|Article Title: ‘Localization- Subject Expert v/s Lexicographer’ A view!|
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I have taken example of my working pair. Being in the field for 15+ years and having interaction with translators of some other languages, I found that this view applies to almost every language in-land and offshore.
When a client requests, for localization in Hindi, they do not ask you to localize there product in languages like Bhojpuri, Magadhi Maithili, Pahari, Kashmiri, Rajastani, Harayanwi, Malvi, Kumaoni; most of the time they even don’t ask to localize in Gujarati, Bengali or Marathi (this is cost dependent). These all are either official state languages or major spoken languages, in the states of Hindi belt.
A) Number of states where Hindi is spoken, called The Hindi belt: 1] Bihar 2] Uttar Pradesh 3] Madhya Pradesh 4] Haryana 5] Rajasthan 6] Himachal Pradesh 7] Uttaranchal 8] Chhattisgarh and 9] Jharkhand.
B) Besides, the Union Territory of 10] Chandigarh, and the National Capital Territory of 11] Delhi, also lies in this belt.
C) The states of 12] Gujarat 13] Maharashtra 14] Orissa 15] West Bengal 16] Andhra Pradesh and 17] Jammu and Kashmir have large communities of Hindi-speaking people.
Keeping above details in mind, we have to localize the product. Hindi is the state language of Uttar Pradesh; but still there are dialects in its core linguists. These are, Hindustani, Khari boli (Kauravi), Braj, Lakhanavi.
When we select a translator, we say we are looking for native speaker, and most of time, we get translators from Khari Boli (Kauravi) “The Lexicographer”. Here we spoil interest of our client. Client expects Hindi localization for Hindi belt, our pure Hindi translators churn out there linguistic knowledge and give us the cream in form of terms, which hardly (perhaps!) can be understood by a person from his own dialect. Normally this happens when we chose a lexicographer in place of subject expert. He provides content or translation, grammatically perfect with rich terms, and still difficult to understand for a user. He use such terms, which either, are very rare in use or derived from Sanskrit or they are not at all in use. This is orthodox translation.
In literature translation, we are expected ‘just to transplant the Heart’; but in localization, we are expected not only to transplant Heart but also to translate source so as, if it is translated back to source, it should fall near by the ‘source sentence’. In localization, we must keep in mind that the user is a literate person. Being National Language, we have many English terms in our day-to-day practice. Moreover, these are widely used in all Indian languages. For a century now, literate class is customary not only with technical English terms, but also regularly we use verbs, adverbs, noun, pronouns, and numbers, from English. Therefore, you will find the user is familiar with English but not fluent, and also not affluent with Hind. In h/er day-to-day life they use many more English terms without a sense that they have there native term for this specific act or noun or verb. On the contrary these people read (with help of dictionary) write (with help of dictionary) and even speak (with good enough constructional mistakes) English but with limitation. The translation should be free in nature.
Here is the role of translator. Localization should be as such that, entire Hindi belt (consisting around + 500,000,000 populations) should understand it easily. This is a field where the user is the judge. They are customers, if not satisfied they can ruin your client. We are here, not to display our rich lexicon expertise but to assist users to understand our client.
This I believe is a model for every language worldwide. As in-house, I have worked on Google, Nokia and Microsoft end users feedbacks on translation. What I saw and experienced on Microsoft, Google and Nokia projects; Today in Indic localization, Lexicographer v/s Subject expert, Modern v/s Traditional, is a serious concern. I have tried here, to put in few words.