same difference

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to quote for a translation project that entailed translating a big corporate website from Spanish to English.

The potential job was passed on by a friend, so I didn’t know the client and they didn’t know me. We exchanged a few emails, in which I hope I came across as professional and experienced, and then I sent them a price per word (they’d agreed they could provide text documents) and a time frame.

I never heard back from them, so I suspect they chose a cheaper option with a shorter time estimate.

A company’s website is often the first point of contact with customers and the impression it creates is very important. I wrote last year about the value of good writing and referred to the BBC article Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales.

The English version of the site I didn’t translate is now online. I haven’t looked to see how well the original message is transmitted, just the superficial correctness of the English text.

In many places verbs don’t match their subjects, unnecessary articles have been retained from the Spanish and there are lots of slightly odd turns of phrase such as “taking in consideration” which I think most native speakers would express as “taking into consideration”, if not simply “considering”.

Perhaps more importantly, the home page includes such gems as this:

website text: "not all los customers are equal"

I wish clients understood that you get what you pay for and not all translators are equal.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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