Monday, November 16, 2009

Demand for niche translation growing (as is the risk for gaffes)

During a March meeting in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton presented a gag gift to her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. It was a red button with a word written in Russian that State Department translators thought meant "reset." The idea was to remind Russia of America's hopes for resetting the nations' tense relations. But when Lavrov opened the box and peered inside, he told Clinton the word on the button, peregruzka, translated to "overcharge" -- not the message the U.S. wanted to send.
-- the best part of an article in the Los Angeles Times about the growing demand for niche translators with unusually specializaed technical knowledge

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I think niche or superspecialised translation is the one weapon professional translators have to defend their position in the current climate, especially with the advances in automated translation. Hopefully with growing reliance on specialist translators working within their niches, the risk of gaffes will be somewhat reduced :-)