On April 14, I tried to access my Google Calendar at 1:35 PST and got this error screen (link may not always work). All this text showing up instead of your calendar grid is an instant cue your calendar did not load but you can also search out your most natural language and read the error text. True to my form of enjoying quizzing myself, I tried to identify the languages but am sadly lacking in 100% ability and ran the rest of it through Google Translate. Here are the languages and the order of “importance” (proportion of users) that Google Calendar serves in Canada or worldwide, who knows:
(The ones I bolded were the ones I guessed. Question marks indicate my level of certainty. I identified 10 of 18 correctly.)
- Italian (Portuguese?)
- Portuguese (Italian?)
- Chinese Traditional
- Chinese Simplified
- Polish (?)
- Swedish (?)
- Danish (?)
- Norwegian (Swedish?)
- Finnish (?)
- Turkish (?)
Of course, I noticed not only that there were two Chinese error messages and could differentiate between traditional (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, etc.) and simplified (China) script, but the characters did not exactly line up so different words were used. What were the differences, I curiously asked myself? Below, I’ve bolded different word usage and underlined traditional/simplified changes.
“Google Calendar is temporarily unavailable.
Please try back later.
In the meanwhile, you might find useful information on our Help Group and Help Center.
We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Traditional: Google 日曆暫時無法使用。
在此期間，您可以在我們的說明中心和協助團隊 (僅英文) 中找到有用的資訊。
Simplified: Google 日历暂时不可用。
- 無法使用 vs. 不可用: Traditional version was more formal in translating “unavailable”
- 說明 vs. 支持: Regarding the translation of “Help Group” Traditional used “explanation” while Simplified used “support”; both said “center”
- 協助團隊 vs. 支持论坛: Regarding translation for “Help Center”, Traditional translated “help team” while Simplified translated “support forum”
- 僅 vs. 仅有…版: In saying “English only”, Simplified was more formal this time
- 中找到 vs. 查找: In translating “searching”, Traditional was kind of colloquial while Simplified implied “investigate” in addition to searching
- 資訊 vs. 信息: Traditional translated it more technically like “trade data” while Simplified translated it “pass on information”
- 造成 vs. 由此带来: Traditional says “cause” with just two characters and addresses you respectfully with “您” while Simplified is more roundabout and not personally apologetic
- 謹此致歉 vs. 深表歉意: Traditional says “solemnly apologize” while Simplified says “deeply apologize”, pretty much the same
In the traditional text, there was also an additional space after the “built-in” space after the foot-stops/periods. Just a copywriter mistake? Just like perhaps two different people wrote the Chinese error messages and this was just a futile language exercise?!?
Still, it drives me a little mad that not only are there two scripts–the simplified one, ironically, more difficult for me to read–but two ways of writing?!