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Off topic: How not to introduce yourself.
Thread poster: Anne Lee

Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:56
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Dec 16, 2003

All too often, I receive introduction letters from translation companies marketing their services in very poor English. It does not inspire a great deal of confidence if a company or translator cannot get its first letter right. This morning's letter came from 'Germanica' in Poland. It included the immortal phrase:
"Our capital are our professional translators who have been hunted up and
selected." A scary thought.


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 07:56
German to English
Ouch! Dec 16, 2003

like free-range game

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Gabriela Tenenbaum  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 02:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
terrifying Dec 16, 2003

Next time I see somebody with a dictionary on one hand and a net in the other....
I'll run away!!!

Gaby.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
English to Polish
+ ...
Judging by the name... Dec 16, 2003

lucky my language is English... so they didn't hunt me down. I mean up.

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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:56
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Other extracts from the same letter Dec 16, 2003

Quote:
"These persons represent practically all types of branches and, at
the same time, are fluent in foreign languages." Unquote
(just as well, really)

Quote:
"Our prices vary from 0,6 Euro to 0,8
Euro for one line (55 type-signs, black and white). It means that the
combination with the Polish language is cheaper than the translation from
German into English for example." Unquote
(Message: choose Polish as target language and you pay less! Who needs translations into English anyway?)


[Edited at 2003-12-16 10:42]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 07:56
German to English
Is it maybe cheaper to get it in other colours too? Dec 16, 2003

[quote]
Quote:
"Our prices vary from 0,6 Euro to 0,8
Euro for one line (55 type-signs, black and white).
[quote]


[Edited at 2003-12-17 14:43]


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xxxYamato
Bulgaria
Local time: 08:56
Russian to Spanish
+ ...
Unbelievable Dec 20, 2003

That reminds me of the translation test they did to freelance wannabes in the translation company where I used to work.

I suspect many people did those test with one hand and looked through the window instead of looking at the screen.

And then they don't understand the origin of big crazes like "All your base are belong to us"


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aivars  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Besides laughing at them, let them know Dec 20, 2003

You may get some work, they seem to be in need of a native English proofer.

Don't complain, if everybody could write in perfect English your job wouldn't have any value.


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:56
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Offering to correct the letter Dec 20, 2003

When I used to receive this sort of letter in the past, Aivars, I used to reply by pointing out very gently the sort of impression their letter gave. On three occasions, I was asked to point out the mistakes which I duly did, rewriting the letter for them for free, because it is not worth quoting and invoicing for. But it can be time-consuming getting involved like this and they usually already have their cheap labour in place for other jobs. I will write to this particular agency, though, because I remember how discouraging it is starting out and not getting a tremendous response to my first mailing.

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Julio Barrios
Uruguay
Local time: 02:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
you are right...tenes razon !!! Jan 6, 2004

English is a very harsh language to learn and master. Estamos de acuerdo

aivars wrote:

You may get some work, they seem to be in need of a native English proofer.

Don't complain, if everybody could write in perfect English your job wouldn't have any value.


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Julio Barrios
Uruguay
Local time: 02:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
You are very nice ! Jan 6, 2004

I agree with you that the presentation of a person or entity needs to be done in a professional manner and it has certain etiquette. English is a very harsh language to learn and master. Grammar gets easier with time but talking is an all different story. I have been in the US now since 1981 and constantly trying to improve, it is a non ending job. For us that speak spanish as a native tongue, it gets harder being in a country where you do not use your language all the time. You have to keep on reading the right materials and talking with the right people, in order to keep in shape. I have seen translations from other translators and I think: what were they thinking? Some of them does not make any sense at all, it looks like a rough MT. But I still love this profession...:) live and learn !!!!
Anne Lee wrote:

When I used to receive this sort of letter in the past, Aivars, I used to reply by pointing out very gently the sort of impression their letter gave. On three occasions, I was asked to point out the mistakes which I duly did, rewriting the letter for them for free, because it is not worth quoting and invoicing for. But it can be time-consuming getting involved like this and they usually already have their cheap labour in place for other jobs. I will write to this particular agency, though, because I remember how discouraging it is starting out and not getting a tremendous response to my first mailing.


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:56
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan 8, 2004

... for the compliment, Julio.

How to keep up to date with your native tongue is an interesting subject in itself, actually.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:56
German to English
+ ...
Keeping up with the Windsors Jan 10, 2004

I highly commend the BBC World Service on net radio, a station I can't receive on my normal radio in the U.K.
Only feasible with DSL/broadband though; having said which, many countries in the world are better-served than we are in that respect.


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:56
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The importance of cartoon strips Jan 10, 2004

I am sent magazines and read the newspaper online. On my last visit to Belgium, I picked up a copy of the local Dutch 'Good Food' magazine in the hope of keeping up with the Belgian kitchen, as well. Imagine my surprise when I found it full of recipes by Jamie Oliver and Ken Hom, translated into Dutch. An invaluable source of information are cartoon strips (e.g. Suske and Wiske), because some of them contain satirical side-swipes at social developments, often introducing new concepts which I hadn't heard of, like 'onthaasting', a fashionable trend to try and live life at a slower pace, similar to downsizing.

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louisajay
Spanish to English
+ ...
Anne Jan 13, 2004

While I'm interested in your comments, and especially in the usefulness of cartoon strips, I just wanted to say that I don't think that is what "downsizing" means! Downsizing is what a company does when they cut headcount, i.e. laying people off. It just means reducing the number of people that work in a company. I'm not sure what the word is for the trend you describe but I'd be interested in suggestions!

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