Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hello, dis iz India

Friends at the legal service asked me to find them a Dari translator for a 40-page pamphlet explaining Australian family law to the newly arrived Afghan refugees in their own language. My local contact was unavailable, so I was forced to post the job on a few translation bidding boards.

I was very specific in that it needed (a) a native Dari speaker, (b) qualified and (c) knowledgeable in British or Australian law. I got two good hits within hours, one Azari but with good working knowledge of Dari, and the other an Afghan of unknown ethnic background, but with a PhD in medicine and 10 years translating experience in the refugee field.
And then came the email from Mr. Very-Indian-Name.

Sir, I have great pleasure to inform you that I am working as a freelancer for English to Dari languages in India. I have been working in this field since last Eight years.My rate are very Economical. Sir, I am a Experienced and Educated Person. I hope to establish a long-term cooperation with you. Or perhaps I can help you to deal with your present assignments. Note- you can trust me about high quality job. Rate for job English to Dari 0.09 US$ Per word, composing in MS word. Thanks Please confirm

I replied that I would like to see a resume and references from happy clients, and that sincehis name was very Indian, hewould also have to explain to me how Dari happened to be his mother-tongue.

Back comes a hasty reply:
It is best way to send me sample, then every think will be clear.ThanksPlease confirm. Please send me sample file and with PO************************

Thinking that "no-think" will be clear, but having fun and not much to do on a Saturday afternoon, I sent a reply saying we had standards in Australia to maintain and that if he was intending seriously to be considered for this translation, then you must send me a CV (a resume) with references.
Another telegram:
Ok, I will send you resume very soon. Thanks

About an hour later, I came off the rowing machine to find a resume. It said the following:
(1) The name on the CV was different, although similar, to the person signing the emails.
Language- Dari, Pushto and English

Work Experience-
I have been working as a freelance Translator since 1998 (AIR) and I have also translating and studying books and articles about law, sociology, Political, Technical, Medical, Literature,,,,

Personal Skill :
I am capable of working software as word, excel power point, and I can use the internet.

Note- I have worked for – (one client with an AOL email address, probably his g/f)

That was it. Rather disappointing, nu? So I wrote back, by now seriously amused, that unfortunately, he did not meet Australian standards for a translator, as his CV did not mention any qualifications, or specific employment history. I added that I am looking for a translator with a minimum graduate degree in a specialized field, and 5 years experience with international translation bodies.

I thought that was it. Mr. India-Can-Do, however, surprised me again:
ok, No Problem, Madam,I have other friends who are well qualified for English to Dari languages. They are working in All India Radio. I can use (Help)them for this job.can I send their reusme? Please confirmThanks************************

I was going to ditch the email, but Dan heard me laughing and asked to see what was going on.

"Oh, by all means. Let us see what their CVs look like," she said. "After all, I lost my job to India, nu?"

So we are waiting. Watch this space for announcements.

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