Авторы: 159 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Книги:  184 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Deeper acquaintance (induction)

The more experience you have of people — both individual people and people in

general — the more predictable they become. Never perfectly predictable; people

are too complicated for that. But increased experience with an individual person

will help you understand that person's actions; increased experience with a certain

type or group of people (including people from a certain culture, people who speak

a certain language) will help you understand strangers from that group; increased

experience of humanity in general will take some of the surprise out of odd behavior.

Surprises will fall into patterns; the patterns will begin to make sense; new surprises

that don't fit the patterns will force you to adjust your thinking, build more

complexity into your patterns, and so on. This is the process traditionally called

inductive reasoning: moving from a wealth of minute details or specific experiences

to larger patterns.

The inductive process of getting to know people and coming to understand them

(at least a little) is essential for all human beings, of course; but especially for those

of us who work with people, and with the expressive products of people's thinking.

A technician may be able to get along without much understanding of people; a

technical writer is going to need to know at least enough about people to be able

to imagine a reader's needs; and a technical translator is going to need to know most

of all, because the list of people whom s/he will need to "understand" (or secondguess)

is the longest: the agency representative who offered her or him the job, the

company marketing or technical support person who wants the text translated, the

technical writer who wrote the text, friends who might know this or that key word,

and the eventual target-language user/reader.

And the amount of people-oriented knowledge or understanding that a successful

translation of this sort requires is nothing less than staggering:

1 What do the agency hope to get out of this? What stake do they have in this

particular translation? How much more than money is it? Is this a big client that

they're wooing? Is there a personal connection, something other than pure

business? Such things are almost never made explicit; you have to read them

between the lines, hear them in the voice of the person who calls from the

agency with the job.

2 Just how invested in the text is this or that in-house person at the client? Who

wrote it, and why? Freelancers who work through agencies don't normally find

out much about the client, but again a good deal can be read between the lines.

Does it read as if it was written by a technical writer or editor, a manager, a

secretary, a marketing or publicity person? Was the writer writing for print,

word-processed newsletter, business correspondence (letter or fax, typed or

scribbled)? Does the writer seem to have a good sense of her or his audience?

Is it a supplier, a dealer, a customer? Is it one person whom the writer knows,

or a small group of people, or a large undefined public? Does the writer feel

comfortable writing? Are there other people directly influencing the writing

of the text — for example, in the form of marginal notes jotted in in several


3 Who can you call or fax or e-mail to ask about unfamiliar words? How will they

react to being asked to help out? Do you already owe them favors? If so, how

should you phrase the request? Should you promise the friend something in

return (money, dinner, help of some sort) or ask for another favor? If the friend

is extremely helpful and provides words or phrases (or diagrams or drawings

or other material) that almost solve your problem but not quite, how many

follow-up questions will s/he put up with? This is never something that can be

predicted in advance; it has to be taken as it comes, with full sensitivity to the

friend's verbal and nonverbal signals.

4 Who is the target-language reader? Who are the target-language readers? Is any

information available on them at all, or is it some undefined group that happens

to read the translation? What do you know about people who speak the target

language natively, people who grew up in the target culture, that differs in

significant ways from their counterparts in the source culture? What aspects

of climate, geography, geopolitical stature, cultural politics, and religious background

make a target-language reader likely to respond to a text differently

from a source-language reader? What proverbs, metaphors, fairy tales, Bible

translations, and literary classics have shaped target-language readers along

different lines from source-language readers?

Hi there,

Some of you may remember a query I sent to this list on

how to behave towards a client who had lied to me

repeatedly, then 'fessed up and told me she didn't have

the money but would send a post-dated check . . . Although

many people advised me not to, I decided to give her one

last chance. The check was sent and handed in to the bank

in Dec. Around the same time, I received a Christmas card

thanking me for being so patient etc., etc. *plus* a music

cd. Hm. Good omen. Or so I thought. Fact is, I just

received the check stamped "account closed" from my bank.

Needless to say, I do NOT find this even remotely funny any

more. Actually, I'm fuming, but meditation seems to have

helped. Anyway. What do I do now? Client is in the US.

I'm in Germany. I don't have friends nearby to sit on her

porch and demand the money (although hubby will be there

in march . . . but that's a bit late). The ATA only seems

to offer Dun&Bradstreet. and: should I phone her one last

time asking what on earth she thinks she's doing (and see

if she's still there at all?). Any input welcome . . .


P.S. And no, it's not a sum I'm prepared to forfeit — we

are talking approx. 900 USD . . .

* * * * *

Tell her that if you don't get a cashier's check via

express courier within three days, you will file a police

report and have her charged with writing bad checks,

fraud, and possibly international mail fraud. What she did

is a punishable criminal offense. Check out the law in her

state and find out what the penalty is for committing

fraud/writing bad checks and inform her of just how much

jail time she is facing. That should do it, I would think.

Oh, you may also be entitled by law to compensation from

her for writing the bad check. Again, this depends on the

state in which she lives. Which is it?

Good luck,


* * * * *

Yikes. Can I really do that? Tennessee, BTW . . .

I am not familiar with the laws of the state of Tennessee,

so I am not sure, but it wouldn't hurt to perhaps call a

(county?) prosecutor and ask. Otherwise, you can at the

very least turn the account over to a collection agency

(which will damage her credit rating) and get them to go

after the money for you. They will charge a fee, but at

least you will have some chance of recovering at least

part of the debt. We had a similar situation a few years

ago, which we resolved by telling the customer that we

intended to inform the end customer of the situation and

tell them that they had no right to use the translation

since it had not been paid for (copyright of "work for

hire" passes to the purchaser when the work is paid for).

She paid up within 24 hours.



* * * * *

Tennessee Law Summary

Notice of Dishonored Check

Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive

summary of the law of bad checks, but does contain basic

and other provisions.

Civil Provisions



47—29—101. Liability for dishonored check — Damages.

(quotes entire law)


* * * * *

Torkel just sent those — thanks! I'll have to find a quite

moment to read them, I'm rather beside myself with fury

at the moment . . . how does one get hold of a county

prosecutor? Perhaps I could get our friends that live in

Nashville (this person doesn't, I should add) to find out

for me . . .

Unfortunately, I can't do much about the end client —

this was an interpreting assignment and the >list of end

clients' was extremely complex (company -

— translation agency — this person

supposed •

me) ...


Hi Eva:

Check this



General &

Good luck

to do the job herself, if

* * * * *

> URL: http://www.co.eaton.


I 'm

mi. us

- consulting firm

was apparently

not mistaken) —


ing Attorneys, District Attorneys,

US Attorneys)

, Michael Ring