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Real-life example of translator goof
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:24
German to English
Nov 13, 2005

I'm translating a legal document (defendant's pleading) and just came across this misunderstanding presented to the court based on a translator's little error (names and other data have been changed to protect the innocent):

Plaintiff's pleading:
Apparently two different orders were tested: orders 827 and 807. That this is not merely a matter of a misprint is documented by the subject lines of the e-mails submitted as Annex B 53.

Evidence: Amendment of the letter of credit dated 15 January 2004, photocopy attached as Annex P 12

Defendant's pleading:
It was Ms. Schmidt, by the way, who had a translation of the internal inspection report prepared. This translation contained a typographical error in the designation of the order number in that the clothing type was incorrectly given as number 807 instead of number 827. In fact, only ladies' jacket 827 was involved.

Evidence: Testimony of Ms. Schmidt.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
a bit unforgiveable..... Nov 14, 2005

Kim Metzger wrote:

I'm translating a legal document (defendant's pleading) and just came across this misunderstanding presented to the court based on a translator's little error (names and other data have been changed to protect the innocent):

Plaintiff's pleading:
Apparently two different orders were tested: orders 827 and 807. That this is not merely a matter of a misprint is documented by the subject lines of the e-mails submitted as Annex B 53.

Evidence: Amendment of the letter of credit dated 15 January 2004, photocopy attached as Annex P 12

Defendant's pleading:
It was Ms. Schmidt, by the way, who had a translation of the internal inspection report prepared. This translation contained a typographical error in the designation of the order number in that the clothing type was incorrectly given as number 807 instead of number 827. In fact, only ladies' jacket 827 was involved.

Evidence: Testimony of Ms. Schmidt.


Getting a mere number wrong:-) Getting a number wrong might, or might not, have enormous implications....depending on the circumstances, but it can't be rated as a genuine 'translation problem':-)

[Edited at 2005-11-14 00:08]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Goes to show Nov 14, 2005

This goes to show why we include numbers in word counts, on paper documents anyway. If we are copying numbers it is even more tedious than translating words. You never stop worrying that you may get one wrong, and you check them and then check them again.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:24
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Then there's the nightmare of errors in the source text... Nov 14, 2005

Ten minutes ago as I write, I sent off a text with a note that the source text needs checking...

Mercifully it was 'only' some recipes for that little candlelight supper, and one of the items called for '300 shrimps'.

I'm quite certain the chef meant 300g and that is what I wrote in the translation... But it could be the latest lovers' game to count them, one for you and one for me

It could have been something far more serious, and although it was strictly not my problem, I'd hate to be a link in a chain that led to a serious accident.

I know roughly how many shrimps you need to make a meal for two, but if it had been micro-nano-units of some potent medicine, I would be none the wiser, and would simply do my best to translate it as the source text...

Happy translating, folks!


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laure claesen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:24
Member (2005)
English to French
protected when working with CAT tools Nov 16, 2005

Lia Fail wrote:

Kim Metzger wrote:

I'm translating a legal document (defendant's pleading) and just came across this misunderstanding presented to the court based on a translator's little error (names and other data have been changed to protect the innocent):

Plaintiff's pleading:
Apparently two different orders were tested: orders 827 and 807. That this is not merely a matter of a misprint is documented by the subject lines of the e-mails submitted as Annex B 53.

Evidence: Amendment of the letter of credit dated 15 January 2004, photocopy attached as Annex P 12

Defendant's pleading:
It was Ms. Schmidt, by the way, who had a translation of the internal inspection report prepared. This translation contained a typographical error in the designation of the order number in that the clothing type was incorrectly given as number 807 instead of number 827. In fact, only ladies' jacket 827 was involved.

Evidence: Testimony of Ms. Schmidt.


Getting a mere number wrong:-) Getting a number wrong might, or might not, have enormous implications....depending on the circumstances, but it can't be rated as a genuine 'translation problem':-)

[Edited at 2005-11-14 00:08]


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