KINDRED SPIRIT

I bought a book Translator’s Companion (see the picture). The book is a special one in terms of giving some practical recommendations on how a translation business can be arranged. Among others, it gives a survey of translation services, advises how translators should be selected and tested, describes the technology of translating a text by several translators simultaneously, emphasizes the importance of formatting the translated variant. In the process of translating the translator may need to consult the customer about some fine points of the original. However, there is a danger, the author says, that in the future the customer will address the translator about further translations directly — over the head of the translation agency. To exclude this, the author recommends that the agency representative be always present at the consultations when a translator and a customer meet to discuss some points of the material which is being translated. Other suggestions concern paying taxes, cooperation with law firms to get translated documents authorized, etc.

I remembered a case when an engineer whom I knew was made redundant. His friend advised that he should get re-trained and get some other job — that of a salesman, or a builder, or a kind of operator… “I want you to understand me”, the engineer said wistfully, “I want to be just …an engineer”.

After reading the Translator’s Companion I understood the engineer.

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