A website needs your help

The other day I was translating, Hebrew > English, a very poorly written magazine article about antique cars . While I don't share collectors' passion for antique or vintage cars, I am a car-lover, and am generally interested in articles about cars. So I found it quite annoying that the writer managed to make such a mess of a potentially interesting subject. At some point I asked myself, who the .… is this journalist anyway, and proceeded to Google, promptly landing on the writer's website. Oy vey. I dare not say more. (Can honest criticism be labeled as libel?)
The style is pretentious, wordy, trite; the grammar flawed. And as for the one page in English – all I could do was roll my eyes at the literal translation.

Ordinarily, I'd just shrug it off as another poorly written website, one among so many. However, this one irked me because it purports to be a model of good writing, while in fact being a model of the exact opposite. It is not a personal blog or website; it is a commercial website; the Internet business card of a person who claims to be a professional writer, editor, copywriter, PR person, and "Hebrew-English-Hebrew" (sic!) translator.

A few examples, which I think speak for themselves:


• XYZ's long time involvement in the media includes journalism for newspapers, magazines and websites on a variety of the cultural aspects of life style phenomena and up to date social issues.
• Perception articles
• Scripts for perception clips and movies

Well, my perception is that this website needs help.

Miryam Blum, in her interesting talk at the ITA conference, proposed a way of getting new clients: find websites in your field of expertise and interest, and – if they need improving or translation -- call the person in charge and offer your services. Diplomatically, of course.

Does anyone feel up to phoning the owner of the website under discussion and offering to edit it? Somehow, I don't feel brave enough.


N K said...

. . . And, of course, the use of "phenomena" gets to me. While there's sometimes no choice, that word (like "framework") should be avoided when translating.


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