In a statement during a recent interview given to Fox News, Al Jazeera America and Alex Jones’ Infowars.com by Alois Ptáček, the current (interim) president of the Global Translation Providers Association (GTPA), categorically stated that the insinuations by Kevin Lossner and some other freelance translators who repeatedly and erroneously claimed on their blogs that “LSP”, which is defined by GTPA as “Language Services Provider”, should really mean “Linguistic Sausage Producer” is a misguided and erroneous misinterpretation of the well known, tried and true “four-eyes control method” (known as vier Augen Kontrolle in German), now featuring nine quality control steps in a modern application of this famous medieval principle. He called the term “linguistic sausage” a truly regrettable error on the part of some freelance translators, who, although they may have been translating for decades, and were able to pay their bills and put their kids through college during those decades based on income received solely from their translations simply “don’t have a clue as to how translation really works”.
“It is true that we have to chop up long translations and divide them among a far-flung team of translators who live mostly in third world countries where translation costs are almost as low the cost of manufacturing haute couture for Walmart, Gap and Target stores in factories located somewhere in Bangladesh.”
“But we really have no choice”, said Mr. Ptáček. “These are really important translations that have to be turned on the dime, so to speak. We love rush jobs because we can charge double the usual rate for these translations. Unfortunately, translators in developed countries, especially in Western Europe, United States and countries like Japan, at this point still for some reason refuse to translate at rates within our budget from languages that they don’t understand that well into languages that they don’t know that much either when one translator must produce at least 5 thousand words in 1 day.”
“In most third world countries, we can always find people eager to work for us at a reasonable rate”, emphasized Mr. Ptáček …. “and with our four-eyes control method, which was recently amended so that it now includes “9 CQCSs” (Comprehensive Quality Control Stages), for which we rely on our interns who are usually native speakers of English and sometime even have some high school French or Spanish, the result is a very high-quality translation product.
“False modesty aside, I believe that Saint Jerome himself, who almost single-handedly translated the Scriptures of the Bible from Greek and Aramaic into medieval Latin, would be proud of these translations”, added Mr. Ptáček, “and I’m not even Catholic”.
“Mind you, it took Saint Jerome several decades to finish a single translation”, said Mr. Ptáček, “and he had to labor well into his eighties to finish just one translation. It was kind of a long job, but still, it was just one job.”
“Due to the recent ‘data tsunami and information content explosion’, we simply don’t have that much time anymore. Using the latest technology and our modern, innovative methods, backed up by our sophisticated quality control systems, we can translate the equivalent of the Old Testament in about 5 days, while New Testament would take us a couple of days, tops, provided that there are not too many earthquakes, tsunamis, or factory infernos at out supplier’s end during that time.”
“We provide language services, not …. sausages, for God’s sake”, exclaimed the GTPA President, now with a touch of annoyance in his voice.
“You know how long it takes to make a good sausage? Curing and smoking the meat alone, once you have added salt, herbs and spices, and sometime even some wine or beer, will take at least three months and three days. We don’t have 93 days!”
“Incidentally, I know how to make a mean sausage because before I became President of the Global Translation Providers Association, I used to make sausages at my father’s farm in Southern Moravia near the town of Břeclav“, chuckled Mr. Ptáček with obvious delight at the unexpected serendipity of the moment.
“But I really prefer the translation business. It is a much less knowledge-intensive industry than the sausage making industry, and the profit margin can’t be beat once you get your priorities straight.”