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Off topic: Funny job posts on Proz
Thread poster: José Henrique Lamensdorf

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:41
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Feb 17, 2012

There should be plenty of them, yet we only have access to those involving our language pairs. I got a strong candidate today. Client is from China, of course.

Languages: Portuguese to English
Job description: need the mother person,and work at the translation 3 years,the work is about technology


I thought about it... If my mother were still alive, she would be 102 years old. She mastered Polish and German flawlessy, spoke BR Portuguese quite well and, for some extended periods in her life, she had to learn and communicate in Russian, Uzbek, and French. However she never learned a word in English. Technology? My late father was a tech guy before WWII, but my mother definitely was not.

Then, she would have to "work at the translation 3 years", so she would finish it at age 105!


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:41
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Love it Feb 17, 2012

Thanks for sharing. Really made me laugh.

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Mailand  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:41
Italian to German
+ ...
Always love your posts Feb 17, 2012

Dear José, I always love your posts: witty, well written, courteous and stylish - and this one gave me a big smile! Thanks

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Mafalda d'Orey de Faria  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:41
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Fully agree Feb 17, 2012

Fully agree with Mailand.

Excellent, José, especially one of your previous posts about the 'bukitu'.


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:41
German to Spanish
+ ...
José, thank you. You are the best Feb 17, 2012

Eres genial, José.

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Vincent Lemma  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:41
Member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
Oh dear... Feb 17, 2012

This made me crack up! Simply smashing.
By the way, the person posting this job offer should realize that we work with words not in miracles


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Gilmar Fernandes
United States
Local time: 00:41
Member (2007)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yep, just vouching that I got the same e-mail this morning Feb 17, 2012

since I also do PT-EN.....but José's version is really funny.....when I got the e-mail I thought it was kind of funny, but I figured what they meant and just went on with the project I was working on.....now that I see this posting it sure got me thinking about what the literal meaning was and how José put it in such an hilarious way and got me cracking up too. Have a good weekend folks....and to our colleagues in Brazil, a great Carnival

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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:41
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Why translators Feb 17, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Languages: Portuguese to English
Job description: need the mother person,and work at the translation 3 years,the work is about technology

I thought about it... If my mother were still alive, she would be 102 years old. She mastered Polish and German flawlessy, spoke BR Portuguese quite well and, for some extended periods in her life, she had to learn and communicate in Russian, Uzbek, and French.

My mother would also have been 102 years old, and she spoke German, English and some French.
The text of the job offer is yet another illustration of why a person with some language knowledge and a dictionary is not the same as a competent translator.

("Work at the translation 3 years" - this must be one of the few jobs that don't require the translation "yesterday".)

Oliver


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:41
German to English
+ ...
Unfair Feb 18, 2012

to take the p***s out of other people's use of English. Just think how good you might be posting a job ad in Portuguese!

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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
There is another side to this kind of posts Feb 18, 2012

Estimado José:

I always enjoy your posts too; I always remember one about the translation of some instructions for using a vegetable peeler. It made me want to suggest that we should use nothing but Tramontina knives because they don't have to come with instructions.

However, in this particular case, and because I can't get rid of a criminal defense lawyer's habit of trying to understand "the other guy's point of view" I would like to -- oh, dear, "quebrar una lanza" [must remember to ask a Kudoz question about that!] -- put forth a tiny defense for this kind of posting.

The person who writes this is obviously not a native speaker of English. Even more, this person may have grown up reading and writing characters that are different to ours. So maybe this funny posting is in fact the result of a great effort to communicate in another language which is part of a different family of languages altogether. And he or she is, after all, asking for a translator, not offering translation services.

If, as I write this, my English is obviously non-native, imagine if I were trying to express myself in Japanese Even Google Translate might be leading me make hilarious mistakes!

I hate to come across as a spoil-sport and I certainly don't want you to think I'm criticizing, José. The post is funny and your dissection is hilarious. But I feel the need to confess that it took me months to understand and accept the difficulties inherent in my communications with an excellent client in the Far East. At first I thought that part of the texts they were sending must be a joke. Until the magnitude of the feat they were performing finally hit me.

Have a great weekend!

Edited to add: it took me so long to write this that I've just seen David's posting. I think we agree.

[Edited at 2012-02-18 13:07 GMT]


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Stefan Blommaert  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:41
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Agree Feb 18, 2012

David Wright wrote:

Unfair to take the p***s out of other people's use of English.


Might make you feel good for a second, but it still is unfair. Don't forget that if we go by numbers, we should all be communicating in Chinese. Would be interesting to see how well we would all do, then.


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Stefan Blommaert  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:41
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Just noticed this.... Feb 18, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Client is from China, of course.



"Of course"?


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 01:41
No offence taken Feb 18, 2012

SBL_UK wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Client is from China, of course.



"Of course"?


It is only a piece of literary work, making a bit of laugh.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
The gist Feb 18, 2012

They want a native speaker (mother tongue) translator with 3 years' experience. And it looks like they need one badly!

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Stefan Blommaert  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:41
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sorry, but... Feb 18, 2012

Bin Tiede wrote:

SBL_UK wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Client is from China, of course.



"Of course"?


It is only a piece of literary work, making a bit of laugh.


...having lived there for quite a number of years, I know where this comes from...hence my less than permissive attitude...

Nice, however, to see that you (as native Chinese?) didn't take offence...


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