Google Translate: Great Tool but a Word of Caution

We are up with the times!  We have added a new feature, Google Translate, to our blog. While this proves to be a great tool for our global audience I must warn you of one thing. Because our work is based on science, terms that have a special meaning in our work are often mistranslated as most translations use the more common definitions.  A translation in Japanese for negative reinforcement came out “positive-negative reinforcement.” And some languages don’t have some of our technical words.  For example, Italian’s don’t have a word for pinpoint.  In spite some translation problems, Google Translate does facilitate an understanding of behavior analysis as applied to the workplace in places and for people who would otherwise not have access to this wonderful science of human behavior.  Remember, the laws of behavior are universal. So they apply to people who speak any language that you see in the translate list (and more).

Culture is basically about how we typically treat each other. Of course when we speak of culture we talk most often about a country or a region of a country.  However, it applies equally to any group that has frequent contact.  Even friendships have a culture.  We often have a characteristic way of interacting with different friends.  Jokes that are told to one friend would never be told to others.  Some friendships are more formal than others; some are very casual. However, in spite of the almost infinite number of different cultures that we can encounter in the world, the laws of behavior are exactly the same. ADI has done work in over 25 countries and our work has always been understood and embraced.  Reinforcement works exactly the same in all of them.  We are happy to be able to translate information for those interested in our work to non-English speaking people in a large part of the world.  We hope you find this new tool beneficial in your journey to learn about behavior analysis.

Posted by Aubrey Daniels, Ph.D.

Aubrey is a thought leader and expert on management, leadership, safety and workplace issues. For the past 40 years, he has been dedicated to helping people and organizations apply the laws of human behavior to optimize performance.