Are you fluent in another language?

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Madeleine's picture
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2 questions:

  • Are you fluent in a second language?
  • Would you be willing to translate for another innkeeper during emails to a guest?

This relates to my email correspondence with a guest all day today. I figured I would ask if anyone has a second language at their command and would they be willing to translate from English into the other language for the ease of the guest making a reservation?

I would definitely let the guests know the translation was being done by someone else and not me so they didn't think I would be able to talk to them in their language when they arrived!

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Proud Texan's picture
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 Sometimes we have to translate from Texan into English.    

"Are ya'll fixin' ta eat?"  =   Are you ready to dine?

We have this posted in our policies:

The proprietors speak English. All the policies and text on our web site were written in English as the prevailing and only language. The translations from online translation software may not be exact and should not represent any conflict or commitment from the original text. We are not responsible for differences, misinterpretation or confusion as a result of any translated text. 

Happy Harpie's picture
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My wife and I are fluent in German and French.  Will gladly translate for anyone that has a problem understanding a reservation request, etc.

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birdwatcher's picture
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Im fluent in Spanish, read, write and speak. Funny you all mentioned another language cause my new years resolution is to learn German-used to know it fluently as a child but lost it when i moved to the states and learned english. I've been searching e-Bay for Rosetta Stone-anyone have German Rosetta stone?

The translator on Google helps and is pretty accurate. Good luck and if I can help let me know.

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I'm fairly conversationally fluent in another language, but my written skills have declined. 

There are many language apps out there now to assist folks with this.  Emails would be really easy to translate with a language program and then reply to the guest. 

I have a language translator on both my smartphone and laptop - they both have voice recognition as well. 

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

 I've used them, but I usually have to go back and fix it afterward. Sometimes it just doesn't get the nuances or the masculine/feminine thing. 

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Joey Camb's picture
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I have tried lituanian to english on google and it was histerical! not even close! my chamber maid's fiance's sister (so sister in law?) had taken up with some super dodge people and been kidnapped in a car trunk and then escaped and this was all in the paper! so my chamber maid was trying to translate the article as she was laughing so hard she couldn't translate but it was a nonsense so had to wait till she stopped laughing for the full story!

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 I am fluent in Russian, French and Thousand Island. 

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Joey Camb's picture
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My chamber maid speaks fluent english, russian and lituanian if I ever need it and my dad speak rusty german if I need that. I speak very bad french and german, my nighboru up the street speaks punjabi and my other nieghbour speaks Dutch as she is originally from there. The funniest thing was when we had some thai people staying and they used the local thai restaurant as a translation service if they were a bit confused! don't know what the people there thought of it mind!

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 I am fluent in Russian, French and Thousand Island. 

Har har.

Not Italian? Or Ranch? (Howdy pardner!)

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

 I am fluent in Russian, French and Thousand Island. 

Har har.

Not Italian? Or Ranch? (Howdy pardner!)

I had to stop somewhere... ha ha

EmptyNest's picture
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05/22/2008

 I just downloaded a translator program for my tablet. HAven't tried it yet. you speak and it is supposed to translate...we'll see.

 

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Trilingual. But usually I answer only those in my native tongue and MOH answers those in his native tongue. We have someone to help with Spanish, German and Japanese. Google translate when we go beyond that.

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We have some fluently multilingual repeat guests who've offered to translate for us if we ever need. Even offered for us to call and put the non-english-speaking new arrivals on the phone! I haven't taken them up on it but they've done some guest book comment translations for me. And of course the times they've been staying here when NES guests are here, they interpret in person.

Madeleine's picture
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That's really nice of them!

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

If you can find someone with native or fluent abilities in both languages, that's best of course. If you can't, using someone with just a year or two of high school foreign language is probably not going to go well.

I've done pretty well in communicating with Europeans through the years with translation software like Yahoo's Babelfish and Microsoft's Bing Translator. I translate to the other language, then paste the translation back into the translator and convert it back to English. Then I know if it's doing a good job of getting the message across of it or not. Sometimes I'll use both Bing and Babelfish, converting one way in one of them, and back to English for checking using the other translator.

You have to be careful to avoid slang, idioms, and colloquialisms that don't translate well. Keep it simple and use standard grammar. Just the facts. Don't try to joke or be witty. They may take it the wrong way or have no idea what you mean.

Watch out for words that have more than one meaning, like the word rose. You could write "he rose from the chair" and the translation could come back "he red flower from the chair" in another language. But doing the translation back and forth between the two languages in the translator a few times can generally assure this won't happen.

It helps that I took French for several years in high school and college so it helps me verify things when I'm translating with French, Italian and Spanish. I'm hoping to add Portuguese in there as we start marketing more to Brazilian tourists!

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Madeleine's picture
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I've used Google translate when guests have left comments in the room books in their language. Generally it's pretty easy without a translator because either they loved it or they hated it and that's pretty easy to pick out.

I was looking for a native speaker.

I can get Russian or French or Filipino translated in house.

It's tough trying to not use colloquialisms. Who even knows what they are anymore? You move around so much in life that stuff that was strange to hear in a new location now sounds normal.

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