company terminology
Thread poster: Roy Williams

Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 08:51
German to English
Feb 21, 2008

I don't know if freelancers encoutner this problem but as an in-houser, I'm often told to use terminology that doesn't fit well in the context or sounds unnatural when read or worse, non-native english speaking colleagues my edit my work without consulting or informing me. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it a common practice?

[Edited at 2008-02-22 06:36]


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LCVB
Local time: 08:51
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, very often Feb 21, 2008

As a freelancer, I am often obligated to use the company's terminology, English words that are not correct, terms they have been using since forever, but are seldom correct.

I can only submit to their wishes and "translate" the texts under their conditions. I always advise them to change those terms into the correct ones, but most companies think I'm just a silly translator and they know best. Fine, have it your way then.

In the past, I also noticed that my translation had been "revised" and changed for the worse. I hate it when they do that

It's a shame that our profession is often seen as a necessary evil.


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Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 08:51
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Feb 22, 2008

Sometimes I feel that companies don't realize that their documentation and marketing text determine how they're preceived globally and don't take the quality of communication as seriously. I am glad that Im not an isolated case though. guess I just have to bite the bullet.

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Nico Rhodionoff
India
Local time: 12:21
Russian to English
+ ...
Get Incorporated - Easy Does It! Feb 25, 2008

When I was a freelancer changing customers like gloves I felt companies do not need to develop any particular terminology (creating so much hassle for freelance interpreters) they have to stay within common lexico-semantic field (i.e. within common sense, as I thought).

Seven years ago I have changed my horse and do drilling fluids engineering for Halliburton/Baroid since that time. I have to say, there is no way to communicate plenty particular professional subjects within my Company without involving very special terms that are typical for Halliburton/Baroid only. If I discuss our approaches, manipulations, testing, documentation etc. with colleagues from companies involved into similar activities, I see they have developed a similar way to describe same professional topics sometimes differently from same in our Company.

Conclusion: freelancer is good for fixing immediate needs of a company. However to establish a profound level of understanding/interpretation of sophisticated corporative topics interpreters/translators must be grown within the company as family members.

Alternative solution:
Skill conversion: Engineers learn foreign languages and provide services for their own needs, more responsible and more adequate as with help of a migrating bird (interpreter)

Alternative to Alternative (my case)
Interpreter/Translator goes for necessary professional training and gets into boots of a technical specialist – it gives better stability and better prospects comparing to any freelancer career I ever seen.


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Anodien
Local time: 08:51
German to English
+ ...
I agree Mar 11, 2008

I can just confirm the points FOH has said. I am also working as an in-house translator in a big, world-wide operating company. Here, we also have specific words or abbreviations someone outside will not necessarily understand. Or there are company-specific instructions or terminology.

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Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 08:51
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
to clarify Mar 12, 2008

Perhaps company terminology was the wrong choice of words. It's not the industry related terms that bother me, rather that entire sentences are changed and not always for the better. I try to write as efficiently as possible while keeping the text simple enough for non-native english speakes to follow. Sometimes the person/department for which I'm translating will edit my work without consulting me, adding unnecessary words and prepositions that make a sentence way longer than it needs to be and essentially burying the most important information with "of the..., in the... on the..., from the.., for the..." etc.

My point is, I guess, I would just like to be included in the editing process. I make no pretensions that my translations are perfect and beyond criticism. I simply get annoyed when someone makes changes just because what I've written dosen't sound correct in their mind and reconstruct it so it just sounds like germanized english.

[Edited at 2008-03-12 07:00]


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Peter Winch  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 15:51
Japanese to English
+ ...
I know how you feel Mar 13, 2008

I have a similar problem where I work. Despite being the only native English-speaker in my workplace, the company has its own ideas of how to phrase things and often insists that I use their preferred phrasings. Japanese uses a lot of redundancy and passive phrasings that I change into active phrasings when translating.

Luckily I am in a position where I can influence the editing process, but it consumes a lot of my time to 'persuade' people that I know what I am doing. Unfortunately, the views of freelancers do tend to get ignored, but I for one do welcome their comments, as they help me understand how the translator thinks.


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