Tuesday, March 20, 2012

7 The customer is always right

The customer is always right
Click image to enlarge

Based on an idea by Mykhailo Voloshko. Mykhailo is an English<>Russian and English<>Ukranian translator and electrical engineer who also translates pro bono for Translators Without Borders.


  1. Oohh, I had a client who for years insisted that we had to translate "form" (as in a document you fill out with standardized information) as "blanket". Drove us all crazy. Three or four English translators, a couple of Swedish translators and a couple of project managers all regularly sent them messages that you CAN'T use the word blanket, it sounds ridiculaous, but they insisted that it was their standard terminology and even if they were starting to realize it probably wasn't the best, it was too well established to change now!

  2. I could give a mile-long list of terms I've been forced to use that are either completely wrong or just plain weird. But the customer is always right - or if you try to insist otherwise, they'll be somebody else's customer soon.

  3. Client's request:

    'board' > 'board'
    'motherboard' > 'board'

    My language does have words for 'board' and 'motherboard', you know? And SEPARATE words! Yes, it's almost like we're evolving and finally starting to become humans.

  4. The worst part is when at the end of the project they make me sign the final checklist assuming whole responsibility for that translation which includes (after several discussions) those freaking terms that I would never use, not even drunk!

  5. What a great compliment: "you're hotter than paid repetitions" !!

    But somehow I don't think my non-translator girlfriend would really appreciate it...

  6. Too funny, as always! We are currently going through a similar situation (a first for us), and while it has been a challenge, there have also been some laugh-out-loud moments. None like this one, though. Still giggling about Jennifer's "blanket" example.

    Ah, and I (Judy) am drinking from my beloved Mox mug as we speak. :)

  7. I've just been reading through a translation of mine that has been heavily edited (and not to the benefit of the document) for precisely this reason - thank you for cheering me up :-)


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