What's the use of translators?/Wozu taugen Übersetzer?

Two news items are currently angering translators and interpreters, including myself. 1. The Bundestag committee hearing at which the majority of experts believe that German judges and lawyers who have done an LL.M. in an English-speaking country are well capable of conducting hearings on German law in English. The general opinion seemed to be that interpreters are not up to the job because they are not lawyers. In an earlier post I discussed the problems in the first English-language hearing in Germany. 2. The decision of the Ministry of Justice in the UK to award court interpreting to one big translation company, regardless of quality. It appears that because interpreting using the professional system did not always work out well, the ministry decided that it needed to be 'improved'. (But translation and interpreting will always run into problems - this isn't a reason to give up trying to do things professionally). See petition. It looks as if something similar is done in Ireland, where a judge criticized the quality of Lionbridge services. Translation - I'll concentrate on this to the exclusion of interpreting - is not a straightforward affair. On top of this, the customer is not usually in the position to assess the quality of the translation. A translator ought to have subject knowledge, training and experience. Of course, many translators don't have all of those. Passing an exam is not perfect evidence. In view of all this, it is surprising how many non-translators feel able to pass a verdict. Often, company bosses introduce supposedly cost-cutting software and procedures without consulting their in-house translators. Or they purport to know how fast a translation can be done or what translation company can do it, although they have no experience themselves. Users are widely unaware of the value of knowledge and experience ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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