There are many reasons that I stay in this insane business of technical book writing. For one thing, it really makes my day when I hear from you about the ways in which you’re using the books I write to improve your lives. However, I must admit that I’m always thrilled to see one of my books in another language. It gives me a sense of not only helping my fellow English speakers, but a worldwide audience. I truly want to help as many people as I can. So, it was with great celebration that I received the Italian edition of Start Here! Learn Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Programming this past week. Rebecca and I made it a point to tell our friends and some family members about the new addition. I want to warmly welcome any Italian-speaking readers who might be reading this post—I plan to do my best to serve your needs too!
So, just how is it that I handle e-mail from other countries? An amazing number of people in other countries speak enough English that we can usually communicate at some level. I wish I were fluent in other languages, but I’m not. So, anyone who speaks two languages, even if they don’t speak the second language particularly well, has done something amazing as far as I’m concerned.
Unfortunately, my readers don’t always speak any English, which makes it really hard for us to communicate with each other. In these situations, I’ll try to find a reader who speaks both English and the other language to act as a translator for me. By the way, if you speak two languages and wouldn’t mind me contacting you from time-to-time for help answering e-mail in other languages, please write me at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.
Having a translator to help me really does make a difference. If I don’t have a reader who has volunteered to help with translations, then sometimes I contact the publisher. It doesn’t pan out for me very often, but I really want to provide my readers with the best service I can, so I do at least try to find a translator somewhere. Because people value timely responses, finding a translator just doesn’t work sometimes.
At this point, I’m down to using some sort of translator application. The one I use most commonly is Google Translate. The translation I receive is more like pidgin English than something truly usable, but again, I do my best to figure out what the reader wants. I then create a response and use Google Translate to turn it into the reader’s language. The first paragraph of my response is always an apology for the poor quality of the response and explanation of how I created it. Even so, most readers seem to take the terrible translation in stride and some even with a bit of humor—something I always appreciate .
So, if you’re reading my book in Italian, thank you for taking the time and expense to buy it. Please do contact me with any questions you might have. Be assured that I’ll do my best to answer any question you might have and bear with my poor translations. Let me know if something comes out too absurd and I’ll send a report to Google about it.