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I Pressed the Easy Button-Is it French?

Martha was in a panic, it was the end of the month, year end was coming and she didn’t have the documents translated into French as she was supposed to. Time just got away from her, but now her Boss was asking about her progress and she was getting frustrated. Trying to get herself together and calm down she took a quick coffee break and thought about what she could do to get the document translated. She could send it out but it would miss the deadline, she could pretend she didn’t know it had to be translated, but it would be in the minutes of the original meeting. She sat there sipping coffee and thinking and then it came to her. She remembered the commercial about the Easy Button and thought I will just translate it online with an electronic translator. If it was wrong her boss wouldn’t know, she didn’t speak French. It could always be corrected later, at least she would have fulfilled her duties. Martha raced back to her desk with excitement, opened up the document, went online to a translation website, found her language, and hit translate. Voila, the document went miraculously from English to French in a matter of moments, as easy as hitting the Easy Button. Martha took one look at the document and was proud of how it looked, she just had no idea what it said. Martha finished up her other work and got everything together. The next day she presented it to her Boss, who reviewed everything and thanked her for her hard work. Martha left feeling good, but reserved knowing she hadn’t done the job totally to the best of her ability. easy button

Later that day a Sales Rep came into talk with the Boss and she handed him the document outlining a new program. As the Sales Rep began reading the document he began to laugh, then he suddenly got mad and threw the document back onto the desk. The Boss was in dismay at the reactions and asked what was wrong. The Sales Rep said that the document didn’t make any sense and the last portion blatantly insults the people of Quebec. The Boss was horrified, this document was to be rolled out for the new year. She apologized to the Sales Rep and sent the document out for translation by another company. She then picked up the phone and asked Martha to come into her office and to shut the door behind her.

Often times computer translation will do a literal translation which does not make sense when read by someone who knows the language. Getting important documents translated by a professional company is the best way to ensure that the documents are translated properly.

About the Author

Carmen Outridge is the owner of Outridge Translation Services which is a division of Outridge Enterprise Inc. She has over 30 years of experience in the translation field and offers English / French translation services for the Quebec market. For more information on services with the company please visit her website at www.outridgetranslation.com

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