|Re: Translation quality (HP manuals, etc.)|
Message #3 Posted by Chris Durban on 4 Dec 2003, 5:30 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Namir Shammas
Thanks for those comments, Namir.
In translation (as in just about everything, I suppose), quality is directly related to time, budget and the skills of whoever is doing the job. Life being what it is, you thus find good translations, bad translations and a huge grey area in between (light gray, medium grey and murky grey sliding into coal-black...).
What makes buying translations particularly frustrating, however (compared with buying, say, paper clips or a washing machine), is the fact that most people are "buying blind". They can't understand Swedish or Swahili -- that's why they commissioned the translation in the first place.
If the texts are from language X into your own language, it's a little easier (maybe). That is, you can see stylistic problems and so on. But can you identify mistakes in e.g., numbers (scary for medical translation)?
If you are buying a translation from your own language into a foreign language, it's a leap of faith (gulp).
What interests me for this particular article is how much effort consumers are prepared to make to understand poorly-translated manuals. Depends on the number of competingproducts, I suppose, and the technical knowledge (and patience!) of the user. But is there a point at which a buyer will simply give up and go to another manufacturer?
Thanks in any case for your help!