Do your standards match Brussels Standards?
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:22
Flemish to English
+ ...
Aug 10, 2005

From a text found on the web :
"Language standards are high and what is considered fluent in your country, may be poor by Brussels Standards".
Are your standards at par with Brussels Standards (the author meant E.U.-linguistic standards)?
If you are a E.U.-citizen, would you be willing to prove it by participating open competition LAxxx (if there is one) and draw your conclusions from your results?
This question is mainly intended for translators. I am aware that for interpreters other criteria are applied (consecutive interpreting).

[Edited at 2005-08-10 18:06]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:22
English to Polish
+ ...
My friend did Aug 10, 2005

He sat the tests in the first post-enlargement wave of EU competitions for translators and as a result he is the proud holder of a certificate stating that his knowledge of both source and target (=native) languages is unsatisfactory.
The funny thing is that he also holds several prizes for his writing skills in the native language (awarded at the national level) and works as an in-house translator for a multinational corporation abroad.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 21:22
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
What are Brussels Standards? Aug 10, 2005

Is there a list of standards?

Claudia


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:22
German to English
What are Brussels Standards? Aug 10, 2005

1) A text that reads beautifully but is actually full of mistranslations (rare)

2) A text that reads like it was written by somebody with little knowledge of either the source or target languages, and even less of the subject area concerned (the "standard" Standard). But it came in únder budget!!

Just start reading through any directive or regulation or your choice (start with e.g. the VAT Directives, or UCITS).

Robin


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eva75
English
+ ...
Sarcasm? Aug 10, 2005

RobinB wrote:

1) A text that reads beautifully but is actually full of mistranslations (rare)

2) A text that reads like it was written by somebody with little knowledge of either the source or target languages, and even less of the subject area concerned (the "standard" Standard). But it came in únder budget!!

Just start reading through any directive or regulation or your choice (start with e.g. the VAT Directives, or UCITS).

Robin


I detect a tone of sarcasm here!


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eva75
English
+ ...
Aug 10, 2005



[Edited at 2005-08-13 11:50]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:22
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Court Suppliers. Aug 11, 2005

I made a mistake cutting and pasting the quotation, because I don't know what these standards are.

At such competitions to have the target-language as "native language" is just not good enough. You have to be a living dictionary and fast.

Yes, many went to the right school (some schools (mostly CIUTI-schools) are "Court-suppliers") and got the proper training.

But to be a translator at the E.U., you have to sit in an open competition, which is more difficult for one language combination than for another depending upon the target language.

During the enlargement-wave recruitment, dictionaries were allowed.

Long ago, I participated in some of those competitions which were translation contests against the clock.
One hour per language WITHOUT dictionaries. 3 languages (one of which had to be French) were obligatory, the other two optional.
Knowing the right people and lobbying only comes after you passed all the tests.

I guess you can find out the norm/standard by reading through the website for external translators.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:22
German to English
Sarcasm?? Aug 11, 2005

I detect a tone of sarcasm here!


More frustration than anything else, to be honest.

It's often not the translators' fault, though. It frequently happens that a perfectly acceptable translation is delivered to the Commission, where it then gets mangled by committees and outside "experts". The results can be disastrous.

A couple of months ago, the legal column in the FT highlighted the extraordinary number of VAT-related cases before the ECJ. VAT is actually a relatively straightforward matter, and has been established for a long time, the author said, so it was astonishing that so many cases should have been brought before the ECJ. The reason given was that the original VAT Directive had been written in French and then translated into the other EU languages by people who no doubt had a beautiful command of their language, but little knowledge of VAT. The outcome is that not just the language versions of the Directive, but also the resulting national laws differ so substantially that there is room for significant differences in interpretation in the various Member States. Hence the cases brought by corporates and governments trying to obtain clarity in law.

Irrespective of who is ultimately responsible, we would do well to remember that a translation can be a very dangerous tool in the wrong hands...


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:22
German to English
Closed-book translation tests Aug 11, 2005

are not a test of translation ability, IMHO, but merely reflect a total failure on the part of those who run the tests to understand the translation process.

But perhaps it's a reason why so many translators think that translating a text without using any reference sources is OK.


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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
English to Polish
+ ...
Perhaps elsewhere Aug 11, 2005



VAT is actually a relatively straightforward matter



In Poland it is obfuscated to the limits (some say deliberately - the guy who designed the system when he was a goverment official makes good money as a consultant).


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Alex Lilo
Ukraine
Local time: 02:22
English to Russian
+ ...
re: obfuscated Aug 11, 2005

Robert Zawadzki wrote:



VAT is actually a relatively straightforward matter



In Poland it is obfuscated to the limits (some say deliberately - the guy who designed the system when he was a goverment official makes good money as a consultant).



I may exaggerate some, but it is same as the unceasingly changing entire law of Ukraine... consultants do make money but the legislators and the govnt seem to have designed it so evasive and obscure to be able to manipulate it to their own benefit. There are hardly any official Ukrainian-English translations of the law. Most of them are marked "unofficial translation" on every page and there are quite a few versions if you browse the web. Just knowing Ukrainian and English and being familiar with the right terms is not enough here. you gotta be a lawyer.


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