Hablo en Google


As a native child of New Mexico, I am neither unfamiliar nor uncomfortable with the Spanish language.

That said, the Spanish I speak is a informal blend often referred to as “Spanglish”.

Un poquito English. A tiny bit Espanol.

This is both a help and a hindrance in my daily work.

I’ve had a chance to chronicle my extensive work learning the ways and means of my counterparts in EMEA.

I’ve discussed my ongoing learning curve with my coworkers and suppliers in APAC.

It was inevitable…my focus has arrived in Latin America.

Right now I work mostly with Brazil and Mexico.

Since I have zero Portuguese and my Spanish cannot be considered appropriate for business, I have come to rely on Google Translate to do my daily job. I was using BabelFish for a while, but I’ve come to realize that Google Translate is actually a lot more accurate and it handles colloquialisms fairly well.

Even so, it’s not perfect. I really have to watch how I craft my emails. I love the English language and I love to play it fast and loose with grammar and word use. This does not always work well in translation.

While Google will properly translate the words, the meaning gets lost and I will usually get either an “I’m sorry?” or a simple “Que?” from my friends in Latin America.

Ya can’t just throw down a “This ain’t my first rodeo!” or “Put up or shut up!” and expect that’s going to come across the way you meant it.

To make matters more difficult, I’m not only working with people in my own company, but I’m also negotiating with suppliers. Now to my mind, negotiating is a fine art. Language and word choice can be everything.

So I feel a little hamstrung trying to work a deal in another language that I can’t speak. (wait, does “hamstrung” translate?)

For Mexico, I have a buddy in my organization who is originally from Mexico City. So far he’s been willing to be a translator and negotiator on my behalf and he’s doing a great job. I thank him profusely every day.

No such luck finding a native Portuguese speaker who is friendly to my cause.

So it’s off to Google Translator and hope for the best.

Actually, I’ve been shocked at how well I’ve actually been able to complete my work. Here I am cutting multimillion dollar deals with just an online translator and a bit of attitude and somehow, it works. I am able to have Legal review in each country to be sure it all stays the way I negotiated it, and that helps me stay out of trouble.

I love language and I love using language to be persuasive at the negotiation table.

So working through an online translator feels like I’m roping a wild cow in that proverbial rodeo and doing so with one hand tied behind my back.

I’m gonna guess that didn’t translate well.


I Speak Google

Como un niño nativo de Nuevo México, no soy ni familiar ni incómodo con la lengua española.

Dicho esto, el español que hablan es una mezcla informal a menudo se refiere como “Spanglish”.

A little Inglés. Un pequeño poco Espanol.

Esto es una ayuda y un obstáculo en mi trabajo diario.

He tenido la oportunidad de trabajar una crónica extensa aprender las maneras y los medios de mis colegas en la región EMEA.

He hablado de mi curva de aprendizaje continuo con mis compañeros de trabajo y proveedores en Asia-Pacífico.

Era inevitable … mi enfoque ha llegado a América Latina.

Ahora mismo trabajan sobre todo con Brasil y México.

Desde que tengo cero portugués y mi español no puede ser considerado apropiado para el negocio, he llegado a depender de Google Translate para hacer mi trabajo diario. Yo estaba usando BabelFish por un tiempo, pero me he dado cuenta de que Google Translate es en realidad mucho más preciso y se maneja bastante bien coloquiales.

Aún así, no es perfecto. Tengo que ver cómo me artesanía mis correos electrónicos. Me encanta el idioma Inglés y me gusta jugar rápido y libremente con la gramática y el uso de la palabra. Esto no siempre funciona bien en la traducción.

Mientras que Google correctamente traducir las palabras, el significado se pierde y yo por lo general se convierte en un “lo siento?” o simple “Que?” de mis amigos en América Latina.

Ya no puede lanzar una “Este no es mi primer rodeo!” o “poner o callarse” y esperar que va a venir a través de la forma que quería decir.

Para hacer las cosas más difíciles, estoy trabajando no sólo con la gente de mi propia empresa, pero también estoy negociando con los proveedores. Ahora en mi opinión, la negociación es un arte. Elección de la lengua y la palabra puede ser todo.

Así que me siento un poco paralizado tratando de trabajar mucho en otro idioma que no puedo hablar. (Tiempo de espera, significa “paralizado” traducir?)

Para México, tengo un amigo en mi organización que es originario de la Ciudad de México. Hasta ahora ha estado dispuesto a ser un traductor y negociador en mi nombre y que está haciendo un gran trabajo. Le doy las gracias profusamente todos los días.

No hubo suerte para encontrar un hablante nativo portugués, que es amigo de mi causa.

Por lo que es de al traductor de Google y esperar lo mejor.

En realidad, he sido sorprendido por lo bien hecho, he podido completar mi trabajo. Aquí estoy haciendo tratos multimillonarios con sólo un traductor en línea y un poco de actitud y de alguna manera, funciona. Yo soy capaz de tener opinión legal en cada país para asegurarse de que todas las estancias de la forma en que lo negociado, por lo que me ayuda a mantenerme fuera de problemas.

Me encanta el idioma y me encanta usar el lenguaje para ser persuasivo en la mesa de negociación.

Así que trabajar a través de un traductor en línea se siente como que estoy cuerda una vaca salvaje en ese rodeo proverbial y hacerlo con una mano atada a la espalda.

Voy a suponer que no se tradujo así.

Image by Jakub Krechowicz and used royalty free from stock.xchng.

Oh, November


Masochism! It’s what’s for Thanksgiving dinner!

Yup. November means it’s National Novel Writing Month, a fun event where writers around the world challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days.

And after taking last year off, I’m back, baybee!

This will be my sixth year through the meat word grinder.

Along with blogging every weekday. And holding down a full time job. And having some semblance of a life.

Apparently I like the pain. 1667 words a day, here I come.

These Spammers Are Getting Pithy


Today, as part of my regular blog maintenance, I went into my spam catcher widget and took a look at what’s been caught.

I look it over because occasionally I’ll find a comment that shouldn’t have been marked as spam, so I like to check.

Usually it’s the normal stuff: Cheap Rolex! Pen!s enlargement! Xanex, cheap and easy!

To be expected, I suppose.

But today, I’ve noticed a bit of a change. An advancement.

Those comment spammers are getting smarter.

Here’s a sample of some of the actual comments caught in my spam queue. These completely cracked me up today. I’ve added what I’d respond if I was the sort of person who baited trolls:

“How do i delete everything on my laptop?”

Why, is the laptop stolen? Let me know when you find out.

“Why is my browser redirecting search results to fake search engines?”

: shrug : Sounds like user error to me.

“Whoever wrote this, you know how to make a good artcile.”

Why thank you! I think. Wait, what’s an artcile?

“The genius store called, they’re rnuinng out of you.”

Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE. Ok, that got my attention.

“And I thguhot I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me straight.”

Good thing you’re not the spelling one.

“Please teach the rest of these internet hloiogans how to write and research!”

If only I could, darlin’, if only I could.

“Information is power and now I’m a !@#$ing dcitator.”

And what does that make me? I’m GOD baybee!

“I came, I read this atricle, I conquered.”

YEAH you did! Raaawwr!

“Free knowledge like this doesn’t just help, it pomrtoe democracy. Thank you.”

Wait. Can you both be a dictator and promote democracy?

“This free sharing of inforamotin seems too good to be true. Like communism.”

Wait, wait, wait. Are we a dictatorship, a democracy or communists? This is getting very confusing.

“Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my questions are anserwed!”

Buddy, this is not that kind of blog. Take your wham bam somewhere else.

“Boom shkalaaka boom boom, problem solved.”

Ok, maybe this is the kind of blog that boom shaka boom booms…hard to know.

“This piece was coengt, well-written, and pithy.”

Your comment, however, was not. Besides, who uses pithy anymore? And is coengt supposed to be cogent? Inquiring minds need to know.

“Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweetharet and a certified genius.”

Why you gotta bring my parents into this?

“You put the lime in the ccoount and drink the article up.”

Best. Comment. Ever. In the history of this blog. All other commenters, take heed. This is the apex of comment glory!

You drink this article RIGHT up! That’s right you do! Drink it in!

“Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully helfupl!”

Glorious right boot of Wonder Woman, you’re welcome!

“I could watch Schnidelr’s List and still be happy after reading this.”

Now THAT’s a compliment! Well done, commenter.

“I hate my life but at least this makes it berablae.”

My powers are stronger than even I suspected…..

“Four score and seven minutes ago, I read a sweet article. Lol thakns”

Ok, that’s kind of charming.

“With the bases loaded you struck us out with that awnser!”

A baseball metaphor *always* works with me….

“I bow down humbly in the presence of such gearnetss”

I am a benevolent God. Mostly.

Whew! Good stuff. Made it kind of hard to delete all those spam posts. Charm and wit will always win me over. Too bad they are still trolly trolls who live under mossy internet bridges.

And that means I still did what I had to do. Bye!

Possessive Punctuation

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On Monday of this week, I set out to write a post, but seriously lacked for any good ideas.

I seem to be going through the Mohave Desert of good ideas lately, and it’s killing me. I think I abused The Muse mightily back in June when I did four different entries for the county fair, and she’s pouting now. Seriously pouting.

So I decided to rely on my tried and true Muse busting trick of going to the random word website, laying down the rule that I must use the first word that shows, and then just writing.

The word I got was: apostrophe

Well. It’s Wednesday and I still got nothing to write about the word apostrophe. I’ve been Googling the word trying to come up with good ideas, but nothing really sparks my interest.

I mean, c’mon: “apostrophe…from the Greek apostrophos (prosoidia) (the accent of) turning away”

Um. Ok.

And then the grammar pages discussing how the apostrophe is either used to denote a missing letter, as in can’t, or to denote a possessive, i.e. Karen’s blog.

And a dissertation on how the apostrophe and the single quote are two TOTALLY different things (even though they look exactly alike).


I mean really, random word generator? Apostrophe? If you had to give me a punctuation word, why not something with flair, like Ampersand? Or as mudane as Comma, but at least I could wax on for a thousand words about my own personal, overuse, of, the, comma.

But nooooooo. You had to drop apostrophe on my already massively blocked self.

Damn you aposotrophe for making my already stifled Muse even stiflier!

Tis simply a writer’s dilemma. (<--Huh? Huh? Did you see what I did there?)

Cartoon from What The Duck.

Keeping My Smart Assery To Myself


Today my Swedish boss (who lives in London) called me to discuss the PowerPoint presentation I’d created for him. He gets to present to a VERY big boss tomorrow and wanted to make sure he understood everything I’d written.

Boss Man was going through each slide showing me what changes he’d made and making sure I agreed.

Let’s pick up the conversation from there:
BossMan: “And so on that second to last bullet, about the contract. It’s a four years contract, right?”

Me: “Yup, four year term.”

BossMan: “I noticed on your slide you’d written four year contract. Not four years. It’s correct to say four years contract.”

Me: “In America we say four year contract. Not years.”

BossMan: “Why is that?”

Me: “Because America has bastardized the English language? Is that the correct answer?”

BossMan: “Fair enough.”

Can you tell from this conversation that it is performance review season?

If this conversation had taken place a few weeks from now, I’d make some tacky comment about how a Swede can’t possibly be expected to know English grammar rules if he can’t even pronounce a J correctly.

But not today. Nope, today I’m all sweetness and light.