Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Is Any Translation Better than no Translation?

It is if you’re the Russian Mafia, perhaps, and you need to send a scam letter to millions of people in different languages. Or if you market under-the-counter Viagra. Or if you are the widow of an African dictator who was executed by a firing squad and you need someone abroad to set up a wire transfer. However, if your business model is even marginally dependent on brand image, you should think twice about going down the road of cheap translation providers.

The Low Quality Translation movement’s slogan that “any translation is better than no translation” is tantamount to claiming that if you can’t afford house paint, you might as well smear dog poop on your walls. 

Miguel Llorens is a freelance financial translator based in Madrid who works from Spanish into English. He is specialized in equity research, economics, accounting, and investment strategy. He has worked as a translator for Goldman Sachs, the US Government's Open Source Center, and H.B.O. International, as well as many small-and-medium-sized brokerages and asset management companies operating in SpainTo contact him, visit his website and write to the address listed there. Feel free to join his LinkedIn network or to follow him on Twitter.


Unknown said...

Couldn't agree more.
Any-translated from Spanish as: "You have more reason than a saint".

Lisa Carter said...

On a day when a prospective new client wants to pay half of my regular rate for work he wants published -- not for internal business purposes, but for publication far and wide -- I want to copy and paste your entire post by way of reply. Particularly the analogy. Priceless!

Miguel Llorens M. said...

Thank you, Lisa. Short and sweet, ain't it? Rather proud of the pithiness. Pithy is the hardest thing to pull off.

Gueibor said...

One-two, and down they go!
Great post.