I Have No Words

on February 05, 2023
A latin phrase expressing deep emotion. In my case it's because I have plenty of them but I'm afraid to let them out. And I'm not alone - the makers of cameras, lenses, and computer programs have plenty of words as well - dictionaries of them - but in many cases they, too, have no idea what to do with them. When they do the rest of us sit back and stare in confusion. It can be like Scrabble in a mirror. Take a well-known maker of picture editing software - one that supplies truncated versions of its program to many camera makers to allow the buyers a basic chance to edit. People who use the CD supplied or download a basic program as a free thing may never know what they are missing. Or what has just missed them. In an effort to fool myself that I was going to do better post-processing I tried out their basic program. It had come free with several camera bodies. It worked, but was even less capable than the Mum and Dad program that I use foroman extremely famous software house. The one that's working right now...Anyway, I decided to spend money on the full version of the first maker's stuff and it duly downloaded and was verified. And it opened and presented itself with all the various controls. To be honest, it probably did what it said on the tin, but the tin was originally printed in Japanese and only lately translated. Functions existed that had never been seen before - labelled with words that seemed to make no connection. You could find out what happened by sliding the control or pressing the button but it was roughly the equivalent of cutting the red or the blue wire. You waited for the explosion. Language was a barrier, and in the end you were grateful to crouch down behind it until the worst of the thing had passed. Did I persist? I did not. I considered myself beaten to a pulp and decided the best plan was to ooze off and go back to the program I knew from people who spoke English when they woke up in the morning. Not being prejudiced, but I could see that translation could only go so far - and the firm presenting the goods had not realised that their wording was a debit. I have many products from the same country, and from neighbouring countries. Some makers have impeccable communication and some do not, but the ones who have spent the extra time to filter their instructions through native speakers for a vetting will get far more of the future business. PS: Same goes for Australian makers who export overseas. Get it right, folks, before the boxes leave the factory.