Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Can't Help Myself

Earlier in the summer I was talking to Nelson ceramicist Darryl Roberson who has always exhibited and sold quite a bit in Japan. He wondered why I hadn't tried to be more active there. I said folk are used to fine fabric and are ultra-picky about the technical well-done-ness, and I didn't have the confidence. This he understood all to well.

When I was home, Mom took my piece "Heian" (the second from the right with the most colorful warp, the most hideous selvedge and even hideouser hems) to her weaving class and her teacher commented this one would stands to be exhibited/sold in Japan. My parents loved "Heian" so much I gave it to them and I didn't bother to photograph it; mumble mumble. Anyway, ever since, I've been wondering how I can increase the readership of my Japanese blog. I'm not worried about selling or exhibiting there just yet, but inquiries for commission would be nice.

I was looking at the Stat Counter for that blog this morning, something I do perhaps once or twice a year, and, lo, I found someonoe had Google translate the Japanese guidelines to 09 SSVE into English, even though I had a link to the English version here.

Long story short, as a former translator, I'm rolling on the floor laughing at Google translation once again. Back in the mid-90's I had a chance to have a look at some translation programs under development. One was supposed to be superior than the "standard lot" because it employed artificial intelligence. I started giggling uncontrollably at the research lab much to the chagrin of the many PhDs because the resulting text was gobbledygook. You just can't do it, man, not even to basic level so a human translator can edit and finish it like they hoped, particularly when the cultural background and the construction of the language is a diverse as English and Japanese.

I realize these gadgets are more beneficial than harmful. I now subscribe to half a dozen Swedish and a few Finnish weaving blogs and can get the gist of them, or so I'm lead to believe. But I can't help myself; the translated texts are hilarious. And I know it's an undesirable education tool. (See my serious face?)

I don't know what I'll do about my Japanese blog. I didn't do anything with Unravelling, either, except to post and it was a long time before I started visiting and commenting back. So blogging more steadily over there is the immediate plan. And I think it's more the website than the blog I want more exposure. I have visited a few Japanese weaving blogs, but I found many too cutsy and polished; I heard my mental voice go up a full octave higher than my English voice until I got a real headache.

The title of my Japanese blog roughly translates to "Swatches, Lint, and Talking to Oneself". And you're not allowed to use little girl voices when you read this post.

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