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Thread: Ali Express

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  1. #1
    My Ali Express order arrived a couple of days ago with bits missing. After informing the supplier, I received a message asking me to send a photo of the missing bits ------ WTF is he on?

    Expected

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    Received

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  2. #2
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 218. Received thanks 32 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    His English will be only slightly better than your Chinese and he may have machine translated his message using Baidu (similar to Google Translate). What he's asking you is to send a photo of what you received.

    Presumably you haven't approved the payment yet.

  3. #3
    The brass nut is really sloppy, but it is actually to my advantage for my application. The whole lot was a only fiver anyway and I am sure that it will be sorted. My real annoyance is that the project will be subject to further delay.

    I don't really see the value of sending a photo unless the goods were damaged.

    I understand that his English may be better than my Chinese as my Chinese language knowledge is close to zero.

    I haven't yet acknowledge receipt of goods on Ali, so his funds are still in escrow.

  4. #4
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 1,500. Received thanks 278 times, giving thanks to others 10 times.
    How about the library with a notice saying, "Do you want to learn to read?"

    Sometimes you just have to guess what they meant and not what they said!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    How about the library with a notice saying, "Do you want to learn to read?"
    Or the car sticker that says 'If you can read this thank a teacher.'

  6. #6
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 218. Received thanks 32 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Yes, sorry wasn't trying to sound glib but I worked for a Chinese company for several years and worked in and out of there for the best part of 15 years. Thank god I haven't been back for the last couple of years, as I'm now too old and fat and stupid to be trudging around the place any longer.

    Most Chinese engineers have only a (very) basic ability in written English, as it's taught in school and is the universal technical language. Most aren't comfortable speaking English at all and even then, most of the teachers have never left the country in the first place. I guess that's your Chinese whispers in action.

    The reason most user manuals are so crap is because they translate them with online translators. I've done it myself in desperation and the results are very similar - they sort of make sense if you know what they mean in the first place, otherwise they quickly become gobbledegook.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Muzzer View Post
    Yes, sorry wasn't trying to sound glib
    Don't worry - I have used online translators myself (Chinese to English) and though they are useful tools, they do not have the style or idiom of English if it were translated by a native English speaker.

    As an amusing aside, I was part of a team which had one Malay bloke in it (his name was Tin Tek Tung btw). When a Londoner colleague told him his English wasn't good (it was though), he only spoke to that person in Malay for a week and if he complained Tin would say something like 'You learn Malay' in a voice like that was all he knew. Until the apology was issued.

  8. #8
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 1,500. Received thanks 278 times, giving thanks to others 10 times.
    I've been using the SZGH manuals recently and while the English is not good, it's perfectly understandable with a little bit of work - as Muzzer says, if you understand the basic subject it makes sense but there's no way that a beginner would make much of it. Hey, I know people who been speaking English since birth and still struggle!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    I know people who been speaking English since birth and still struggle!
    Gosh, both my children took about a year before they could speak and another two before they could engage in meaningful debate

  10. I live daily with language differences, I'm from Uk but now live in Spain, I have been here 30 odd years but still have problems at times, its not only translation but also gender changes, for example a ship, train, car have always been she to me but here they are masculine in spanish and therefore everything changes, then you have pronunciation and within spanish diferent languages, galician, castelano, catalan and more. I think that is where a lot of translation programs break down.

    Derek

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