You cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear

A new job was posted on, English into Russian translation of some software.
The following was posted as a sample:

IDS_FOLDER_DEL_MSG “This Delete operation will direct to the deleted item can’t be recover,nAre you sure to delete the selected item?”
IDS_NEWFOLDER_MSG “Don’t support create new folder except in Shell View window”
IDS_DEVPAIR_MSG “Don’t support device pair”

I thought long and hard and decided not to apply for this assignment. I see the following problems with this small excerpt:
1. It is written in broken English. I am not a native speaker myself, but the number of errors that they managed to get into a few sentences is astonishing. This means that the client scrimped on proofreading the text by a native speaker of English. (And these are resource strings from user interface, i.e. the first thing that the user will see when working with the product. It is harmful for the product image.)
2. This, in turn, means that both the end client and the agency that posted the job are either greedy or don’t care about the quality of the end product, or both. A self-respecting professional would not like to have anything in common with such a team.
3. They don’t know a first thing about software localization either. As anyone who ever saw a line of code will instantly know, the lonely “n” in the first message should have been “\n” and is a new line marker.
4. If the original text is broken, the translation cannot be made straight. But the blame will be on the translator, not on the client, because both the client and the agency are either incompetent, or greedy, or both (see above).
5. Considering all this, it is most likely that you will be asked to produce a substandard translation in unrealistic timeframes with miserly payment. It is just not worth it.


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