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The importance of context and testing

I’ve just been installing the program that enables me to generate my end-of-year tax declarations, and I was rather confused when I came across this screen:

One of the options says “Crear teclas de método abreviado para todos los usuarios”, which means “Create keyboard shortcuts for all users”. It seems a strange question to ask when installing a program. When you toggle the option, the list of programs in the above window changes, which is when I realised what had happened.

It should be asking whether I want to place a shortcut in the Windows menu for all users. The installation program was probably translated from an English installer that said “Create shortcuts for all users”, and the translator interpreted it as keyboard shortcuts (teclas de método abreviado) rather than shortcuts in the Windows menu, which I believe are called “accesos directos” in the Spanish versions of Windows.

Either the translator failed to use the context, or more likely, the translator was not given the context and was simply given a list of words and phrases to translate. There was probably no testing either. Whenever a translation is done and then transferred to another environment, somebody should view the translation in its final environment to check that all is well and rectify any problems (referred to as “testing” in the industry). Types of documents that require testing include websites, Powerpoint presentations and software. Similarly, before any translation are sent to print the translator should see the proofs to ensure nothing has gone wrong during the typesetting phase. Testing and checking proofs are both services provided by Anglo Premier Translations.


TranslationTop Co. Ltd. – a company for your blacklist

In 2011 I was contacted by the Chinese company Translation Top Co. Ltd to translate a document from Catalan to English. After completing the job I issued an invoice on 22 December 2011. Despite various e-mails to the company, I have not received payment for the job, over a year later. On one occasion I was told I had already been paid, but when I checked there was no record of the payment. I should have done more research before accepting the job, as a search online reveals that many translators have worked for this company and then not been paid. Translators should therefore avoid working for this company as they are likely not to be paid, and companies requiring translation services should avoid contracting a company with such dubious ethics.