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 TIP #224   This tip was sent on the week: August 24th to September 5th 2009

Tip #224 -In Conflict with True Retranslation

Remember our Tip #222, where we used the example:  

Un inglés vino =  An Englishman came.

and we used the Retranslation “Inglés  = Englishman = britano” ?

One of our dear Customers complained about this particular retranslation stating that the term “britano” included Welshmen and Scots, besides Englishmen. His argument was that “britanos” were not “Englishmen” only, that the term encompassed a wider geographical spectrum.

One of our Linguists explained to him that the dictionary of the Real Academia Española includes a second meaning in Spanish as “a natural of England” (that is, an Englishman or Englishwoman)

  • britano, na.(Del lat. Britannus).

1. adj. Natural de la antigua Britania, sur de la Gran Bretaña. U. t. c. s.
2. adj. inglés (ǁ natural de Inglaterra). U. t. c. s.
3. adj. británico. Apl. a pers., u. t. c. s.

We were therefore technically correct in using the term “britano.”

However, we feel that this is not the point.  

What we were trying to explain in our Tip #222 was that the language of the True Retranslation functionality is not meant to be literal.  It is a language created by the computer itself meant only to dispel ambiguities.  Upon seeing the term “britano,” the Spanish User will immediately know that we are referring to people, not to the English language (inglés).  As matter of fact, even our dissenting Customer understood that the program was translating and retranslating to mean people, and not the language, even if he thought the term should be including Scots and Welshmen! 

So…the ambiguity was dispelled. That’s what True Retranslation is all about.  Nothing more.

If you feel that the program was wrong in using “britano” as a retranslation of “inglés” when people are involved, please send your comments to our reply address, or you can even participate in our Language Forum posting your comment thread there.


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