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To Be Surprised or Not

If you are the resource manager, what’s you criterion to select the qualified translators? If there are some spelling and grammar mistakes in translator’s CV, email and post at the forums, how’s your feeling toward this? Recently I joined the language Jobs group on Linkedin. A hot discussion started by Shaun Cameron three months ago is very interesting. The topic is “Should I be surprised at the spelling and grammar errors of some of the posts at this forum of translators? Many translators who translated in different languages pairs have joined the discussion; there are total 97 comments for the discussion until now. It should be noted for that many translators in Language Jobs group who post messages using English as a foreign language. Not all translators here are English native speakers, but they are experts and professionals of the other languages pairs, i.e French, Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese etc. Generally in this professional forum, users are tend to form new working relationships, get the job offer and opportunities, and ask for the solutions for the problems they would meet. Regarding the comments of discussion, about 90% of translators who joined in the discussions thought that there’s nothing to be surprised. “Mistakes can happen to each of us as we're not flawless, not only for interpreters, translators or proofreaders, but also for those people that use languages on a daily basis. We must take into account that even natives do make mistakes in their mother tongues.” commented by Agnieszka Kim. In fact, the work of translation involves more than language. We cannot judge the translator’s skill only from his/her tiny mistakes in English. Generally, when I find some linguistic errors in email or post at forums, the first reaction is “careless”, not think the translator is unqualified. Some translators suggest that never translate into a language which is not your own without having the translation proofread by the third party. Making mistakes is not a shameful thing. People could improve themselves and learn a lot from the mistakes. The discussion reminds me of one thing that happened a year ago. I have sent many emails to some potential customers introducing our company and translation services. No one replied me at the beginning, but finally I got a reply from an angry potential client, he pointed out some linguistic errors and grammar mistakes in my email. He said, there’s no doubt that we are not a professional company, what I said take little convincing. He rejected me directly and asked me never send emails to him. I felt ashamed and frustrated for the mistakes I made at that time. Sales as a representative of company image, what you said and done have great effect on your potential clients. Therefore, among the comments for the discussion, I totally agree with the comments made by two translators, one comments made by Gabriella Mitteva, she said, “whoever you are, you should pay attention to the style, grammar and spelling. Otherwise, all your thoughts and/or comments might not look serious or professional. But certainly there are no faultless persons and translators are not an exception to the rule. Anyway two simple rules are very helpful: Read what you write and Run the spell check. And Shika’s Opinion is “one should be mindful of the many spellings and grammar mistakes. Translation is done for many reasons, one of it being- documents as records and proof. If grammar and spellings as mechanism are faulty then the document's meaning and comprehension is altered. This sort of carelessness may not help in Translation work. On the other hand, if translation is done just to casual comprehension and fun, one may overlook.” All in all, details are the key of success. The better the translation, the more jobs you will get.

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