hp49g+ manual - I can't believe it!



#13

Hi,

got my new HP49g+ calculator last week. There have been lot's of discussions about keyboard, speed etc. at comp.sys.hp48, so I don't want to comment on these. But I do want to comment on the manuals.

In addition to a quickstart manual one gets english, spanish and german versions of the user's guide as pdf-files. The translation of the user's guide to german is horrible!!! I couldn't believe it when I first saw it.

Example: On page 12.43 (english) resp. 12.50 (german) parametric surface plots are discussed. At one point, "parametric surface plot" is translated into "photoreceptor surface plot". Ok. Funny. Same line:
"x(X,Y) = X sin Y", "y(X,Y) = x cos Y" is translated into "x(X,Y) = X Sünde Y", "y(X,Y) = x Lattich Y". "Sünde" is the religious meaning of "sin", and "Lattich" means "lettuce".

This is ridiculous!!! They are selling a calculator, but don't even know what "sin" and "cos" mean??? To me this entire manual sounds like a babelfish translation. Thanks HP!

Frank.


#14

Well, kids have been telling me a long time, at least here in America, that math is evil.

#15

Frank, sorry about the flip post.

I understand how you feel; whenever I buy something that comes with a useless or poorly translated (usually from Japanese) manual, it's enough to make me scream (sometimes I actually do!).

In fact, I was about to complain about the poor print quality of my 32SII and 48G manuals, even if the content was excellent. My 34C manual was both very useful and a joy to look at.

***

Most American kids think English and history are evil, too; only recess is good.

#16

The Italians have it right: "Traduttore, traditore."

That aside, it looks like a botched computer-processed translation without supervision or editing. The kind of translation that would result in "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" into "The booze is good, but the meat is rotten."

There are no excuses for this sort of fiasco.

-Ernie


Edited: 29 Sept 2003, 9:33 p.m.

#17

Contrast that "effort" with the documentation work performed for the HP-15C -- a top-notch 293-page small-font(!) manual in English, meticulously translated into German and other languages. Also, a 219-page Advanced Functions Handbook.

This took place in the early '80s, before NAFTA and the opening of mainland China, when engineers called the shots, got the budgets and support, and the products cost enough to justify it all.

"Ya don't get what ya don't pay for" is the real meaning of the expression.

-- Karl


#18

Hi, as always I avoid reading too much in the manuals ;) But I had to look up how the function %T exactly works. The examples are wrong and don't mach the results of the HP-49G+. Actually the calc does it right :) These kind of things are wrong in both the english and german manual. Normally I still use the HP-48 Advanced User's Reference as well as the two Urroz books for the HP-49G. Another very weak point about the new calcs. This certainly doesn't help to gain more new users on the market. As with the HP-49G this calc is only useful for longtime HP freaks.

Cheers Daniel

#19

This is quite clearly unaceptable. If HP claim in their adverts to have a German manual for the HP49G+ then they should provide one. In the UK this area is known as false advertising and the company can be fined and/or stopped from making false claims.

Have you complained to HP? If Germany has the same kind of rules as the UK then you could say you will refer them to the advertising body.

You sound fortunate in this case as you seem able to read / write good english, think of all those people who can't.

I'm only saying the above because HP will only change their ways if it hurts them, at the moment HP will only notice if they are fined or taken to court because then the share holders get upset.

PS What hope have we got for the HP33S?


#20

Hi there,

> Have you complained to HP? If Germany has the same kind > of rules as the UK then you could say you will refer them > to the advertising body.

yes, I have sent an email to HP Germany, although they dont't even have a website dealing with calculators. So I don't expect an answer. But somebody from HP has responded to my posting at comp.sys.hp48, so maybe there's hope!

>You sound fortunate in this case as you seem able to > read / write good english,

no, not to write ...

> think of all those people who > can't.

Yeah, I think this is the point! If I would not be able to read english, this entire calculator would be completely useless. And I'm only talking about the translation. I'm a complete novice in using a HP49. If the manual has a lot of textual errors too (as mentioned above), I'll be lost. How can I try to persuade my students of using the superiority of RPN if the top calculator from HP has such a crappy manual???

> I'm only saying the above because HP will only change > their ways if it hurts them, at the moment HP will only > notice if they are fined or taken to court because then > the share holders get upset.

> PS What hope have we got for the HP33S?

Reading a lot of posts at comp.sys.hp48, I think HP is on the right track back to their famous calculators from pre 1995. I've already preordered a HP33s, and I'm really looking forward using it. But: HP, please don't use the users as beta testers for both hard- and software!

Frank.

Edited: 30 Sept 2003, 5:07 p.m.


#21

Hi Frank,

>But: HP, please don't use the users as beta testers for both hard- and software!
>
That may be a holy wish. They did it for the last nearly half a decade;-)


Regards,

Raymond

#22

Ouahaha... This had me laughing out loud for minutes! It simply cannot be true, you're making this up, Frank. Admit it!

As I always say in such moments: If I'd see this in a movie, I'd think 'Oh well, they're exaggerating again, this would never happen in real life'. But reality always makes the best jokes...

It reminds me of how we had fun using babelfish to translate a sentence from German to English, then to French, then back to English, and finally to German again. You got about four times the original number of words, but they did no longer mean anything. Big fun, really!

Cheers, Victor

12345 to delete


#23

I just checked the Table of Contents im Deutch and there they are: "Laplace Wandelt Um" Seite TOC-15, (aber: "Laplace-Transformationen" Seite M-9)
UND "Schlüssel" Seite TOC-18 (keine "Schlüssel" im der M, nur nich im Anhang B)

Möglich ist est nur - sorry: probably it's just an automated translation of the index? I'm so slow in reading Germany that I can't possibly read all the thousand pages...VPN

#24

Dear Frank,

I don’t know if you are familiar with the translation business but as a professional translator and owner of a small translation agency, which participated in the translation into Dutch of another calculator manual for HP, I can explain you the reason of such bad quality translations.
Not long ago, some of the translations for the HP manuals (if not all) were handled by a top-quality translation agency in Australia (of which I guess I cannot say the name even though they really deserve to be mentioned on grounds of their professional attitude). They carefully selected the appropriate translators based on their backgrounds and linguistic knowledge. They fully supported their translation team and offered them honorable rates. All this, of course, has a price. Unfortunately, HP decided to go the wrong way (a general trend lately). Money seems to be more important than quality and they often forget that a manual is a very important part of any product to be sold. The translations of the manuals are now handled by an agency in Asia (I saw myself their advertisement and the rates they offered, in two words “insulting rates”). They pay their translators less than 2/3 of what translators were getting before. That, of course, translates into poor-quality results (with all my respects to those professionals who have no other option than to accept these rates). My motto is “pay peanuts and you’ll get monkeys”.
I honestly feel sorry for the people who need to use such manuals but, on the other hand, I’m having a good laugh here because their stupid decision is paying back.
I really hope many more complaints like yours are made public for everybody to realize that translation is not a game but a profession, which not everybody is qualified to perform.

Kind regards,
Ariadna Castillo


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