VideoAge‘s Water Cooler digital features have apparently become popular in the U.S., Latin America, and Italy, among other regions in the world, which is great. In the U.S., various newsletters (like Media, Tech & Entertainment News) just pick up the headlines, which link to the full stories, and are fantastic. And in Latin America, online publications (like The Daily Television) have the Water Cooler features translated into perfect neutral Spanish by professional journalists, which is grand.
The problem starts when some Italian digital sites pick up the features and use what looks like Google Translate to convert them into Italian. Some Italian sites (like Democrazia Futura) have the consideration to send us the “botched-up” Google Italian translations for us to edit, but others run the computerized translation as it comes out, complete with mistakes that change the meanings of certain phrases completely.
For example, an Italian school site, “Generazione Scuola,” translated parts of the headline “My Lost Television Years” as “Anni Sprecati” (or “Wasted Years”), instead of “Anni Persi” (“Lost Years”). Clearly, these have two different meanings. Naturally, we at VideoAge appreciate the attention and visibility, but it would be better if, after an online translation, the feature could be reviewed by a physical editor. In lieu of such a person, the digital sites that pick up our (duly credited) Water Cooler features should clearly indicate that their translations come from an online service, plus they should include a link to the original English-language story.