I recently had contact with a service provider that offered me a translation assignment of the type Template and Selection. I later on would find out that Australia is calling this Extract Translation.
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I thought that it was all great, and also that it was all great savings, up to when I learned about what they really wanted from me.
I initially got very happy with the proposal because I imagined that I had to simply use their letterhead, perform the translation, and then send the translated version of the document via e-mail to them. That was saving resources: I would not have to print, stamp, sign or certify. To make it all better, I had to translate only part of the document, not the whole lot, but they were probably counting the words of the entire document.
The price was outrageous, but they seemed to have counted only the words needed, and those were fewer than the usual commercial page (250 words). Besides, given the size and the usual rate for companies of this type, since it would be done and delivered in the way that I was imagining, it could be acceptable.
But I then found out more about the job: I would actually have to read three documents in the other language, select the information according to their template, type it inside of their template, and then print, stamp, sign, and post to them via both electronic and normal post (two hard copies).
Oh, well, then not even a saint: Now the miserable fee was looking like a scoff. At least half of it would be spent on ink (cartridge, pen, and stamp), paper (to print, assess, and print again, as usual. As I say in my online course, whoever works in the way they should would have to print at least three times before having a final version), postal material (at least an Express Post envelope to be able to track it and have more certainty on the date and all else), Internet, etc.
To make it worse, we were now talking about me performing a criminal activity, and the crime involved is forgery: By the time I stamp and sign with a NAATI stamp, it is implied that we have an accurate translation of what is found in the original document because that is the promise of NAATI to everyone else. The original document was actually three separate documents to make it all worse! For us to have an accurate translation of it, we would need to represent its contents perfectly well or as close to that as possible in the translated version of it.
The company could have given me that assignment and I could have accepted it as long as it did not involve stamping, signing or certifying: Who should be signing the document is the own company, as it is at all times when people subcontract. The company signs, not the contractor, like it can be a person inside of the company who signs for the company, but that is it.
As long as they sign under it, we have no legal or ethical issues involved.
If they sign, the sensation of slavery is over, since the price is outrageous, but, if all we have to do is skimming through the original documents and typing some words in a form, that sounds OK.
In any hypothesis, we do have to say an ABSOLUTE NO to Template and Selection unless the company releases us from the obligation of printing, stamping, signing, and certifying our translations. I think this is just common sense.
We did see some material from AUSIT about the topic, but it seems that the issue has not been properly addressed yet.