Friday, 24 June 2016

Translation via Template and Selection





I recently had contact with a service provider that offered me a translation assignment of the type Template and Selection.



I found that great, great savings, up to when I learned about what they really wanted from me.



I initially got very happy with the proposal because I imagined that I had to simply use their letterhead, perform the translation, and then send the translated version of the document via e-mail to them. That was saving resources: I would not have to print, stamp, sign or certify.



The price was outrageous, but they seemed to have counted the words needed and it was less than the usual official page (250 words), and, given the size, since it would be done and delivered in the way I was imagining, it could be acceptable.



Oh, well, but I then found out more about the job: I would actually have to read three documents in the other language, select the information according to their template, type it inside of their template, and then print, stamp, sign, and post to them via both electronic and normal post.



Oh, well, then not even a saint: Now the miserable fee was looking like a scoff. At least half of it would be spent on ink (cartridge, pen, and stamp), paper (to print, assess, print again, as usual. As I say in my online course, whoever works in the way they should would have to print at least three times before having a final version), postal material (at least an Express Post envelope to be able to track it and have more certainty on the date and all else), Internet, etc.



To make it worse, we were now talking about me performing a criminal activity, and the crime involved is forgery: By the time I stamp and sign with a NAATI stamp, it is implied that we have an accurate translation of what was in the original document because that is the promise of NAATI to everyone else. The original document was actually three separate documents to make it all worse! For us to have an accurate translation of it, we would need to represent its contents perfectly well or as close to that as possible in the translated version of it.



The company could give me that assignment and I could have accepted it as long as it did not involve stamping, signing or certifying: Who should be signing the document is the own company, as it is at all times when people subcontract. The company signs, not the contractor.



As long as they sign under it, we have no legal or ethical issues involved, I reckon.



If they sign, the sensation of slavery is also over, since the price is outrageous, but, if all we have to do is skimming through the original documents and typing some words in a form, that sounds OK.



In any hypothesis, we do have to say an ABSOLUTE NO to Template and Selection unless the company releases us from the obligation of printing, stamping, signing, and certifying our translations. I think this is just common sense.

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