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Off topic: Jerusalem - lost in translation
Thread poster: Clare Barnes

Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:02
Swedish to English
+ ...
Sep 21, 2006

Just found this on the BBC website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5364192.stm

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-09-21 12:01]


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 01:02
German to English
+ ...
Pathetic excuse time Sep 21, 2006

"The flyer was apparently translated by someone outside the municipality"



Instead of:

"We screwed up and hired a fake translator we found on some website, we thought our cost saving of $0.0001 per brochure represented excellent value for money until we had to pulp 50,000 of them and reprint the whole lot at a cost of $10,000."


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Trevor Butcher
Local time: 03:02
English
It's our fault too, isn't it? Sep 21, 2006

Screaming Lord Sutch wrote:

"We screwed up and hired a fake translator we found on some website,


I often wonder that while we ridicule some organisation's choice of translator we do it with our posteriors snug on our chairs. How much do we do to educate customers in general about what translating is all about? Maybe we simply do not do enough?

Trevor


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:02
English to Arabic
+ ...
"The mistake has been removed" Sep 21, 2006

Screaming Lord Sutch wrote:

"The flyer was apparently translated by someone outside the municipality"



What caught my attention was the following sentence uttered by the municipality spokesman:
"In new publications this mistake has been removed."

Most probably, they just corrected the one mistake which caused the outrage, and ignored the fact that the whole brochure probably needed retranslating...


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 01:02
German to English
+ ...
... Sep 21, 2006

Trevor Butcher wrote:
I often wonder that while we ridicule some organisation's choice of translator we do it with our posteriors snug on our chairs.


Hmmm. More likely we do it wondering why this week has been quiet when yet another atrociously translated document by some cut-price idiot hired by some other cut-price idiot comes to light. Then we reflect on levels of ability in the human resources field in general, and why these quacks hire those who are best at spin rather than those with genuine competencies who find spending valuable time on perfecting strings of reflexive adjectives to be in poor taste.

How much do we do to educate customers in general about what translating is all about? Maybe we simply do not do enough?


Why? I need not tell an engineering company that hiring a cheap, unqualified and obviously incompetent fake engineer to design their car or bridge is a very bad idea - so why do I have to tell the purchaser of any service that hiring a fake provider is a bad idea?

Agencies and suppliers alike bemoan the idiocy of our clients - I heard once of a guy turning up at an agency with 40,000 words technical (hard copy), and asking if he could wait in reception while it was done. This is an error forgivable on the basis of ignorance, but when the same customer then wants the work done for what he ignorantly expected (maybe €400), he needs to think again, rather than go and find a "service provider" willing to do the job for that sum (and they do exist).

Common sense should dictate if you underestimated the job in hand to start with, it will also cost more than you initially expected - but sadly the internet now puts these people in touch with fake providers who will do fake work for fake prices, and the customer remains ignorant until they put the fake work into print - as happened here.

So, why do all these overpaid business high-flyers (who do what, precisely, except travel business class to board meetings where they endlessly discuss the best background colour for the new corporate logo or bemoan the fact that a 0.0002% less than expected increase in sales is the worst disaster since the dawn of time) suddenly lose their top-drawer intelligence and outstanding analytical skills when it comes to having (a) reasonable expectations of a professional craftsman like a translator or (b) unreasonable expectations of a fake translator? Oh, wait...

/rant


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Trevor Butcher
Local time: 03:02
English
Enemies unto ourselves Sep 22, 2006

[quote]Screaming Lord Sutch wrote:
How much do we do to educate customers in general about what translating is all about? Maybe we simply do not do enough?


Why? I need not tell an engineering company that hiring a cheap, unqualified and obviously incompetent fake engineer to design their car or bridge is a very bad idea - so why do I have to tell the purchaser of any service that hiring a fake provider is a bad idea?


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 01:02
German to English
+ ...
... Sep 22, 2006

???

Buying stuff from fake suppliers when the real thing is just a mouse-click away is a no-brainer. Therefore anyone who purchases a fake translation service then publishes the result, has no brains.

A major problem is that with the rise of the internet, the fakers have the same shop window as the rest of us so they now appear on the same shelf of the same store, with the same glossy packaging and being much cheaper - until you get the product home and find it doesn't work.


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