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Translations 2


POLISH SATELLITE NAVIGATION APP ON A SMARTPHONE (When arriving at a destination programmed into the app): You’re on target!

This one – which definitely borders on the pedantic (meaning to be far too concerned with unimportant details or traditional rules), I have to say - emerged when I decided to install a Polish satnav app on my phone for the extra bit of local information it would provide for roads in Poland in addition to the Google Maps version I already had.

With my Google Maps, a very nice British lady (which sounds very much like the voice of Cortana, an interactive app on British Windows 10 that you can talk to and she can answer you back) gives me all the directions. When arriving, she would say ‘you have arrived’, and a message flashes up on my screen to say You’re right on schedule if I have taken the exact time expected to get from start to finish.

When I first installed this app from Poland (the name of which begins with the letter Y, ends in K and has the middle letters A, N, O, S, and I) some months ago (the free version, I should add), it was all in the Polish language (what did I expect?). But all the oral directions were given by a very disinterested male voice. I decided to remove it after a few weeks after a) I needed some space on my phone and b) I didn’t want to fall asleep at the wheel listening to that guy.

Since then, I’ve reinstalled it, and, to my pleasant surprise, has downloaded itself as the English language version. Even more surprising, Mr. Boring had gone and had been replaced by the Cortana/Google Maps lady speaking, of course, in English!

Interestingly, however, is what she says to me when I arrive at my destination. Instead of saying ‘you have arrived’, she says ‘you are on target’.

Now in a different context ‘on schedule’ and ‘on target’ have a very similar meaning: ‘to be there at the expected or planned time (if the current situation remains normal or regular)’. However, ‘on schedule’ can also mean ‘to complete by the expected or planned time’. ‘On target’, however, purely means that ‘you are making good progress and are likely to achieve the result that is wanted’. But as I have arrived at my destination, I’m not moving anymore and so this phrase would be incorrect.

But, as I mentioned at the beginning, maybe I am being a little too pedantic here.

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