Style guides, the firewall towards stylistic issues and stakeholders complaints
When we feel more than 35 degrees in Barcelona, I usually evaluate 2 alternatives to make the afternoon more bearable as a family. 2 boring children + 35 degrees of humid heat is the perfect recipe to the craziness
These alternatives are:
Spend the day in a "liquid" environment (beach or pool or aquatic park), or
We just go after lunch when the heat has no mercy to the movies, to embrace the air conditioning and be fresh watching a movie; and then time for delicious "Italian artisan gelato"
That was the plan of the last Saturday, at 4 pm sweating we arrived at the cinema to watch the family movie, Aladdin.
The Disney remake of the 90's animation classic was entertaining, but the truth is that the critics and the reviews I could read on Metacritic.com did not encourage me to go, but when the heat tightens, going to the beach was not an option that day I decided to give it a try.
In Metacritic, these below 2 opinions, in a certain way produced in me a deja-vu feeling, similar to the criticism that translators or professionals of the localization industry receive every now and then about the quality of their work.
"Just awful. I gave it a chance. The kids that play Aladdin and Jasmine were actually decent but the rest is just bad. Just watch the original "
"As a remake: Some ties to the original but too many changes. Felt like a different story. Disney should be ashamed "
Some ties to the original ... Felt like a different story ... Just bad, just watch the original ... it feels like a feedback of a translation effort based on subjective feedback 🙂
The problem of a remake, the problem of a translation for me is simplified in the following statement
Translation is so fascinating that seldom is anything black and white. There are so many different aspects to a written language that the one-size-fits-all approach will not work
When a client says "this piece of translated text sounds weird" what it usually means is that there is a stylistic issue. Which is definitely the same as a mistake. But the point is that even though it is 100% accurate, it might not fit in with their current language, marketing or objectives
When we got this feedback, the problem is simply the style. When this happens, the solution is agree on the style, agree on the expectations for the quality and agree on the review process. Summarising, agree on the style guide.
I prepared The following infographic with details that we can review when we are about to face "the wall of this translation sounds weird" feedback, or even better, have a look to this infographic earlier, review it and implement it before the current translation starts.
Pushing the publish post now button, today it's also a warm day here in Barcelona, but cinema plan today, this time, I go to spend the day at the Castelldefels beach, swimming, tennis beach and later to a couple of beers to stay hydrate are waiting for me 😎
Have an excellent week!