Is it a brand, a description, or just meaningless crap?

Our system is called “$EMPLOYER Theatre Management System”. It used to be called “$EMPLOYER Cinema Operation System”, so when they decided to change the name, Kris got the brilliant idea to put the new name in the properties file so that when it changes to the “Plexinator 5000n” or whatever, it will be a simple matter to change the name.

But being in the properties file, it is visible to the translators. I thought it was a brand name, so I sent a note to the manager of the translation department that I didn’t think they should translate it, but she said she wasn’t sure and it got kicked up the chain of command until somebody who makes millions of dollars a year decided it should be translated. Well, evidently that memo didn’t get distributed very well, because when we got our translated properties files, I discovered that the French, Japanese, Korean and Chinese translators translated it (to the point where the Chinese translation is in all Chinese characters – the others leave the “$EMPLOYER” part untouched) and the German, Italian, Spanish and Portugese translators didn’t translate it.

So what am I to do? Unfortunately the email with the decision from on-high is now lost to Lotus Notes’ 90 day expiry. I’ve told the manager of the translation department that I don’t care which way it goes, as long as all the translations go the same way. She said she’d fix it. We’ll see.