IT Law into Spanish
Some ‘pros & cons’ of IT Law Translation – and how to overcome them without going ‘die-hard’
The expression ‘IT Law’ refers to that part of the Law (general) that concerns the field of Communication – as used in Internet – and governs its commercial process.
Nowadays, IT Law comprises texts like EULA, Service Contracts, Copyright declarations, Patents, Intellectual Property, Disclaimers, User’s License and all texts demanded by your product as it surfs the web.
As the required translations are global-user oriented, localization of texts is unnecessary. But this does not mean that ‘just any
translation will do it ‘ (like poorly shaped translations or automated translations).
Thus, the good news is that finding a local Professional Translator – with all that it implies – is not compulsory since these texts can be translated into ‘neutral’ Spanish, the kind of language that can be understood by all Spanish-speaker around the word.
The bad news is that only experienced T
ranslator, with solid know-how on Legal terms, are well equipped with good terminology. These are Translators that are busy every day with legal translations and can be recognised by the difficulty to get to them. But this does not mean they are unreachable – there is always one way or another to reach them.
Some cunning persons have discovered a witty way of reducing costs – and quality too. There is a general trend to make use of on line automated translation services to reduce production costs. The process starts by obtaining the first draft from any of these free on line services and then hire some available Translator (or Proofreader) to polish the resulting texts, for a grand total of half the original price.
This might not be a good idea for the apprentice Translator may fall into ‘false friend‘ traps and produce a very poor – or inconsistent – final text or the experienced Translator might feel discouraged to work on that odd source texts. In both cases the company’s client ends up with a bad translation.
From the consumer’s point of view, translations like that are an ordeal. Even though the companies’ intention is far from being treacherous, consumers feel disappointed by poor – AKA: unintelligible – translations to the point of loosing trust both in products and companies. I found myself in this situation in many times so far, and with very well renowned brands!
This fact is often dismissed when it comes the time of considering production costs but its effect on the long run is devastating for manufacturers. Instructions in good language are a very important part of the product and the lack of quality in the former is considered poor quality in the latter.
So, the right path to a good ‘IT Law’ translation – that kind of translation that would be satisfactory both for the manufacturer and its client – is human-being translation because:
– no machine will ever look a the tiny aspects of your source text with de eye of a well trained, professional real human Translator;
– no machine will ever keep up with the shades of the idiom;
– no machine will ever discuss with you these minor aspects that make a good translation really GREAT;
– no client will ever complain about a job well done.
One tiny tale: Some years ago I received a request to ‘polish’ a source text translated by a well known automated translation service. I considered it very closely for this international company was a client of mine. In the end, I decided not to accept the request because I felt myself part of the company and, therefore, of the ‘con’ too. Consumers returned the whole lot of products because it was impossible to understand instructions. The company went bankruptcy shortly after that because it had adopted this method as a normal way of delivering instructions, extending it to every product it manufactured.
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