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May 25, 2007


On the road (or plane as it were), and packed schedule. Conference room to conference room. Massive amount of business to pack in before Summer breaks and my next bit of medical rubbish.

And on that medical rubbish, well, more expensive treatments to follow. Stupid cancer rubbish to wrap up. Takes away from business time.

I note I just spent a week with a translator - why are language people almost always arty fuzzy headed unrealistic twits? Stupid git kept wanting to take the business group off to stupid cultural blah blah rubbish. If we were here for culture we'd be fucking tourists, but we're not, we're here for some deals. Nor am I particularly pleased when the translator goes off on "altermondialiste" blithering as an economic illiterate.

Posted by The Lounsbury at May 25, 2007 04:08 PM
Filed Under: Blog Notes - Admin

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so i take it the bulge in the spine is merely superficial and not lounsbury-threatening?

you know as well as i why there are so few translators that aren't arty fuzzy headed unrealistic twits. people with real skills work for a living while those with their heads in the clouds translate.

Posted by: drdougfir [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 25, 2007 06:49 PM

"people with real skills work for a living while those with their heads in the clouds translate."

There's another reason: There are a lot of really bad translators/intepreters.

First, to be techincally correct, an "interpreter" is someone who "translates" spoken language while a "translator" is someone who "translates" written language. This is more than just a nitpick. Someone offering to act as a translator when they really mean interpreter is signalling that they're a second-rate hack.

High-quality professional interpreters are actually kind of scary, especially the simultaneous ones. While working, they never inject their own personalities into the business environment. In fact, they appear not to have personalities. They're like two-legged pieces of office equipment.

Admittedly, this species is quite rare on the ground and correspondingly expensive. A large number of people who make themselves available as interpreters are nowhere near this quality. You often have to take what you get. But any intrepreter who thinks they're somehow a part of the business group needs to be straightened out at the earliest opportunity and probably replaced. You'd never allow the limo driver to insert himself into your meeting and help plan your schedule. You shouldn't allow the interpreter to either.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 25, 2007 07:44 PM


I have over the years become a fine connaisseur of interpreters. It is very hard to find the UN style automatons, above all for ordinary business work - high level conferences pay well, and they tende to be more formally organised.

Business meetings aren't. I've found that where I can, it is useful to interject as unless the interpreter has actual expertise they often miss key points. Natural since one has to understand context usually to get things spot on.

In these situs the interpreters personality definately comes through, one has to manage that if one knows enough to know that is coming through (sadly too often the consumer of the interpretation hasn't the slightest clue) - and frankly firing the interpreter mid-stream implies knowing one has a better replacement. Not usually evident. Of course there are trip wires, and I have sent interpreters packing in situs where after some business meetings I was unhappy and could make do without.

Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 26, 2007 04:17 PM

Sorry as to the spinal cord, well, not going to die soon.

Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 26, 2007 04:34 PM

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