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Off topic: "Pointless" translations?
Thread poster: Buck

Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 23:18
Member (2007)
Dutch to English
Apr 15, 2007

Hi. I am working on articles of association. I must have done 100s of them, but I wonder what anyone else thinks about translating a document that may never be read, disappering instead into a desk drawer?

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
My thoughts Apr 16, 2007

I have also translated many articles of association and numerous other legal documents of different kinds and I wonder if anyone ever reads them. Moreover, I would pity anyone who would have to.

I also recall a case in which I did literally a mountain of translation and it ended up being thrown out of court due to lack of merits.

I do my best at this work as though it were being published for a world audience, and if it were I would be proud of it.

I get paid well for all of it and I myself consider it to be a great accomplishment, so if there is food on my table and I'm happy, why should I complain?

Now it would be nice to translate the next best-seller, even for a pittance, for it to be the delight of millions. Yet then I would probably not be happy because I would feel exploited.

That's my thought on the matter.


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 23:18
Member (2007)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for input Apr 16, 2007

So it isn't just me? That's good to hear LOL

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Nicole Martin
Local time: 17:18
German to English
It happens to me all the time Apr 16, 2007

I work in-house, translating vehicle repair manuals. The problem is, the manuals may have information that applies several different (but similar vehicles), including ones we don't even have here in the US. But I have to translate it all. So I may translate a manual with information for Car 1 and Car 2, then the editors who go over the manuals after me just delete everything I have translated for Car 2 because we don't have it.

I have to translate it all anyway because it can be easier than trying to sort out what applies and what doesn't. Also, I use Trados, so everything I do is saved into a TM. That means even if the information doesn't apply to our market this time, it could in the future in another manual and Trados will be able to reuse the translation I already did.

Still, it can be a little disheartening at times to work on a section and think about how it will just be deleted!


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 22:18
Quite a lot of the time ;-) Apr 16, 2007

A lot of the Irish translations I do are required by our Official Languages Act 2003, but I know perfectly well they'll never be read by the general public.

Hundreds of thousands of Euro are spent on translating all these Government reports that Irish speakers don't read or download, yet there is a severe lack of Irish-language textbooks for schools.

I'd rather translate a textbook that I know thousands of kids will use instead of translating another yawnsome Departmental Annual Report that will gather dust, whether it be in a warehouse somewhere or online.

But hey, what do I know. Either way, I just keep my head down and invoice them at the end of the month

Orla


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 17:18
German to English
Pointless documents keep prices down Apr 16, 2007

From time to time (and more frequently than I'd like), I receive documents to translate that are basically for informational purposes only -- to be read once, if at all, then tossed or filed away. This winter I received a package of documents to translate that cost the client not a small amount to have translated (and a rush job, to boot!). 2 days after I delivered the translation, the client gave me an e-mail to translate stating in effect that the project described in detail in the other documents had been canceled. Companies generally have a limited translation budget, and having documents translated "just to have a copy" provides clients with a distinct disincentive to pay decent prices.

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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 23:18
Member (2007)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
Invoicing Apr 16, 2007

Interesting points you make, Orla. As for invoicing, well of course!!

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Marian Vieyra  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:18
Member (2007)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Pointless translations Apr 16, 2007

Hello Orla,

I do agree with you about the irony of Irish being an EC language that requires translation. More euros should be thrown at its status as a minority language (both north and south of the border) and more help given to encourage its revival. Then, maybe more people would actually be able to appreciate your talents!

Regards
Marian Vieyra


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RieM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:18
English to Japanese
+ ...
Oh, wonderful softeware license agreement. Apr 17, 2007

I have done many software localization projects, and everytime a new client or a new product comes around, the last bit of translation is, except for the release note or some marketing materials, the License Agreement.

It always makes me wonder how many people would stop at the screen during the install to read this thing before hitting "AGREE"? Or, even "Disagree"?

I know it's not pointless, but it used be truly pointless because some of what was written was not applicable to the target country. We were told "just do it". And I still "just do it". I just did last week.


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