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What is your response if the people from an agency don't write English well
Thread poster: jyuan_us

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:13
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Mar 4, 2015

It is often seen that the job ads placed by translation agencies in non-English countries are full of mistakes . Sometimes virtually every sentence contains an error.

I wonder how this kind of company would communicate with their clients. I guess they will write in English at the same proficiency when they write to their clients, simply because they even don't know what they write contains a lot of errors.

I further wonder how they could earn trust by their clients and get projects assigned to them.

Would you be comfortable assigning any job to someone who writes very poorly?

[Edited at 2015-03-04 08:18 GMT]


 

Kağan Murat
Turkey
Local time: 08:13
English to Turkish
for translators Mar 4, 2015

Translator working in agencies should read lots of books, magazines or newspapers in English. They can compare own sentences with originally written sentences in English. So, they will understand what they wrote.

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Whilst it is perfectly reasonable..... Mar 4, 2015

..... to expect that many people whose mother tongue is not English will not be able to speak or write English perfectly, a problem may arise if a translation agency where they don't speak very good English try to proof-read or correct your translation.

Otherwise I can't see that there's a problem.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Bound to happen Mar 4, 2015

It doesn't worry me as long as we manage to communicate efficiently. I've had a few misunderstandings over the years, but not many. With experience you learn the value of paraphrasing so that the other party sees (in correct English) what you've understood.

Almost all my clients communicate with me in somewhat broken English; some have to cope with my "cassé" French. We get by, although the EFL teacher and editor in me would love to correct everything.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Bound to happen... Mar 4, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

It doesn't worry me as long as we manage to communicate efficiently. I've had a few misunderstandings over the years, but not many. With experience you learn the value of paraphrasing so that the other party sees (in correct English) what you've understood.

Almost all my clients communicate with me in somewhat broken English; some have to cope with my "cassé" French. We get by, although the EFL teacher and editor in me would love to correct everything.


Though I live in a francophone country, most of my long-standing customers (even Belgian ones) use English to communicate with me. The exceptions are a French client (with whom I communicate exclusively in French) and a Portuguese client (with whom I communicate exclusively in Portuguese).


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:13
German to English
apologize for not speaking their native language Mar 4, 2015

(a) If my clients aren't able to communicate without difficulty in English or German, then I suppose I ought to thank them for dealing with me anyway (even though they are the ones having to go out of their way to buy something that I am trying to sell to them).

(b) There are also plenty of translators out there with an excellent passive grasp of their source language(s) despite being fairly weak at using it/them actively. (So poor English can't be equated with incompetence.)

(c) If a colleague is outsourcing something and either only translates out of English or doesn't work with English at all, see (a).

(d) If a big agency is too stupid or too cheap to make sure that those employees who are supposed to be communicating in English are able to do so effectively, THAT would raise serious doubts in my mind.


 

Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
A matter of effort Mar 4, 2015

I certainly don't expect PMs to have perfect command of the English language. I'm quite sure that end clients also understand the role of a PM in an agency's office. Primarily, they will need to speak the given local language and many will place ads in the source language rather than in English. I almost expect some grammatical difficulties if an outsourcer is not based in an English-speaking country.

But where do you draw the line?

You were referring to "some of the job ads placed". I must admit that I don't read them to the end if they are atrocious, and I have noticed rather extreme examples of this. My impression is that in many of these cases, poor wording of the job description is based on a lack of effort and care, rather than an actual lack of competence. I may well be wrong, but I immediately assume that such an agency's focus is on price and that I would only be a number.


 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:13
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends Mar 4, 2015

If:
1) the traget language of the outsotced translation is other than English;
2) the communication is entrusted to an intern and the actual work is still done by language specialists,
then I wouldn't see a problema.
It also may happen what constantly happens to me - the Windows automatically "corrects" English words into the local set. Thus, I ALWAYS get "an" changed into "na" (even now it happened), "client" into "cliente", "efficient" into "eficiente" and so on. If I, in a hurry, press submit before having a separate look, my texts are also "full of mistakes".


 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Different scope Mar 4, 2015

Communications between PMs and clients/service providers are not mainly focused on the linguistic aspect.

Translation/editing/proofreading-related activities are.

Otherwise all non-native English speakers, myself included, will have to start communicating in our own language. Then we will be turning into the European Parliament.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
Member (2008)
Italian to English
So long Mar 4, 2015

I don't mind long as they don't say "have a nice day". I don't know where non-English speakers got the idea that that's a good thing to say.

 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:13
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Just curious Mar 4, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

I don't mind long as they don't say "have a nice day". I don't know where non-English speakers got the idea that that's a good thing to say.


Isn't it American? I guess I learned it with our American boss when I worked for a famous multinational. But I fancy "Best/Kind regards" much better - how does this sound to a native speaker?


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:13
Member
English to French
Too much Bon Jovi Mar 4, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

I don't mind long as they don't say "have a nice day". I don't know where non-English speakers got the idea that that's a good thing to say.

And not enough ZZ Top.

Philippe


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You aren't alone, Tom Mar 4, 2015

Tom in London wrote:
I don't mind long as they don't say "have a nice day". I don't know where non-English speakers got the idea that that's a good thing to say.

I always read it, even to myself in my mind, with a New York accent - or as near as I can come to one. It grates in that accent as it's obviously so phoney - as if they care? But I do accept that it's common in America. As a Brit (albeit abroad), it would certainly never, ever pass my lips.

But however much I might cringe at inappropriate use of English, if it's being written/spoken by a non-native speaker - one who isn't actually my student - I try to keep my thoughts to myself and not hold it against them. I'm sure I make French native speakers cringe sometimesicon_eek.gif.


 

Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:13
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
"Have a nice day" Mar 4, 2015

Tom, yes, it's American. It's like saying "Cheers". I've lived in the UK for a while now, but it's still slips out from time to time. In fact, English people say it to me sometimes, maybe it's because I'm American.

Sorry, us Yanks are just a little too cheerful ... I can think of few worse things to say.

By the way, I can't say "Cheers" without feeling like a dope. Wish I could, but I lack the accent to make it sound charming.

I would not, however, close an e-mail with it. Not in a professional sense. I'd tend to say it in a shop, situations like that...



[Edited at 2015-03-04 16:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-03-04 16:16 GMT]


 

Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:13
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Duplicate post deleted- sorry! Mar 4, 2015



[Edited at 2015-03-04 17:19 GMT]


 
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