Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Always double-check your text: Best Dog of the World Potato!

I enjoy writing for greeting cards and creating designs that include text because I love words and images. So I'm an illustrator. I love what I do. And I think my work loves me back because I bring humor to it. Humor's important and almost always welcome. Together, we create a happy environment for working.

Take translation of another language for example. Unless you are fluent in another language, translating your native language into that other is tricky business. I can laugh at myself pretty easily so it wasn't too embarassing today when I realized I had made a little mistake in a few designs I'd translated from English to Spanish. As in, "Best dog of the world potato!" Here's what I did.

I used a Google translation widget (word monkey)
exclusively for expanding some of my father's day designs to Spanish speaking people. What's funny is that when I typed in the phrase that I wanted to translate such as, "World's Best Dog Dad", I received "mejor perro del mundo papa". Okay. However, when I cross-checked it today (wish I'd thought of it earlier!) and put that spanish phrase in to translate into english, it morphed into something nonsensical, or "world's best dog potato!" 

I took one year of Spanish in school and I have a copy of Spanish for Gringos, but even that high level of preparation for tackling a second language is no substitute for careful double-checking of text when you design :) I had the designs for exceptional dog potatoes up on Zazzle for several days before I thought to go back and cross check the spanish into english, so I'm sure there were a couple of people at least who had a good chuckle. That's not a bad thing.

If you know of any dog potatoes out there, I've got t-shirts!

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