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Should I use my bilingual secretary to translate my corporate documents?
A "bilingual" person does not necessarily make a translator.
Bilinguals may speak two languages on various levels of proficiency, from the illiterate to the highly educated.But even a PhD. may not have the background, training or gift necessary to handle thorny linguistic problems.Everyone has seen examples of ludicrous translations in manuals and instruction sheets of foreign products that move one to laughter.There are many real life examples of how an incorrect translation can destroy the true meaning of a message.
A timely article in Miami Today warns about the danger one can face when communicating in foreign languages. Some of the situations can be quite humorous. Others can be extremely embarrassing and actually cost you business.