Why we don’t always follow instructions

Traditionally, the motto in US business is that the client is always right. At Auerbach International, we take a slightly different approach: The client is always right. Except when he or she isn’t.

While we always strive to follow client instructions, we also need to balance how to deliver the highest quality translations with no errors or misunderstandings. Some examples:

One client asked us to translate into many European languages an American text that had the phrases “beer can collecting” and “cruise ship social director.” In Europe back then, people commonly did not collect beer cans and the target audience would likely never have taken a cruise and have had no idea what a social director is. We therefore suggested substituting entirely different concepts to yield the desired result.

Another client wanted to explain rules of US public housing to illiterate immigrants from Myanmar. One such rule referred to a “Key deposit,” not a concept a rural Burmese villager would likely know. We suggested that we define this concept in the Burmese translation … before we did a voice recording for those who couldn’t read.

A third client instructed us to retain the original German abbreviations in the English translation. In this case, we translated into English, “Timesheets should be submitted to your manager.” Had we followed the client’s instructions, the English sentence would have read, “Timesheets should be submitted to your FUKR.”

While it is not our place to evaluate the character of the boss, we did not think he would have appreciated that assessment.

Our job is to make you shine in any of the 120 languages from or into which we translate and interpret … especially when we must suggest alternative ways to express your desired concepts.  If you want to ensure that your thoughts are conveyed correctly and adapted to the target culture, please ask us for a free quote.

We look forward to serving you for any kind of business or technical file, including videos, software and websites.

Regards,

Philip Auerbach
President
Auerbach International
tel 415-592-0042 x107
fax 415-592-0043
www.auerbach-intl.com
philip@auerbach-intl.com

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