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  • Matches shown in foreign languages?

    Greek,Hebrew,Polish ,Russian and others....come on now!
    My Heritage and FTDNA so far.They don’t belong here because you couldn’t figure it out or contact them.

  • #2
    I haven't had such matches, but have had some Greek matches (who communicate in English). I would be grateful if any of my matches who couldn't communicate in English had the interest, and gone to the trouble, of testing in the first place.

    I do communicate with relatives in Greece who do not know English, and use online translating services (such as Google Translate) to both compose my letters into Greek, and to translate their letters to me into English. It is imperfect, but the obvious mistakes can be addressed by using dictionaries with the foreign language and English. Perhaps you can find someone in your area who can help with communicating with some of the foreign matches.

    Where there's a will, there's a way. You never know if one of these foreign language matches could be the one that holds the key to a brick wall.
    Last edited by KATM; 18 February 2018, 01:38 PM.

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    • #3
      If they can translate,fine,but languages like Russian,Greek,Hebrew where
      There is no way to get past their alphabet ? Looks like gibberish.
      I think maybe the computer just spits these matches out as DNA matches,without someone even realizing the language is indecipherable.
      Yes,they might be”the one”,but no way to know.They list family trees in the same gibberish(a term I use to describe their writing).Might as well be a design.I too,,understand a few languages,but unless these people tested
      Here,why wouldn’t they have an English translation component attached from the getgo? Maybe they had no idea that their stuff would reach the USA.,Canada,UK....This should be looked into by the powers that be.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Miamio View Post
        If they can translate,fine,but languages like Russian,Greek,Hebrew where
        There is no way to get past their alphabet ? Looks like gibberish.
        I think maybe the computer just spits these matches out as DNA matches,without someone even realizing the language is indecipherable.
        Yes,they might be”the one”,but no way to know.They list family trees in the same gibberish(a term I use to describe their writing).Might as well be a design.I too,,understand a few languages,but unless these people tested
        Here,why wouldn’t they have an English translation component attached from the getgo? Maybe they had no idea that their stuff would reach the USA.,Canada,UK....This should be looked into by the powers that be.
        Unless all of your ancestors came from the UK, you should learn that you can translate lots of things, but very seldom names of people and places (and jokes, and some other stuff not important in this discussion).

        You may say that a transliteration should be mandated. I have bad news for you. Different names can have the same transliteration into English alphabet (think Vietnamese for a trivial example).

        However, the most important part is that a name is just a designation, so if one of these people
        • Владимир Владимирович Путин
        • Ευάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου
        • מנחם בגין
        is in someone's tree, then it is a piece of good and accurate information.

        Life is complicated as it is. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (the first on the above list) name is written in the countries that border Russia in Europe as follows:
        • Vladimir Vladimirovitš Putin
        • Vladimiras Vladimirovičius Putinas
        • Vladimirs Putins
        • Władimir Władimirowicz Putin

        You may argue that Menachem Begin (he is the third on the above list) was known everywhere as Menachem Begin. The problem is that depending on how you approach it, he was born as
        • Mieczysław Biegun
        • Менахем Вольфович Бегин
        • Menakhem Volfovich Begin (modern transliteration of the above)
        (As far as I understand it, he had official birth certificates in the first two names issued by Poland and Russia respectively. Would German authorities use something similar to the third form during their WWI occupation of Brest/Drohiczyn/Kobryn (1915-1918)...) His records when he obtained a law degree in Warsaw, and when he was a cadet in Polish Army during WWII have him as Mieczysław Biegun and not Menachem Begin or מנחם בגין.

        I would not have used his example, if it were that easy. Jews in Poland did not use Hebrew as their everyday language, they either used Yiddish or Polish. So his Yiddish name...


        Vladimir Putin, Vangelis and Menachem Begin are names well established in English. In general, that is not the case and the original names of people and places should be used, even if they are written in a non-Latin script. Think of them as pictograms. You do not need to pronounce them, all you need is to learn how to recognize them.


        Good luck with your research!

        Mr. W.
        Last edited by dna; 4 March 2018, 06:43 AM.

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