Why Facebook might want to avoid volunteer translations

I am not to be found on Facebook (in fact, I spent three days of mailing back and forth with them, before they wanted to accept that, yes, I *really* want to completely nuke my account). But via “ITavisen”:http://www.itavisen.no/sak/782354/ I found out something curious about their “Terms of Use”:http://www.facebook.com/terms.php
Facebook are now providing users with localized ToS, like this “Norwegian translation”:http://nb.facebook.com/terms.php. And they are apparently relying on volunteers to do this work. Which, if you are a soulless Web 2.0 company with a ToS that reads like lawyer porn, probably is a very bad idea.
The “Google translation back into English”:http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fnb.facebook.com%2Fterms.php&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=no&tl=en will miss some nuances of what’s wrong with it, but it should be good enough. Skim the headings of that translation.
Did you find it? No, not the runs of untranslated text, but the big fat heading saying *”Press if you’re a jerk”.*
Yes, really. It really does say “Trykk hvis du er en dust”, which translates into “Click if you’re a jerk”. And it’s not the only brainfart here. The entire section on indemnity has been replaced with the following run of text:
bq. Du lover å være snill og grei å følge alle regler for bruk av facebook
The wording is something you would typically find in children’s books, and translates to:
bq. You promise to be a good boy or girl, and promise to follow every rule for use of Facebook
I could comment further, but I’ll let the one occurence of “Lalaala” accompany my giggle. Morale of the story is: Hire translators, and actually do some QA.

3 Comments

  1. I couldn’t find the text that you mentioned in the Norwegian ToS… Maybe they fixed it?

  2. minghong: Indeed they did, but they left some of the other bloopers in, like the “Du lover å være snill og grei” one.

  3. Oh that is just too funny! I use the google translate and have pretyy good luck with it.