In my opinion a translator needs good devices to deliver good translations. That’s why I bought a powerful (gaming) computer and a new network printer last year. The gaming computer is powerful enough to compute things quickly and to deliver TM results in a snap. The network printer is pretty important to me because I can scan, copy and print from every location in my office. I chose for HP because I value the quality of the brand. Besides that I know the brand out of my profession as a translator. The company apparently moved to another translation agency and that resulted in two remarkable mistakes.*
* Please read my explanation below.
A potentially ruining error
I noticed the first mistake, an error in my opinion, when installing the drivers for my printer. I walked through a wizard and at the end a window was opened, stating in Dutch (please pay attention to the red part):
[infobox style=’regular’ static=’1′]If you would like to read the manuals please visit HO.com.[/infobox]
That’s noticeably an error which could have been corrected by using XBench to analyse the consistency and quality of the translation or by simply proofreading the text.
The impact of this sloppy typo could be very bad: an inattentive user would be directed to a website (s)he doesn’t want to visit. In the least worse case that would leave an unpleasant user experience as it is the brand itself that directs him/her to the wrong website. However, if that website is used for spamming, cheating of phishing too it can even ruin a user’s computer or business, not to speak about HP’s business…
My anti virus software asked me whether I meant HP’s official site, but without that I would have reached a totally different site with marketing intentions which I definitely didn’t want to visit.
A confusing mistake
The second mistake came up when I went to copy a document with multiple pages. In another wizard the device allows you to copy a page. After each copied page you can decide to copy yet another page or to cancel the task.
In English the text in the wizard is:
[infobox style=’regular’ static=’1′]Load page 2 and press [OK].
Or press [Ready] if there are no more pages.
[ OK] [Ready]
Besides the very literal translation in this wizard there’s something strange that asked for my attention. As you can see in the image above [Ready] is translated both as [Klaar] and as [Gereed]. Which of both is better is not relevant here – I would even have suggested a more formal translation – but what I would highlight here is a striking inconsistency in one screen of only 3.5″. Sloppy. This translation mistake can result in a bad user experience too, not to speak about the confusion one can experience while desparately looking for a [Gereed] button while there is no one…
What we can learn from this
In my introduction I wrote „The company apparently moved to another translation agency and that resulted in two remarkable mistakes.” That sentence is not meant to highlight my own perfectness.
I would stress that everybody is prone to make mistakes. A long as translators are not robots – and even then – translations will to some extent contain mistakes and errors. Luckily they can be corrected with LQA software and by proofreading. However that should certainly be done then. Translators not willing to go an extra mile and companies not willing to pay for LQA or proofreading should take into account a certain degree of linguistic errors. Those errors can lead to bad customer experiences and even to loss of income of the respective company. The lesson we can derive from this examples is to check always the correctness of our work before delivering our work.
However, HP as a company should implement some measures too to avoid similar occurrences in the future. When creating software and products for millions of users worldwide, it should be good to invest some extra in perfectness. A bad user experience or even worse, like catastrophic damage, can finally lead to much bigger troubles if not to the end of a company.