Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How not to Translate or Interpret

In my line of work you hear a lot of stories about how companies have someone who speaks french, or they have a relative who can write Chinese.

So they use these people to translate or interpret and they end up with a terrible job. But there are a few reasons why they might continue to use these friends, for translation.

  1. They don't have any understanding of the languages so have no way to check the quality
  2. They are too embarrassed to tell their friend/colleague that they are doing a bad job
  3. They are too blinded by the cost of a professional translation or interpretation to pay for a professional

All three are really bad reasons. Would you trust an accountant to fix your car?

Then why trust one to translate for you?

Here's a great clip from the Catherine Tate show in the UK. It Illustrates my point perfectly.

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