An embarrassing mistake

  / by Matt

I woke up this morning to find an email forwarded through Joeri, written by Guifré, our Catalan subtitle translator. He was happy after receiving his DVD but surprised to find that the word in the subtitle menu for the Català language was incorrect. Oops…

When I was working on the DVD menus last month, I had the list of languages for the subtitles menu and it was just about ready to go. Joeri and thousands of screaming fans here were rightfully pestering me to get it done as fast as possible, but it bothered me that the list of languages was in English, i.e. the word “Japanese” rather than “日本語”. I proposed to the others that out of respect and appreciation for our volunteer translators, we should have the subtitle names written in the native language, and they all agreed. Since I don’t speak 30 different languages, I looked for a place where I could find translations before sending the file off for encoding.

Being an open project, I naturally thought of Wikipedia, which had served me well in the past, and indeed there’s lots of information (including native spellings) on every language I searched for. However Wikipedia is openly and collaboratively written, and it just so happened that while I was checking for the Català language, a vandal had gone and changed the name of the language to ‘Polaco’ through the article. Guifré tells us that apparently in Català, this is a childish insult sometimes used against Catalan people. I found this today by looking at Wikipedia’s history page of that article for April 7 – the vandalism was corrected quickly in half a day, but in a perfect example of horrible timing, I’d already copied it into Blender.

It was a stupid and regrettable mistake and I really apologise that it happened – I only had the best intentions. What’s weird though is that the word ‘Polaco’ apparently means something like ‘a Polish person’ – I don’t think that’s anything to be insulted about, Polish people are great! :) I also hope everyone can see the humour of it, it’s a successful prankster joke we should just laugh about and then move on shrugging it off. Blender represents a real global community, our Catalan friends should be proud of themselves and consider being called Polaco (Polish) as a compliment instead!

Anyway, there’s not anything we can do now since the DVDs have already been created and sent out, but I have already edited the menu .blend file with the correct word, for any future releases. It definitely raises some issues and thought about the consequences of open content, its manipulation and veracity, and I wonder what sorts of interesting surprises lie ahead now that our own Elephants Dream files are making their way throughout the wide world…

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74 Responses to “An embarrassing mistake”

  1. Reda said on 10 May, 2006:

    What a pity :(.
    Time to check the Arabic one too ;)

  2. Jonathan Merritt said on 10 May, 2006:

    Well stated Matt. I think it was a very admirable intent not simply to have all the language names written in English. As an open web-based community, we are also open to childish vandalism. I hope this can be a time to remember all the positive outcomes of openness: Blender, the efforts of Guifré and the other translators, and everything else to come out of Project Orange.

  3. Jordi Pina said on 10 May, 2006:

    Hey buddy, don’t worry ;)

    I’m catalan and I’ve laughed a lot ;)

    Bye bye, from a “Polaco” ;)

  4. joeri said on 10 May, 2006:

    Being a last minute decision it was widely open for mistakes.

    I’d expected errors like the “日本語” showing the chinese subtitles, but not something like this.
    The fact I was frustrated that I could not find to which language I should connect that wrong word to, should have warned me something was wrong… I didn’t expected something like this.
    And I was more worried to mix up slovanian with slovakian…

    Due to time pressure there also was no time to let the translators check the actual translations on the discs.
    I tried to make sure all languages used the right coding (utf-8, utf-greek, etc, there where lots of them and some even needed special fonts), but I would not be surpriced if we find more errors. I can only hope they are not offensive. If they are then please remember they are mistakes, not intended.

  5. buergi said on 10 May, 2006:

    Nobody is perfect, and I’m sure if you’ll ever use wikipedia or just any other internet source again you’ll check it twice. So see it in a positive way. This movie is SO perfect that those little mistakes, no matter how many, won’t ever change this.
    great work i love this movie with and without this mistake
    PS: my DVD arrived South Germany :D

  6. Carsten said on 10 May, 2006:

    That was a true “murphy timing” :oD

    Now i´m looking forward to put the DVD in my player (when i received it finaly) and select a “kraut” subtitle language.. ;o)

  7. Reda said on 10 May, 2006:

    Just out of curiosity, what’s “kraut” ? :)

  8. MrSandman666 said on 10 May, 2006:

    “Kraut” is a somewhat insulting name that the western forces came up with during the Second World War for us Germans. The name comes from the belief that Germans eat lots of Sauerkraut all the time, a certain kind of cabbage that is not really popular outside of Germany.
    So, it must be similar for a Catalan to read “Polaco” for their subtitles and for a German to read “Kraut” as their subtitle.

    So, are there any other confirmations on received DVDs in Germany? When I left the house this morning the DVD hadn’t yet arrived with regular mail but maybe it is delivered by DHL which tends to come in the afternoon. God, I can’t wait to get home!!!

  9. elveo said on 10 May, 2006:

    kraut means something like a herb. its the english short for sauerkraut, which ppl in germany possibly ate a lot back in time, i think i remember that they had it on ships to prevent vitamin c problems. however,

    tell s you the whole story. *cough*lookforvandalism*cough* ;)

  10. Reda said on 10 May, 2006:

    Thank you both for your explanation :). The Orange experience is still enriching..

  11. Joan said on 10 May, 2006:

    «Polacos» is how franquists call us. There’s nothing to laugth about this, It’s a very unfortunate mistake.

  12. Toni said on 10 May, 2006:

    we have the word ‘polakki’ in Finnish as well, i dont know the history but yes it is not a nice word. so i agree that nothing to laugh about, just unfortunate and we can only be sorry.

    the Estonians call us ‘poro’, i.e. reindeer in Finnish (them being the more civilized continental cousins in the family :) , but that is a more harmless case.


  13. Joan said on 10 May, 2006:

    An observation:

    > “the word ‘Polaco’ apparently means something like ‘a Polish person’”

    Well, this is true in Spanish language, not in Catalan. In Catalan Polish people are called «Polacs». Its only one letter but a very different meaning.

    Excuses, here is something to read about franquist politics:

    Language politics in Francoist Spain

  14. Paugon said on 10 May, 2006:

    Hi everybody and congratulations for Elephants Dream, I could see it yesterday at Guifre’s home. In fact, I’m who purposed him to translate it in catalan, because I knew about the project and about the fact that Guifre loves and wants to preserve catalan language.

    There’s two theories about this insult: The first one, that they were lots of polish prostitutes in Barcelona (Catalonia) during the Franco’s period, so “polaco” was like say “son of a – – -“. The other theory is because we were opressed in 1939 by Franco, the same year that Polonie was conquered too.

    The only thing I want to say is that we’re not “victims” being compared with polish people (they’re great, as Matt said!!), this is not the problem with the word “polaco”. The problem is the meaning of the insult, that’s not “a polish person” but “son of a – – -” or “conquered people”.

    I hope Elephants Dream won’t be your last project, because it’s really interesting. The unic thing I didn’t liked so much is the script, because it’s like “well, we want to do a movie with blender, what about the script?”, and at the end of the short I don’t know exactly what are you trying to explain. I think cinema has to tell something interesting, even if the way to tell it is the most important thing into the project.
    So I hope you guys will do more projects, you deserve it a lot, you’re great! And Elephant’s it’s amazing.

  15. ulsurp said on 10 May, 2006:

    So, quick question raised by this post: I assume you used Blender for all the graphics, but what software, (e.g. DVD Architect), did you use to, you know, put it all together with menus, animations and such? I ask as I could use a good free one, though I don’t know if your commitment to open source extends that far. The one I have is very limiting.

  16. tonig said on 10 May, 2006:

    > “And I was more worried to mix up slovanian with slovakian…”

    joeri: As of speaking about Slovenia, my only hope is that DVD won’t go to Slovakia instead, this would be the only mistake I couldn’t handled :) I can handle with no trouble if you wrote “slovanian” instead correct one “slovenian” :)

    Thanks for you big effort you’ve put in making it possible at all!

  17. Other Toni said on 10 May, 2006:

    Hee Hee…

  18. Jordi Pina said on 10 May, 2006:


    Hola Joan

    Yeah, it isn’t a good think to laugh about, but, what will we do? Be angry with… who?

    I think that it is better to take it with irony and don’t give to this error more importance :)

    Anyway, good work!!!

  19. Paugon said on 10 May, 2006:

    Yeah Jordi,

    Anyone looked for this little mistake, so it’s a silly thing to concentrate our minds in it…

  20. JuanJavier said on 10 May, 2006:

    Don’t worry too much about that, Matt…

    That things happen, no one is perfect…and in big scale projects like ED, chances are that little mistakes like this will undesirably come in. This and many others too.

    I hope that Guifré understands it (I am sure there is no doubt he does), and on the other side he can enjoy the film and contents as much as I did.

    I screened the 1280×720 HD version on my 19″ flat monitor this afternoon and put on my AKG K-141 studio monitor headphones for a stereo high definition private session in full glory. I wonder where and when will I be able to run the 1920×1080 version. Has anybody been able to do it, besides Cinema Ketelhuis?

    I thank you all for all the good work, and the Orange community for their support. I am eager to know when will we watch “Elephants 2: The Dream returns” ;-)


    Juan Javier Martínez.

  21. Joan said on 10 May, 2006:

    Don’t worry, I will buy a copy ;-) This kind of things happen.

    Err… and a friend has telled me that the correct word is “Polonès”, seems that “Polac” is a barbarism.

  22. torusturtle said on 10 May, 2006:

    What are the odds!
    It shows how every advantage (open infomration) can have it’s disadvantages.

    Well it makes the first produced disc very special. All the collectors out there should be proud.

  23. torusturtle said on 10 May, 2006:

    Well I ment they should be happy. :-)

  24. [t0rc] said on 10 May, 2006:

    I just shows that integrity, honesty, and reliability are a key part of the OSS community. There are people out there that will take advantage of the OSS world and do stuff like this but, there are greater legions of people that have the integrity to correct/fix these things. Kudos to Matt for publicly addressing it and the folks that recognized the mishap.

    I don’t think it’s that big of a deal – as Jordi Pina pointed out above – definitely something to be laughed about as it wasn’t done on purpose.

    Well done Orange Team, you should be proud of your accomplishment(s), we all know we are.

  25. Chris Gilbert said on 10 May, 2006:

    Still no DVD for me :(
    Hopefully it will come tomorrow….or the next day

  26. Bill (William Reynish) said on 11 May, 2006:

    Just got the DVD in. Everything is great, movie looks nice (already saw it unrendered as a translator), and the DVD menu and presentation are top notch. Very pro looking.

    Unfortunately, on the danish translation of which I was responsible, the special danish letters æ, ø and å look all jumbled up, and are replaced by apostrphes and what not.
    What a pity, though I realise there must have been a lot of pressure to get this thing out of the door.

  27. GuiFF said on 11 May, 2006:

    Hi to everybody, I’m so glad to know what have happend with this huge mistake! Of course I knew you didn’t have time to check it all and that you didn’t have any bad intention from the begining, it’s only that we must recognize what we’ve done wrong or not as well as we could.
    And what’s more important! We must say this film is amazing and this project fantastic. I hope we can join another project and find a different way of writting a script (as my friend Pau said (he is a f.cking director). :P xD
    For all this, I want to show all of you that I am human too, but I’m a little bit worse ‘cos in the catalan subtitles there are two mistakes. :( When I was finishing the text I have two questions about some words that were said but not written. So I put it there: FALTA GREAT and FALTA PERÒ. :P On the show there’s no time to see very clear what have happend so I’d like to show this error. I must say too that this was my first job out of a friend’s project so in next projects I’ll do my best with more experience!
    I’ll see the movie more times and the extras to say more opinions! I hope everyone could make it and learn about all of this.

    Per cert, us recordaré que el gentilici de Polònia és polonès/esa; però no es diu polac/a o polacs/ques. xD No us sona malament? Sembla que a algú li ha expirat la castanya o potser parla per parlar. ;) Just a joke.

  28. baratare said on 11 May, 2006:

    My DVD came this morning 10th may: Wales
    Thank you
    it is excellent

  29. Peter said on 11 May, 2006:

    Gerade hab ich mir den Teaser angesehen und ich muss einfach sagen: Super! Ich habe zugegebenmassen mir die letzte DVD vor einigen Jahren gekauft, weil ich die Hollywood-Mafia nicht weiter unterstützen will. Schlechte Bildqualität, Regionalcode, Kopierschutz….Nein Danke!.Es gab und gibt (noch) andere Wege, aber diese Projekt werde ich unterstützen und mir Eure DVD kaufen, denn ICH habe die Wahl: Runterladen, von einem Freund kopieren oder kaufen. Und ich werde kaufen. DANKE!A+++

  30. Peter said on 11 May, 2006:

    Ok. Mein Kommentar paßte jetzt nicht ganz zum Thema, mußte ich aber jetzt loswerden….;-)

  31. Deathguppie said on 11 May, 2006:

    I Got another, stack of credit card applications. No movie yet. Maybe I should just get the credit cards, move to Amsterdam and start woking on a movie.

    Well, maybe I could just get someone there to help me with my texturing and lighting :/

    Ok.. forget it.. can’t wait to get the movie =)

  32. Deathguppie said on 11 May, 2006:

    Oh, by the way we wouldn’t mind if you called us Yanks. Even though technically it originally came from the slang word Yankee, the the English used to call the Dutch..

    The Dutch settled in New York, which was loyalist till the end of the revolutionary war.

    My Fathers Family is English going way back, and My mothers Family is Dutch.. guess I’m a Yank..

  33. batdog said on 11 May, 2006:

    Received my DVD yesterday, thank you. I’ve had a great time trawling through all the production files. What a thrill to see my name on the credits of a movie! Unfortunately I’ve somehow deleted the DVD codec on my PC so I’ll have to watch it on my Xbox tonight!

    One question, which may have been raised a while ago and which may be answered once I’ve watched it:

    The title “Elephants Dream” – is the word “Dream” a verb or a noun? If it’s a noun, then you are missing an apostrophe. In other words, if the film represents the dream of an elephant it should be “Elephant’s Dream”; the dream of several elephants would be “Elephants’ Dream”. Currently the title is stating the fact that all elephants dream when they go to sleep.

    Sorry to be so pedantic, but it is 6 o’clock in the morning…the time when you suddenly think of questions like this!

  34. Matt said on 11 May, 2006:

    batdog: yes that’s correct, we thought it would be more fun that way :)

  35. LOGAN said on 11 May, 2006:

    Yankee comes from the Dutch names Jan and Kees. Jan-Kees Yankees.

  36. Lemontea said on 11 May, 2006:

    Sigh, learn the lesson that whenever one use wikipedia for important things or urgent business, even if time were insufficient to fact-check everything, at least, click on the “histroy” tag on the top of every wikipedia page. It will shows a list of edit history, with the username of the editor. Usually most vandalism are obvious- many are done by annoymous users(so that it shows their IP address rather than username), have no edit summary, and many are just nonsense edits. Also, if the word “rv” or “revert” appear frequently in the edit summaries, the article was vandalised heavily, so watch out. Besure to check the most recent edits and check the blocklog of annoymous users.

  37. Joeri said on 11 May, 2006:

    I think the next project should have no dialog.

  38. Sympodius said on 11 May, 2006:

    @JuanJavier I’ve run all versions in the HD folder fine using VideoLAN Client.

    @Joeri I think the voice acting was so good, it would be a shame not to have had dialogue in the movie. But I suppose in future projects, having a dialogue free movie could be seen as more universal. I thought Les Triplettes de Belleville managed to do it pretty well.

  39. joeri said on 11 May, 2006:

    I hate it that Guifré can’t show his work to others because he feels offended by the menu. So I’ll fix the error and send a new version to him.

    What I want to do is see if there is a way get the disc made with opensource authorware. Then release the assets so that everyone can build and burn their own dvd. This way errors can be fixed, and additions can be made.

  40. Daniel said on 11 May, 2006:

    I got the DVD yesterday here in England and was very impressed. (The special features and making of were very comical as well)

    I seem to remember ton saying in the making of that he would like to do another film (maybe longer) with the lessons learnt. (or something to that effect)
    I really hope that you find the resources to do another orange project (after a well earned rest). Now looking forward to seeing all the improvements in the next blender release, this project was a great way to find what’s missing in blender and the speed of development in the last half year has been impressive.

    After listening to the commentry I’m going to have to start looking at the blend files to find out all the details that are there but not visible in the film.


  41. joeri said on 11 May, 2006:

    I showed Elephants Dream at my office yesterday.

    They where all very impressed.
    I also showed the blender files and then they started to grasp the difference between the work of 8 people against 200.

  42. Roger Wickes said on 11 May, 2006:

    maybe i am an eternal optimist, but i think it’s fantastic that there is even a thing called the Wikipedia that we access for free. Within my lifetime (and i am only 45) i remember having to go to the Library (remember that building with all the books in it?) and look up DataPro Guides (updated quarterly) for information on computers and chips and such, or check out translation books (and guaranteed my local library would not have CatalanEnglish). So, what was not even possible, much less available within a few clicks, a decade ago we now all expect to be perfect?

  43. Roger Wickes said on 11 May, 2006:

    ps – my wife is Polish and she’s great. After 25 years, I think I’ll keep her. And I am proud to be her husband. When I was a child and bigotry was much more prevalent, to be called a Pollack was to be implied to be stupid. It is my belief that global enlightenment will eventually purge the world of racism and bigotry. For now though, we have to put up with vandals and follow around behind them cleaning up their senseless mess.

  44. jan said on 11 May, 2006:

    Roger: Hey, I don’t think anyone disagrees upon Wikipedia’s sheer coolness. Personally, I love it and would never want to go back to a time when dead trees were the only source of knowledge. Still, there are some potential pitfalls that should be kept in mind when working with it – letting people know about them in a constructive manner (as opposed to the pathetic “OMFG this will never work! Communists!” campaigns some traditional media outlets run against it) will just increase Wikipedia’s usefulness in the long run.

  45. greg said on 11 May, 2006:

    i received yesterday my copy of elephants dream dvd, and i recognised a small error with the hungarian language also :)
    this is my native language, and i wanted to see the subtitles
    during the movie, but they didnt showed up on the screen. i turned it on of course in the language selection menu. nothing…
    i use windvd for watching dvd`s, and there is a right mouse click panel, where you can choose from all the languages awailable….hungarian was not there….instead there was a lot of different kind of languages, even subtitle16, subtitle9, and so on :DD not one of them is hungarian….anyway, i`ve found the
    translation file on the dvd, opened it with notepad, and here is the 3rd problem… sentence is not translated :)
    man…thats sucks.. :DD
    catalan people can feel themselves lucky to have just ONE error in their subtitle :)
    our language is so unimportant, it does not shows up during the movie :DD
    well, i tried with the ntsc disk, i dont know, what is the situation with the pal version….

  46. GuiFF said on 11 May, 2006:

    Thanks Joeri, it would be fantastic.

    I want to say that the extra menu is so fun! I laughted a lot with my brother and we mimic them too! (just to have a nice time). This voices are so cool!

    About the possibility of burning a DVD in everyone house I’ve to say I’m interested ‘cos everyne can fix problems, errors or whatever (Even I can be the Producer or a part from the cast xD).

    Finally, to greg and others with this problem: Es tut mir Leid (sorry but I don’t remember how to say this in english either in humgarian :P). I think making a list of problems would be a perfect way to avoid future mistakes.

  47. PRaabjerg said on 11 May, 2006:

    I received the DVD a couple of days ago, too. I just have a few comments on it. As William said, unfortunately the special characters on the Danish subtitles seems to have been jumbled. They can be read though, and I don’t use them myself :)
    On the movie itself. Wonderful job on the environments. It looks absolutely beautiful. And the sounds and music are really well done too. I do think the character animations could have been bit better, but I also realize that’s one of the hardest parts to get completely right. When you get to Orange movie #2, maybe you can try and figure out how get better and more fluent character animations :)

    I also enjoyed the fact that I could get full 1280 resolution with one of the HD files on my monitor. Now, _that_ was nice.

    One thing struck me as odd though. I couldn’t find the background music/soundtrack on the DVDs. Are they supposed to not be there?

  48. jan said on 11 May, 2006:

    PRaabjerk: The full score will be released here in a few days, stay tuned :)

  49. claas kuhnen said on 12 May, 2006:

    thats propably the best glitch i ver read about!

  50. Henrymop said on 12 May, 2006:

    All I have to say is I hope no one gets the bright idea of making a porno with Emo and the other guy.

  51. LetterRip said on 12 May, 2006:


    [QUOTE]They where all very impressed.
    I also showed the blender files and then they started to grasp the difference between the work of 8 people against 200.[/QUOTE]

    Eh the 8 and 200 could you explain a bit more what those numbers are refering to?


  52. FranzRogar said on 12 May, 2006:

    First time I heard that “Polaco” word were applied to Catalan people (note: I’m spanish). Maybe because I always thought that people should not live remembering our “dark ages” or maybe because my family was republicain (aka against the dictature).

    But I know that Calatan people, as other people if there’re any other mistakes, know that you have worked so hard & fast that will laugh with this/these ‘big’ issue/s (hope no more issues ;) ) and wait for Elephants Dream 2

  53. Magnus said on 12 May, 2006:

    If that word is indeed an ethnic slur used by the franquists then it’s no laughing matter.
    I bet those who have grandparents who faught in the civil war would find it hard to laugh at something the fascist used to call them.

    Read the book “Homage to Catalonia” by George Orwell for a good picture of the spanish civil war.

  54. Gerk said on 12 May, 2006:

    Magnus, I am catalan & I think that it is very important laughing about it, insults loose all its power if you don’t mind about them.

  55. Louis said on 15 May, 2006:

    Not a big deal. After all what are human beings made for.
    OBVIOUSLY to commit mistakes, so its hardly a matter of embarrassment.

  56. paprmh said on 17 May, 2006:

    This may be the wrong place to post this, but one thing that may have been overlooked in the dvd is that there are no English subtitles for deaf people… just something to think about for orange2

  57. joeri said on 17 May, 2006:

    Well, I’m afraid it’s not that simple.

    There actualy is a English subtitles for deaf people on the dvd, it only has no menu entry in the language menu’s.
    To access this track you need to use the subtitle menu of your player.
    Now why is it not in the menu you might ask.
    I found out during authoring that a 16:9 menu can only hold 18 buttons (while a 4:3 can have 25), and all the backdrops where just about ready, creating another page to move to was not an option in the given time. So I had to decide which of the languages I had to much ( and that was only one ), I decided to leave out the english version. But only from the menu, not from the subtitle tracks.
    The english sits with the dutch track, and the subtitle-less track.

  58. Loki Clock said on 1 Jun, 2006:

    “Magnus, I am catalan & I think that it is very important laughing about it, insults loose all its power if you don’t mind about them.”

    …Which is why no one can call someone a “pinko commie” with a straight face anymore.

  59. Robotech_Master said on 16 Jul, 2006:

    It’s funny, “pollock” is an epithet/insult in (American) English, too, and a word often used in the context of “dumb [ethnicity or hair color] jokes.” I’d always assumed that was a strictly American usage, but it’s interesting to learn that it has insulting connotations in other languages too. I wonder what the etymology of the epithet is, and whether it had a common origin somewhere in the dawn of history? I can’t think of any particular reason one ethnicity or nationality should be regarded as mentally deficient.

  60. Rosenkrantz said on 16 Jul, 2006:

    “Polaco” (“polish”) it’s a Spanish insult for Catalan people that shown the lack of undertanding that existed (and still exists) in Spain for the Catalan cuture. The word was created beacause some narrow minded Spanish taht were not Catalan, began to say that Catalan language sounded “like Polish”. This insult was common in the fascist dictatorship (1939-1976), may be because Poland was a socialist country and most of the defenders of the democracry were instulted as “reds”. Catalonia standed in the losing side of the Civil War, the side that defended the 2nd Spanish Republic (the democratic state).
    Poland is a country far away from Spain. Most Spanish people know nothing more that where is located (i.e. “East Europe?”, “near Russia?”).
    Catalan people know that “Polish” meaning “Catalan” it’s an insult and most of us have “deactivated” its bad meaning joking about it. The intention is the important thing with insults -I remember watching black commedians saying “nigger” with no ofense intended.

  61. hungry artist said on 16 Jul, 2006:

    You got a problem because you loooked for open (meaning “free”) collaborations. Most of the offers in AV that there are out today are open collaborations, “because there is no money”. No money means either no quality or no hope of deliverance of the lower ranks of the working class. If people do it for free why do producers have to pay? The metter resides in the motto “production gets what it pays for” -sometimes one cannot know the quality of the outcome.

  62. Pete said on 16 Jul, 2006:

    I’m a bit late to this party, but it seems to me that vandalism is vandalism. If the person who did the Wikipedia vandalism can be found, they should at least be held responsible for redistributing the damaged media.

  63. Magnus said on 16 Jul, 2006:

    (This is a different Magnus)

    I know it would have compounded your work, but perhaps by releasing DVD’s for different regions, you could fit all the translations for each region on the DVD menu.

  64. bob said on 17 Jul, 2006:

    I went to Barcelona when I was 19 (SEVERAL years ago…). What I learned while there was not about Spain but about the Catalan culture and how rich and diverse it is. I came back to the States with a much better understanding of the Iberian pennisula than I could have ever gotten from textbooks. The interseting thing about this entire thread for me is that if this mistake had not been made, many folks would never have known anything about the Catalan culture at all. Sometimes mistakes have benefits that are not seen at the outset. If nothing else, it has caused many folks to read a bit more about the Catalan culture and its wonderful people.

    What a great demonstration of the capabilities of this amazing software package. I wish I were as adept at using it’s capabilities as you all are. Kudos!!!


  65. Tomas said on 17 Jul, 2006:

    Actually, if you wonder, tha name “polaco” derives from the fact that the capital of Catalonia is Barcelona, which in catalan is read Barçalona or Barça for short. This sounds exactly like Warsaw which is the capital of Poland. I don’t think it is really offensive in the beginning, but there is a high degree of politization in Spain around periferical regions like Catalonia.


  66. Roi said on 17 Jul, 2006:

    It was not your mistake. These things happen!
    Thanks for your concern.
    I think you are gr8! Hope we’d have the same respect by everybody.


  67. Blieee said on 18 Jul, 2006:

    It was not your fault – more like the vandal’s.
    P.D. Whoever said that the proper word was “polac” needs to check his Catalan. It’s “polonès”.

  68. SinnerBOFH said on 18 Jul, 2006:

    Answering to “65. Tomas”:

    I’m sorry to say that you are mistaken.

    In Catalan, “Barcelona” is spelled “Barcelona”.

    “Barça” is the “nickname” of Barcelona’s main soccer (football) team (F. C. Barcelona, a.k.a. “Barça”)

    As a Catalan, I’m offended with the term being used in the DVD; the moron who vandalized the wikipedia page has managed to send his/her racial-cultural slurs into a DVD, and every time I’d watch the DVD, I’ll get insulted by the aforementioned moron.

    As with everything else, if you change anmything get somebody else to review it!

  69. Sergi said on 19 Jul, 2006:

    I’m catalan and I’ve been in Poland working with polish, they are great people and very gentle… I would be proud of being “confused” with being polish. :)

    “Polaco” is a usually said for spaniards that try to insult a Catalan because we speak, at least, two languages and they can’t understand one of them… so, in fact, they are calling themselves ignorants by being anoyed for the fact that we have another mother tongue.

    Well, at least this “Polaco affair” has done a lot of publicity to Catalan… you have been slashdoted! :D

    Thanks for the translation… keep the good work.

  70. Rob said on 19 Jul, 2006:

    I’ve not yet seen this film, but the “prank” only reminds me about the primary reason I originally jumped into Linux. Education. Originally that was to learn several computer languages, and perhaps gain access to applications like Blender. With this error I am reminded that things that may seem of no importance to me, may cause a break down in relationships with others.

    With family heritage ranging from Spain to Scotland and Ireland, across the Channel to Holland, France and Germany, and a few other nations, my family feet are all over Northern Europe, and, of course, North America. I appreciate hearing the corrections to errors. As a woefully “low context” sort of guy I have a tendency to step on toes unintentionally. So not only do I appreciate the great efforts of the Blender Community, but the great educational effort as well. Well done!

    And amazingly, not a single thing was thrown by a single person. Awesome!

  71. Luis Morais said on 23 Jul, 2006:

    “I don’t think that’s anything to be insulted about, Polish people are great! :) I also hope everyone can see the humour of it, it’s a successful prankster joke we should just laugh about and then move on shrugging it off. Blender represents a real global community, our Catalan friends should be proud of themselves and consider being called Polaco (Polish) as a compliment instead!”

    How patronising is this? You make the mistake and still want to teach us how to feel good about it? Are you suggesting that Catalan people are against polish people for feeling offended by term that was coined by the fascists to denote a son of a prostitute, someone that is worth taking to a concentration camp, a non-Spanish? I had family killed during franquist years, people labelled polaco. Oh dear, go read a little bit more of Wikipedia to know what happened in Spain exactly during Franco times.

    You just make yourself look like an idiot trying to justify the mistake. What is next, jokes about the holocaust?

    Next time, just apologise and shut up.


  72. Albert Gonzalez said on 24 Jul, 2006:

    I think that there’s nothing to worry about.

    If even in the local TV, called TV3, has been broadcasted this spring a great satyrical humor called Polonia, where all the main politicians of Canalonia and spain have been reflected.

    The show theme was inspired in the early 40s russian dessign.

    It was worth a good number of laughs, even when it attacked my own political views.

    Albert Gonzalez.

  73. pi511 said on 26 Jul, 2006:

    extreme sensitivy is non-sense