dijous, 10 de setembre de 2009

A spot for Andorra

A couple of days ago I was asked to translate a project from English into Catalan that required installing a new software programme.

After several hours fighting with the programme's version, I could successfully install it and I opened it to adjust the required settings for the project: language, filter, dictionaries, working file, etc. In a CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tool you usually have some place where you can set all this up. Most importantly, there must always be some place where to set the source -the language you will be translation from- and target-the language you will translate into.

So the first thing I did was setting working language and I was really amazed when I saw this:


It is really curious. Up to then, I never found Catalan related to Andorra in a translation programme. It made me think why that was the case, as I was used to see a Catalan flag whenever I set up a project to be translated into Catalan. And then I get the system: a language associated to a country where it is official. And Andorra is the only country of the world where Catalan is the only official language (the language you hear on the streets of Andorra is another matter...) and the programme's developers knew it. For other cooficial languages in Spain, namely Basque and Galician, there was a Spanish flag.

This case is really curious and also brings along some questions: it is correct to associate language and country? It is a good decision to use country flags in translation programmes? Well, that is not a really big deal for many people, that is true, but it kept me wondering for a while. For example, for the first question: there are lots of languages which are not only exclusive of one country. That is true, you can specify the region (as in EN_US (English, United States) but that does not solve the problem. To stay home, in Catalan, this region specification is not really necessary -variants are not so different among them (well, some would say Catalan and Valencian are different languages, but that is another thing to talk about in another post). Anyway, supposing no region is necessary for Catalan, what flag do we use? Andorran, Catalan, Valencian, Balearic, Aragonese, French, Sardinian? In all these places Catalan is spoken.

Anyhow, in this specific case I am showing you, software developers chose the language-country-flag association. I won't say it is good or bad, as everybody has its own opinion and can find good arguments for it. Above all, I was surprised and it made me smile. Andorra is a tiny country in the middle of the Pyrenees, and if, even Catalans in Catalonia do not usually remember that there Catalan has exclusive officiality...how are other less-related to Andorra countries are to thoroughly know about this fact? Well, in this CAT application, they had some recognition and their name and flag is used to represent Catalan.


My boyfriend is Andorran and when I told him this by mail he wrote in big bold letters: Graaaaan! (That's biiiiiig!). He says that, little by little, Andorra is invading Catalonia...of course, that only a joke between us...I hope :P. He added malevolous laughter after "Graaaan!".

2 comentaris:

Anna Vilana ha dit...

Com no, el Xavi no ho podia fer d'una altra manera jajaja

anna ha dit...

Interesting. Well, of course I think that languages be associated with countries (or regions), but it is not easy. Even the irish English is different to the british or scottish. It only really makes sense if you translate for a certain country rather than into a "universal language".