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Getting It Right

I just delivered the first of several documents to a new client for which this is the first experience with translation. I knew I had not done enough client education when I got a call from their marketing VP, who does not speak any German, telling me that I needed to change the adjective “lokal” (as in the opposite of remote). I had used it in networking context, and I was puzzled by his request. It turned out that in order to check my work he had run my German file through one of those Internet-based translation programs and it had translated “lokal” as pub or tavern. No wonder he was worried.

Then I recalled a small brochure with the title “Translation – getting it right” that Chris Durban had written two years ago. It is available for downloading from the Internet and a very good guide for buyers of translation. It would have been good to have my client read this before I started to job. As it turned out, however, we had a very fruitful discussion and I think he will now use a German editor rather than Babelfish or any of those other translation programs.

By the way, Holger Loddeke translated the brochure into German. The title is “Übersetzung – keine Glückssache” and it is availabe for downloading in pdf format.


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