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If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys!
Thread poster: Dave Greatrix

Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:46
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Oct 18, 2002

The following is a text passage taken at random from a 65 page users manual that I have been asked to edit. I have taken it at random, because all of the text is equally poor.


If no warning light is fitted, the air-conditioning will automatically be switched off if the system become a failure. Be aware that when the air-conditioning does not operate correctly (low cooling capacity), there could be a failure in the system.


To switch on the air-conditioning you have to push switch 15.

The air-conditioning works only when the engine is on and the blower-fan (21) is switched on.


There are two kinds of seat turning systems:

· 180° rotating console (standard)

· 90° rotating seat (optional)

180° rotating console:

The 180° drivers seat is mounted on a turning console, which enables turning the seat over 180°. In this manner, the drivers seat can be positioned in forward and backwards driving direction.

The 180° rotating console is hydraulically operated and can only be operated with engine running.

Turn the drivers seat as follows:

· Stop the vehicle and shift the gear lever in the neutral position and engage the parking brake.

· It is recommended that the feet be placed on the brake pedals

· Push in switch 16 (seat rotation) placed on the front dashboard and turn after that at the same time the steering wheel in a smooth manner.

The rotating console will turn in the same direction as the steering wheel.

· Turn the steering wheel until the seat has turned over 180°.(Till bump stop)

· Let go off the switch 16. The rotating console will be automatically locked.

Note: The parking brake will automatic engage by pushing the switch 16. Until the turning seat can be locked (only in position against the bump stops) the automatic parking brake keeps engaged.

Some versions may be equipped with \"logical steering\" / “logical lighting”. In case of “logical steering”, the direction of steering will change after turning the seat. In case of “logical lighting”, headlights are mounted in the back of the vehicle and the direction of the direction indicators will change after turning the seat.


The text is also littered with\"blinking lights\" \"go slower until\" and lights that \"go of??\" and \"light up\"

Their words not mine!

Needless to say this is a translation that has been carried out by a non-native speaker of the English language.

In the absence of the original Dutch text, my job is to make this look like a \"proper\" technical manual.

I would guess that this translation was carried out by less than proficient translators for less than than the acceptable rates.

The client is now faced with extra cost for having to pay me an hourly rate to sort it all out.

It is taking me almost as long to edit as it would have done if I had started from scratch.

Would my fellow members not agree that there is a moral there somewhere?

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Local time: 00:46
Afrikaans to Spanish
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Globalization... Oct 18, 2002

is the answer...

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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:46
English to Dutch
+ ...
Globalization: maybe? Oct 18, 2002


On 2002-10-18 11:25, albertov wrote:

is the answer...

I\'d go for greed here.

Your customer ought to be the first one to be blamed here.

Good luck anyway!


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Chris Hopley  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:46
German to English
+ ...
translation by backpackers Oct 18, 2002

My condolences on your text

We\'ve all seen this sort of thing many times. Often texts like these are translated by people in-house (and who are probably otherwise very good in their field of expertise) who find themselves qualified to translate because they spent a year in America once. So many people just don\'t realise that translating requires a vast skill set that goes far beyond the mere ability to speak a foreign language fluently.

Writing well in your own language is difficult enough at times, let alone in a foreign language that you mastered in a year while backpacking across the States ...

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Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:46
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Just when you think it can't get any worse....... Oct 19, 2002

you come across the following:

\"When automatic (thermal) fuses are installed you must first take care of the disturbance before activate the fuses to rehabilitate the power circuit\"

I\'m glad I\'ll be finished today!!!!

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If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys!

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