Pepsi" campaign into German and it ended up as "Come out of the grave with Pepsi."

No field is immune to mistranslation. Scandinavian manufacturer Electrolux translated their slogan into 'American' and came out with the rather ambiguous "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux." I think we have all read or come across poorly translated instructions in hotels and public places. In one hotel "The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid." - Although in Japan "You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid." If you want to have a good time, then go to a Rome laundry where, in true Italian style, it offers "Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time." Though in Zurich a rather primmer hotel directs clients, "Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose."

All these, and many more, are the job of the translator to steer around. Certainly, when translating a technical or legal document, precision is vital. Translations have to be done by a professional who has a true understanding of the subject to which he or she is translating into.

In the worst-case scenario, what is at stake (and these have happened) is a mistranslation that has cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Even if it is not of such proportions, certainly you do not sell your services or products well when even simple explanations come over garbled or in poorly constructed sentences.

In a foreign market where you are already at a disadvantage, it is vital to have presentations, texts and instructions all clearly and appropriately translated.

ETLS International is one of the newest members of CADIA. They have established a network of several hundred professional translators all around the world. Their translations, into all languages and most technical areas, are always done by specialists who have an intimate knowledge of the subject they are translating.

First published in Cadia Update, August 2009

ETLS International provides a fast and accurate translation service into all languages and technical areas. Their translations are always done by professionals who have specific knowledge of the specialist field of expertise required. In this way they ensure quality work is provided to their clients.


Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Print Manager Plus - Academic Presentation


This is a recorded presentation of Software Shelf's Print Manager Plus Academic Edition. The video was recorded through a GoTo Meeting session. The presentation fully shows the ability and print management features of Print Manager Plus. The product is a Print Monitor software package for Windows Server and Workstation. The print audit capabilities of the product with its powerful quota and restriction policies allows schools, universities, and non-profit organizations to save money on their printing expenses.

View full length video here:


Completed projects: ETLS International

Submitted ETLS International to Online Directories:
(please click the links below to see the results for yourself)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sales person required for UK-based online PR and marketing company

. is an expanding UK-based online PR and marketing company.

We are looking for an English-speaking confident internet-aware person to find small - medium sized businesses and sell to them our online PR and marketing services.

Work from home (which, in theory, could be anywhere in the world) but with as much support as you need. Build and maintain your own client base. Commission only.

To apply, please send your CV and why you think you fit the bill to:

This job ad also appears in The RazzLine and on Twitter.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Media Switchboards Top 10

I've called a few newspaper, radio and TV switchboards over the years, and I thought it was about time I shared my experiences, praised the best and criticized (constructively of course) the worst, by compiling this table.

Plus points warded for: human, friendly, helpful, efficient

Minus points awarded for: human unfriendly, human unhelpful, human smarmy, human bored, automated (push button 1, 2 3 etc), automated stupid, use of paid-for non-geographic numbers (0845, 0870 etc), inefficient, excessive ring or on hold times
  • 1. Guardian - score: 20
Human: Friendly, helpful with old-fashioned values, refusing to modernize to the detriment of personal service with, unbelievably, "Thank you for calling The Guardian and Observer" and, when putting you through, "Connecting you now." (Is it 1968?). They also answer immediately, within the first few rings.
  • 2. BBC - score: 15
Human: Very helpful and not at all snotty, and backed up with their information line (03700 100222) so a double-whammy of helpfulness.
  • =3. Financial Times - score: 13
Human: Almost as good as The Guardian but without the flourish.
  • =3. Independent - score: 13
Human: Almost as good as The Guardian but without the flourish.
  • 4. Daily Mail - score: 10
Human: Bored switchboard operators seem to take great delight in making you feel stupid for not knowing that the number you dialed is also the switchboard for the Mail on Sunday, the London Evening Standard and London Lite, so just they love it when they can look down their nose at you and say, "Which paper?"
  • 5. Daily Telegraph - score: 8
Human: Bored, "you are stupid" attitude, putting you though before you've finished your sentence so you have to call again. At least they are human.
  • =6. New York Times - score: 6
Automated: clever automated. If UK newspapers feel compelled to utilize automated switchboards, why don't they use something like this? You can just tell the machine the name of the person you want to speak to and it puts you through without any fuss. However, I'm sure it was the New York Times the other week that was suffering from a hearing problem. Actually it was really quite funny. You said "Kermit Pattison" and it tried to put you through to "Jim Schachter" or similar! It seems to have sorted itself out now.
  • =6. Wall Street Journal - score: 6
Automated: clever automated. You can just tell the machine the name of the person you want and it puts you straight through without any fuss. Really very clever and painless (but not human).
  • =7. The Sun - score: -6
Automated: Stupid automated. They have, all of a sudden, got the same condescending woman as The Times who I have wanted to strangle for a long time!

- W h o u...s p e a k...s o...s l o w l y,...w i t h...s u c h...b i g...p a u s e s...b e t w e e n...w o r d s?
- I am not a child!
  • =7. The Times - score: -6
Automated: Stupid automated. I AM LISTENING CAREFULLY! Why do you have to keep telling me that each time? Aarrgghh!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Heather Angel Wildlife & Natural History Photography Workshop, Day 2

Some shots of Day 2 of the Heather Angel wildlife photography workshop at Saint Hill Manor, sponsored by Grays of Westminster. Hope you like the slide show.

The workshop, featuring Nikon and ThinkTank, was completely sold out so if you wanted to attend but couldn't, better luck next year.

[The slide show was previously done in but, although very easy to use, it was too low res (maybe I just never saw the HD button) so I changed it to a slide show.]

Heather Angel wildlife photography workshop

Some photos from yesterday's workshop

The weather turned out fine for yesterday's workshop at Saint Hill Manor, hosted by Grays of Westminster.

It looks like it's going to be a nice day for today's workshop too. I've been invited to pop in for tea later this morning so I'll see if I can bring back a few shots and will post here any that are worthy.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Latest press releases etc

Just been writing, distributing and tweeting this press release for "On The Mike with Mike Sherman":Beyoncé Live in Concert On The Mike with Mike Sherman

I'm also looking forward to paying a visit to this weekend's Heather Angel wildlife photography workshop which is completely sold out for both Saturday and Sunday. It is hosted by the Nikon-only dealer, Grays of Westminster.

I hope to submit, very soon, the official name-change press release for Onedrywash and, as ever, there's some exciting news just around the corner for

Watch this space!

(Better still, watch this space and follow us on Twitter too @WorldWidePR

Friday, 3 July 2009

Never a dull moment

Been really busy sending press releases left, right and centre recently! What with Sunrise Senior Living to Launch Largest Ever Dementia Awareness Week Campaign, Mike Sherman Pays Tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, & LCF LTD 100 Collection Launches 1pm 3 July 2009, and before that On the Mike with Mike Sherman Features the 2009 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant, there's certainly never a dull moment round here.

"And what's in the pipeline?" I hear you ask. Well, companies planning to send a press release in the near future are:, Grays of Westminster and Onedrywash (finally making their name change from Miracle Drywash to Onedrywash official. I'm sure it won't be long, too, for and Mike Sherman to have something else, major, to announce.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

New beginning

Welcome to the new blog where we will keep you informed of our day-to-day goings on.

Our press release log can be seen here:

Our site's about to go live and it's all very exciting.