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Client Outreach Skills Modules

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Client Outreach Skills Modules

Using Examples Effectively


Whenever you present to potential clients, you should stress that poor translations are a business risk. A hard-hitting example is one of the best ways to make this point — but examples of poor translations abound. How do you choose?

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Select examples that are relevant to the audience and are translated into their language.
  • Aim for a simple punch line that speaks for itself.
  • Avoid examples that need explaining. Make it easy to understand what went wrong.
  • Mention direct, specific consequences such as diminished image, reprinting costs, or lost business opportunities.
  • Don’t get into grammar (“And here, the translator did not use the right past tense....”). Trust us: your business audience won’t get it — and they’ll drift off.
  • Don’t criticize other linguists; simply say that “being bilingual is not enough to work as a translator.”

Your own practice may be the best source of examples for your audience, but ATA offers several good sources as well: