Category Archives: international oddities

The world of L10N (localization) and I18N (internationalization)

Cheese, Chocolate, and Watches

…and let’s not forget the cows, mountains, and Swiss Army Knives!  Yes, it is beautiful Switzerland.  Point your camera randomly in any direction and get lovely views:
Lucerne, view from bridge

I was in Lucerne (or Luzern, if you prefer the local spelling) for a two-day in-house workshop for a new client.

This wasn’t my first time to Switzerland; I’ve attended conferences in Zürich, so I was not entirely unprepared for the quiet and contemplative Swiss approach. Despite their insistence that they are quite different from the Germans, they share a seriousness and a love of order and regulation. I definitely had to work pretty hard to get much more than a smile and a chuckle, but it was worth it. The group of writers were very nice and they took the training seriously, participating in all the work and discussions, and gave me great evaluations.

When I work, I usually fly in the day before, pray that I’ll get a good night’s sleep, do my training, and fly out again. At best, I get part of a day to see the sights. This time was no different, but at least I lucked out with beautiful weather.

Maybe I’m just the tiniest bit Swiss myself…

I wear black. A lot. With a bit of red as a spot color. So do the Swiss.

I love farmers’ markets, and so do the Swiss:

I think colorful root vegetables are interesting (as long as I don’t have to eat them)…

I have discovered the joys of raclette, which is basically a plate slowly-congealing melted cheese next to a pile of potatoes. Mmmm, raclette!

I like places were people love their pets. I saw a lot of nice doggies and one of the fanciest, most expensive pet stores I’ve ever seen in my life. One small dog coat was 395 Swiss Francs, which is way more than I’ve ever spent for a garment for myself! Sheesh.  The local critters clearly feel very safe; for example, the massive swans are completely fearless.  The Swiss seem to enjoy feeding the swans, but then again, that may be to prepare them for market day… 

I enjoyed the cool weather, and was excited about being able to stand on some snow. Ironically, on Saturday it hit about 9 in Lucerne during the day, and it was 9 in Karmiel when I got home! What felt lovely and mild in Switzerland feels darn cold here!  Besides, in Karmiel we don’t get a chance to put snow chains on our shoes:

I love all things tiny and compact, and was impressed by this church, which was slightly larger than a typical toll booth:

Here are a few more pictures…

Jump Out the Window

Google Translate gets nasty:

The original Hebrew was quite innocent…

…and here’s the English…

I’ve heard of telling users to take a flying leap, but my heavens!  (In case you’re wondering, the Hebrew is talking about a popup window.)

Words of Wizz-dumb

Say what? Sometimes the knuckleheads are just sublimely idiotic, like this clueless dude.  Can you spell ironyHat tip to Central LS.

Is this Greek salami or greeked salami? Hat tip to Hedke.

The world’s longest short-haul flight: Frankfurt to Tel Aviv is only a 4-hour flight, but it takes me 14.5 hours to get home from the TC World conference in Wiesbaden.  Chalk it up to delayed boarding, sitting on the tarmac for 90 minutes, missing a critical train in Tel Aviv (and being stuck 2.5 hours before the next one)… I staggered in at 2:00 AM.  As my mom says, travelling is not for wimps!

Fun in the Bathroom

Say what? Seen in the women’s restroom in the big conference center in Wiesbaden. This company needs some help with their product names and instructions.

The hand dryer:

The instructions read:

So I raise my hands near the sensor. Nothing happens.  I stand there and wave my hands around in front of it. Nothing.  I look on the side for buttons.  Finally, someone else comes up and pushes the button. The dryer roars into life.  How the f&^k did “push the button” turn into  “place hand in front of sensor”???

But this is not the only bad choice that this company has made.  Here is their disposal unit for “sanitary products” and such:

Here’s a closeup of the name. Note the graphic on the bags, too.

Fractured English of the Day

Gotta love the chutzpah:

Lost in Translation

Why Google Translate is not always a safe bet: Two gems from this week.  First, it is pretty common when the automatic translation doesn’t recognize something, it just transliterates the word or leaves it as is. But getting confused on mitvaikim??  Sheesh.

But even better was the whackiest translation yet for what should have been automatic incremental increase (mispar ratz  otomati)…

Then, for some reason, Google became quite political whenever copy-and-paste text had been from a Hebrew Word document with style containing a particular type of bullet, translating the actually bullet into the text “extreme right everywhere.” No kidding. (Probably something to do with a right-justified, right-aligned bullet.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get a screen grab in time…

A Tuscan Trip: odds and ends

Just a few last goodies: I always love interesting signage, and here were two of my favorites from this trip.

Piazza San Marco, Venezia. OK, I understand about not walking around in your underwear, but what’s the problem with playing soccer?

Also Venezia, on the doorway of an unidentified buiding. Anyone figure this one out?