Lost in Translation

Parentonomics is being translated into another five languages. Of course, I have no idea how it will translate and if it will end up saying what I had originally intended. I also wondered how easy it was to translate. So to get a clue I decided to use Google Translate to translate a piece of the book into another language and then to use it again to translate that piece back into English. The results are over the fold. I think the results speak for themselves.

Original Australian version:

If you had asked me when I had a newborn what I wanted most for my new child, I would have ranked health, first, closely followed by, sleep. Sleep was our obsession during the first few months of our children’s lives. Sure, we enjoyed the babies, doted over them and become excited at milestones. But those things just happen. Sleep was the activity that we as parents felt we should have some control over. So we engaged in enormous effort to control it.

Success in such control can be mixed. I can see why some parents decide not to worry about it and hope that their child grows out of not sleeping. They opt for simple ‘solutions’ like bringing the baby into bed. In many respects, this is just shifting the issue into the future. A few years later someone will have to remove an older and more inconvenient child from their room.

Other parents try everything they can to get their child to sleep through the night independently. Sometimes, nothing works. The worst case I heard of was of a child who did not sleep more than a few hours each night. His mother needed counseling and he didn’t get a baby brother until many years later. Eventually, the child grew into a teenager and so the parents decided that he could just stay up. That was just the way he was.

In my mind, sleep is a negotiation. We want sleep while the baby wants attention. There is an inherent conflict here. The screams of a baby is like an offer: “I’ll stop screaming if you give me attention.” And it is not a vague offer. Give the baby attention and the crying stops. Only a few goes and a little baby can train parents nicely.

Our goal in our sleep obsession was to work out how to negotiate the price down. Counter-offers such as “if you would please just leave me alone until 6am, I’ll give you a car when you are 16” seemed to fall on deaf ears. Simple diplomacy, a meeting of the minds, a common understanding, they all don’t work. Babies, it seems, cannot be reasoned with easily. It was hard to know what to do.

Portuguese

If you had asked me when I was a newborn that I wanted more for my son again, I would have ranked health first, followed closely in his sleep. Sleep was our obsession during the first months of life for our children. Sure, we enjoy the babies, doted on them and become excited about milestones. But these things happen. Sleep was the activity that we as parents felt we should have some control over. Thus, we are involved in a huge effort to control it.

Success in control can be mixed. I can see why some parents decide not to worry about it and hope that your child is born of not sleeping. They opt for simple “solutions” to bring the baby to bed. In many respects, this is just transferring the problem to the future. Some years later someone will have to remove an older child and most inconvenient of your room.

Other parents may try everything to get your child to sleep through the night independently. Sometimes nothing works. The worst case I heard was of a child who does not sleep more than a few hours each night. His mother needed advice and he did not get a baby brother until many years later. Eventually, the child grew into a teenager and so the parents decided that he could only stay. This was just the way it was.

In my mind, sleep is a negotiation. We want to sleep when the baby wants attention. There is an inherent conflict here. The cries of a child is as an offer: “I’ll stop crying if you give me attention. And it is not an offer of vacancies. Give baby’s attention and stops crying. Only a few go a little baby and parents can train well.

Our goal in our obsession of sleep was working out how to negotiate the price down. Counter-offers, such as “if you please leave me alone until six hours, I’ll give you a car when you’re 16 years” seemed to fall on deaf ears. diplomacy simply, a meeting of minds, a common understanding, they all do not work. Babies, it seems, can not be reasoned with ease. It was hard to know what to do.

Chinese

If you ask me, I have a newborn I think most of my new child, I will health ranked first, followed by sleep. Sleep is our dedication to our children the first few months of life. Of course, we enjoy the baby, they loved, to become a milestone in the excitement. But these things happen. Sleep is the activities we as parents, feel that we should have some control. Therefore, we engaged in extensive efforts to control it.

The success of this control can be mixed. I understand why some parents decide not to worry, and hope their children grow up without sleep. They prefer simple solutions’ like a baby into the bed. In many ways, this is only transferred to future problems. A few years later, someone from their room to remove the old and more inconvenient for the child.

Other parents to do everything possible to make their children sleep through the independent. Sometimes, nothing works. Worst-case scenario, I heard a child who is no more than a few hours sleep every night. His mother needs counseling, but he did not get a baby brother until many years later. Finally, the children grow as a juvenile, the parents decided that he could only stay up. This is just like the past.

In my opinion, sleep is a negotiation. We would like to sleep, but babies should pay attention. There is an inherent conflict here. Scream like a baby offer is: “I will stop screaming if you give me attention.” It is not a vague offer. Baby’s attention and stop crying. Only a few to go and a small baby’s parents can be good training.

We sleep on our obsession with the aim to develop ways to negotiate lower prices. Counter-example “If you would like to offer you only leave me alone until 06 am, I give you a car when you are 16” seems to fall on deaf ears. Simple diplomacy, a mind, a common understanding, they do not work. Baby, do not seem to reason and easily. It is difficult to know how to do.

3 thoughts on “Lost in Translation”

  1. That tells you nothing.  The difference between a computerised translation and a human translation is enormous.

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  2. In Hebrew as well the expression “grows out of not sleeping” was screwed up. But when we translate the Hebrew back to English it is fixed more or less:
     
    “If you asked me when I was a newborn I wanted for my new child, I was ranked health first, then, to sleep. Our obsession was changed during the first months of our children’s lives. Sure, we enjoy babies, spoiled them and be excited about the milestones. But these things just happen. Sleep is an activity that we parents feel we need some control. So we are engaged in a tremendous effort to control it.

    Such full success can be involved. , I can understand why parents decide not to worry about it and hope their child grows and sleep. They choose to just “solutions” like to get the baby to bed. In many respects, it just moves the problem in the future. A few years later someone would have to remove an older child more comfortable in their room.

    Other parents are trying all they can get their child to sleep through the night independently. Sometimes, nothing works. Worst case I ever heard of a child who was more than a few hours sleep each night. His mother needs counseling and he does not get a baby brother until many years later. Eventually, the boy grows into a teenager and the parents decided that he can just stay awake. It was just like it was.

    In my mind, sleep is negotiated. We want to sleep, while the baby wants attention. There are inherent conflict here. The screams of a baby is like a suggestion: “I will scream if you give me attention.” And that’s not a vague proposal. Give attention to the baby stopped crying. Few people can go to train parents and baby well.

    Our goal in our bedroom obsession was to understand how to negotiate prices down. Counter-offers such as “If you please just leave me alone until 6:00, I’ll give you a car when you’re 16″ seems to fall on deaf ears. Diplomacy simply, a meeting of minds, a shared understanding, all do not work. Babies, it seems, can not be reasoned with ease. It was hard to know what do.”
    We can learn a couple of things from this:
    1. How different various languages are from English
    2. How developed the Google algorithm is for different languages.
    But hard to know how important each is.

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  3. I’m sure some will be a lot worse – I always get the pronunciation wrong going to mother in law and am heard as horse in law when speaking Chinese!

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