The Painful Learning Curve

Presenter: Howard Gaukrodger

This presentation highlights, and shows links between, a few of the most common conflicts facing translators. These are examples of some of the issues Howard has faced and has had to resolve in the course of the 30 years that he has been running his business. The suggested solutions may be relevant to sole-traders and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

Conflict of jargon
Dissatisfaction due to company-specific jargon.

Conflict of professional integrity
A solicitor orders you to make the translation more ambiguous and open to legal interpretation.

Legal conflict
The principal loses its contract and thus the purpose of your 1-year translation agreement, and tries to avoid payment of your costs incurred resulting from honouring the agreement.

Internal conflict
Minority languages: the lack of dictionaries requires unilateral decisions on grammatical and lexical accuracy

Market conflict
A second translation company headhunts your newly-trained staff and ceases sending jobs to you.

Contractual conflict
You hire and train a new translator. The translator resigns and starts up in competition.

Conflict of interest
Your subcontracted translator uses your translation memory for doing work for a different client, charging that client for the memory.

Ethical conflict
You are asked to translate a document that may be perceived as containing self-incriminating information.

Howard Gaukrodger

About the Presenter
Howard Gaukrodger PhD, qualified with an Honours Degree in French, German and Economics. He learned Spanish and Italian while working in Argentina and Italy, and qualified with the London’s Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translators and Interpreters in Norwegian, having started his translation and language-teaching business in Stavanger, Norway. His preferred language combinations are: Nor, Dan, Swe, Fre, Ger, Ita, Spa to Eng (UK), in that order.

Howard emigrated to NZ in 2000 and still runs his company, NetSalience Ltd. He’s currently teaching the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Enterprise and Innovation at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Nelson.

He completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Waikato in 2012, and uses the title “Language Technologist”.