This title has reminded me of what happened to me before coming to the UK. So, once the decision was made, I needed all my documents translated from Romanian to English (certified, legalised etc.). Obviously, I was not allowed to translate them myself, therefore I went to a company offering translation services. I paid and left my documents.When I returned the next day to collect them, surprise-surprise (unfortunately it was an unpleasant one). The translation was a disaster. Blatant mistakes that even my students would have picked up easily. Some examples (as far as I remember):
- study’s length of time
- graduated instead of graduate
- specialty instead of specialised
And some others that I cannot remember. But the icing on the cake that left me gobsmacked was that I had become a man on the translated documents. My BA read Mr ….. Whoever had translated my documents would certainly be more successful as a plastic surgeon, as that was the fastest sex change I had ever heard of.
Now it seems funny when I look back, but at that time I was hopping mad, especially when the two ladies that worked in the office told me to change it as I pleased and it would be ready the next day. Well, the teacher in me took a red pen and corrected all the mistakes, with additional explanations (e.g. subject-verb agreement, wrong word etc.).
So, I come back the next day only to discover that the translation was far from being what I had expected. Still full of mistakes, still not ready to be used. As you may imagine, I was fuming. I had already wasted two days and knowing it would take another one to find another translator. Not to mention they initially refused to give me a refund. To cut a long story short, I managed to find a good translator in the end and everything turned out OK.
But you know what the funny part is? I wrote yesterday about how machine translations can completely alter the meaning of the original text. Well, as it happens, Google translate would have done a better job than that translator (or maybe he used a different programme).
Have you ever had any problems of this kind?