Category Our insights

Blog post by Laura

We live in a crazy world, I tell you! I had some strange experiences in the last period…

  1. The specialization and the stamp

Two weeks ago, I went to visit a doctor because I had a dreadful headache.  After I searched the Internet, I concluded that the pain came from chronic sphenoid rhinosinusitis and that the best treatment is a powerful antibiotic and some other pain killers I never heard of. That must have been it! I studied Biology in middle-school, and that seemed right! I tried to get the treatment from the pharmacy, but they told me that I needed a prescription. So, that is why I went to the doctor. To get the prescription signed and stamped. I already knew the diagnosis, but I didn’t have the doctor’s prescription. After I told the doctor what I needed…

  • I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I’m a gastroenterologist.
  • Well, you studied medicine, right? You know anatomy, so that’s good enough. Please prescribe the treatment I found on the Internet, and that will do. Do you have to be specialized to write a prescription?

I was shocked. She refused, she said it isn’t her specialization…

2. The “Google Engineer” program

Another day we went to see a civil engineer from an important company in our city. We decided that we wanted to build a house, and we needed a project. I already knew (who doesn’t?) about the existence of the “Google Engineer” program, and I even used it to design the house. It didn’t turn entirely as we’ve expected, and that is why we went to see this engineer guy. After I told him what we needed…

  • Yes, I understand, he said. You see, the “Google Engineer” is ok if you want to find out simple things, like how many meters are in a mile, for example. But for a house project, you have to hire an expert.
  • Yes, yes, I know that you are using the program and then you only make a few changes, and the project is finished in a few hours. I am sure it will not take more than two days to complete ours, right?

I was shocked. He told us that the project could last more than two weeks to complete and that for this he will have to work with experts like architects, surveyors, engineers specialized in concrete structures…

But the strange things seem to keep happening…

3. I know how to sew, but I don’t have time…

Yesterday morning I went to see a dressmaker. I wanted her to sew me a dress for tonight’s cocktail I’m having with business partners. It’s a very important occasion, and I must look stunning. I know how to sew, I even have a sewing machine at home, but I really don’t have the time to do it myself. So that is why I went to see this lady. After I told her what I needed…

  • Of course, you want to look at your best… yes… the event you have tomorrow is very important. But, you see, I can’t sew a dress like the one you want until tomorrow evening. It’s impossible.
  • Oh, can’t you do your magic trick and help me? Pleeaseeeeee?

I was shocked. She refused me. She told me that the dress could take at least a week to be finished, and the price would be of ……. 126897,89 lei. Whaaat? That’s outrageous! I know how to sew; I could do it myself if I had the time. It’s incredible how some people want to make money taking advantage of nice people like me…

ZZZzzzzz …… zzzzz….

  • Honey, wake up! I guess you didn’t hear the alarm clock. You have to leave in half an hour! The clients must be at the airport already. Just remember, you are the best translator I know, and you will get that project!
  • I had the strangest dreams last night… Wait a second… what if..?

Does it seem awkward to you? Translators live experiences just like these almost every day.

  1. I have translated this document I need because I learned English in kindergarten. Still, I only need your signature and stamp. They need the document to be signed by a “certified translator”, whatever that is… What? You don’t translate legal texts? What do you mean you are not specialized in that?
  2. I have to send my CV in German to this big company, and I tried to translate it with Google Translate. Some words are not ok, can you help me? I know that you use GT to do your translations and then you just modify here and there…. What do you mean GT is not ok for translations? CAT tools, as in cat (hey kitty kitty…)???? Revision and QA process? What’s wrong with you?
  3. I know French, and I could translate this by myself, but I don’ have the time. And I need it for this evening. Yes, I know it has 56 pages, but there are only a few medical terms there…. Can’t you do your magic trick? What? That could take a whole week? And I would have to pay an emergency fee? That’s outrageous!

Be kind to your translator!

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