Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Quality at it's best - error in agency brochure
Thread poster: GoodWords

GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2003

This post could also have been titled:

Checking out the competition (and feeling good)

OR: I'll think twice before sending my CV to this agency

The agency in question has a polished, professional-looking site. Their well-designed brochure inspires confidence in the potential client, as it describes the rigorous process of checking and editing applied to each translation. Until we get to the last section of the brochure, where we read:


Final Check
The project is now ready for it's final check.


[Edited at 2003-06-14 18:06]


Direct link
 

Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:16
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
C´mon! Jun 14, 2003

Its only a human mistake.

Direct link
 
xxxCHENOUMI  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
Inexcusable ! Jun 14, 2003

Hi GW,

Not a human mistake... A grammatical mistake, and that is inexcusable.

Considering mostly the higher grounds taken by that company and the fact that it touts itself to be so...professional... and - last but not least - considering this, being the product of a "native" speaker...

Which by the way, should clearly debunk the myth about "native" speakers being the "only" qualified professionals...

I'm dying to get into a prospective debate about the "native"/"non-native" issue, simply because I am passionate about linguistics. I don't want to confuse the issues here, but it promises to be a very interesting exchange, from a strictly linguistic standpoint.

Basic grammar rule:
Its = possessive adjective
it's = contraction of pronoun "it" + "is" (third person of stative verb "to be").


From a non-native speaker


[Edited at 2003-06-14 23:54]


Direct link
 

Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:16
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
C´mon! Jun 14, 2003

True. It is inexcusable, unacceptable, but humans make mistakes. Still, I think it's only a mistake, not an error, because I'm sure the author knows the rules. Even in some of the greatest pieces of literarure we find similar human mistakes... but that was not my point in the posting above anyhow...

Direct link
 
xxxCHENOUMI  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
Not coming along... Jun 15, 2003

Hola Elías,

True. It is inexcusable, unacceptable, but humans make mistakes.


If any non-native speaker had written "The project is now ready for it's final check.", everyone would have jumped at the error and blamed it on "lack of grammatical knowledge", "uneducated background" etc...

Why the double standard then with native speakers?

Once we start excusing grammatical mistakes as simple "human errors", (which they are not), we condemn, in fact, all languages to a gloomy future. Even more so, when it comes to professional translations.

Not a bright prospect, is it?


[Edited at 2003-06-15 08:06]


Direct link
 

Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:16
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You are right, CHENOUMI Jun 15, 2003

Professional translators are obliged are all times to demonstrate their mastery of the language or languages they work with. Period. Language rules do not contemplate exceptions based on human mistakes/errors. You are totally right. Now, native speakers, to some extent, are more likely to master their language than non-native speakers, but we should not discard the fact that some non-native speakers acquire a native grasp of other languages. Native or non-native, a translator who claims to have a mastery of any language has the obligation of showing it through his/her work.

Besides, the original posting has made me think about the importance of proofreading. How many times proofreaders find mistakes "invisible" to translators. I have just taken a look at a respectable translation web page, read the Spanish version, and found mistakes no translation page should bear. As to the English version, I believe it is impeccable, even when I'm not to judge it because I'm not an English native speaker.

[Edited at 2003-06-15 01:24]


Direct link
 

Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
Native speakers Jun 15, 2003

I think you are forgetting one thing. This error is quite common among native speakers. It also shows how language is constantly changing and evolving. I think it is similar to what is happening to the construction of:
'Harry and me' instead of 'Harry and I'

Maybe we are picking it up because we are aware of grammatical rules while native speakers on a whole usually just speak.


Direct link
 

GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No excuses Jun 15, 2003

CHENOUMI wrote:
Considering mostly the higher grounds taken by that company and the fact that it touts itself to be so...professional...


Quite so! Those who excuse the error on the grounds that it's extremely common, or that everyone makes the occasional mistake, are missing the point IMO. This is still an error, even if the vast majority of English speakers don't know the difference between "its" and "it's". And while you might overlook it if the company is offering a product unrelated to language -- steel bars, say, or tasty snacks, or dog obedience lessons-- it's inexcusable when the product of the company is supposed to be precisely quality language.


Direct link
 

sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:16
English to French
Feels good... Jun 15, 2003

to see awesome, never made a mistake folks around here.

Come on, please, 1 mistake at the end of a booklet doesn't constitute a forum matter. That's ridiculous. Is there anybody here ready to stand up and swear he never did a BAD mistake in a document?

There are two categories so far as my experience goes: Those who know they do mistakes every once in a while and those who are not smart/honest enough to realize it.

And as for going on the persecuted non native translator's mode, yak!

I have concerns with non natives, but they have nothing to do with typos. Typos are not necessarily a problem with non native speakers, but command of the target language's terminology and its connotation often is.

IMO, SOME non native translators are good, but on the AVERAGE, non-native output ranges from critically poor to moderately good.

That's a sad fact if you are good and discriminated against, but on the average it's a safer bet to go for native translation.


Direct link
 
xxxmedical
English to Spanish
+ ...
sincerelly Jun 15, 2003

I have no time and I do not understand why you are looking for mistakes in web pages and tell it in the forum. I really do not understand, nobody is perfect.

Direct link
 
xxxIanW
Local time: 19:16
German to English
+ ...
"Changing and evolving" language Jun 15, 2003

I agree with Marijke that this is a common mistake among native speakers - along with "your"/"you're", "lose/loose" and other unspeakable horrors.

However, I really don't think that it shows how "language is constantly changing and evolving", just how bad a command some people have of their own language. (A French customer said to me recently "C'est vous qui zavez dit ...")

I would be the last to stand up and claim that I never make mistakes, but to find a really silly mistake on a website actually boasting about how well it proof-reads its masterpieces is rather embarrassing, which is presumably why GoodWords brought it to our attention.

And on the native speaker issue, is there anything more infuriating than having a non-native speaker customer trying to tell you how to phrase things "properly"?


Direct link
 

Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 19:16
English to German
+ ...
Ridiculous! Jun 15, 2003

[quote]CHENOUMI wrote:


Once we start excusing grammatical mistakes as simple \"human errors\", (which they are not), we condemn, in fact, all languages to a gloomy future

Dear friend,

how come, my friends in Barcelona start grinning when talking to a Mexican speaker of Spanish? Because they speak a different Spanish. Are they right and you wrong? If you regard a grammatical error or a mere typo the Doomesday of language you are missing one point: language was long before grammar was. You'd never have a chance to make such a remark about a spoken sentence.
"Language" is derived from "tongue", not from grammar. And even professional translation is not more than language, is it?


Direct link
 
xxxCHENOUMI  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
With all due respect. Jun 15, 2003

Ridiculous!

I doubt that any respectable linguist would find it "ridiculous" to discuss grammatical errors made in a language. Quite the contrary! Some would find it more than relevant.
Every language has its grammar rules by which every linguist/writer/translator should abide. Such rules should prevail at all times, whether we like it or not. If we don't want to be held accountable for our grammar errors, let's not engage in any writings then.

If you think it's so ridiculous to have noticed the improper use and spelling of it's in lieu of the right possessive its, you would probably find it as trifling to have a "small" dent on a beautiful car that you own. Language is comparable to a beautiful tool that we possess: we should strive to keep it impeccable. To me, there is nothing more offensive than grammatical errors and misspellings in writings. Whenever I come across a text full of mistakes, it is a huge turn-off for me, and I often choose not to continue subjecting myself to further masochist reading.

Hans Liepert wrote:
how come, my friends in Barcelona start grinning when talking to a Mexican speaker of Spanish? Because they speak a different Spanish.Are they right and you wrong?

I am not getting your point at all, because you are mixing up several delicate linguistic and human issues. What's the relevance of your comments here? Could you be more explicit?

If you regard a grammatical error or a mere typo the Doomesday of language you are missing one point: language was long before grammar was.

What I regard as a very sad day is your trivializing of this grammar error as a "mere typo".
What I find puzzling is the attacks some people come under for bringing up a very pertinent issue and for taking language matters seriously.
What I find mind-boggling is some attitudes...

A typographical error (typo), by the way, is commonly the inversion of typing keys. Examples of typos are "transALtor" instead of "transLAtor"; skipping one or two letters on the keyboard like "polics", instead of "poliTIcs". Writing "translaTER", in contrast, IS a mistake, not a typo...

You'd never have a chance to make such a remark about a spoken sentence.

In the name of expediency, and to protect people with poor grammar, Let's all do "oral" translations then...

"Language" is derived from "tongue", not from grammar. And even professional translation is not more than language, is it?


Really? This is becoming extremely interesting. Why don't you open up a separate thread, and we'll discuss the matter exhaustively. I do not wish to expand on it here since the current thread deals with another issue.

[Edited at 2003-06-16 06:24]


Direct link
 
xxxCHENOUMI  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
Inexcusable !! *Repeat* Jun 15, 2003

I don't care whether it's in my vernacular language,
I don't care, whether it's in my mother tongue,
OR
in my near-native languages,
in my active languages,
in my passive languages.

Any grammar error made by those offering "quality" services or "quality" products is all the more... inexcusable!

Let's not lower the bar! I beseech you... Let's keep our "compassion" for human errors as they are more deserving of our leniency...

Linguistics is my enduring passion, and I marvel at efforts made by non-native speakers *worldwide* to speak and write a foreign language correctly. It makes me sick to my stomach when -- oddly enough -- native speakers are making lame excuses to justify lack of grammatical rigor, and are undermining by their contempt or ignorance of the rules, such admirable efforts.

[Edited at 2003-06-16 06:02]


Direct link
 

Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:16
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Much ado about... language. Jun 15, 2003

Let's assume that a native translator's translation work has a grammar flaw which is not a mere mistake but an error (determined by his or her limited linguistic competence or performance), and agree that grammar errors are inexcusable, and that they must not be tolerated, and that they must be penalized. Then, what follows? What should the translation world do against the subject in question? Teach him in spite of his or her challenged linguistic competence or performance? Or punish him or her for not having had a proper development of his or her Chomskian little black box? Or make him or her disappear from the face of the Earth?

Direct link
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Quality at it's best - error in agency brochure

Advanced search






WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs