Gary Smith

BP18 speaker Gary Smith

Gary Smith has given presentations at many international translation congresses over the years. He is a member and former president of the Valencia Region Association of Translators and Interpreters (XarxaTIV), and represents Spain for the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI). He translates from Spanish>English and Catalan>English. A British native, he has lived in Spain for over 25 years. Although he is originally from a scientific and technical background, today he also works with mercantile and labour law. He translates for various Spanish universities and has translated books by famous authors. He is also the author of the award-winning book, “Confessions of a Freelance Translator”.

Web:    Twitter: @GaryGlokalize

The customer is always right. Not.

BP18 Translation Conference speaker Gary Smith

We’ve all had them. The marketing department that wants to sell air conditioning to Eskimos and central heating in Saudi Arabia. The boss who spent two weeks at a language school in London and thus considers himself an expert in translation. The customer is always right, as the saying goes. But sometimes they’re completely wrong. Translation is one of those professions that are a mystery to many clients, who can’t even understand the end product they are buying. Many think they can do it roughly themselves, so they often have strong opinions about what they want without sufficient knowledge to understand when they are in fact wrong. In such situations it would be easy to throw up our hands and give the client what they think they want, with disastrous results. Instead, take a deep breath and see the funny side of the situation. Translators need to allay our clients’ fears by helping them understand the potential pitfalls of their meddling too much with the text, while understanding ourselves that the client’s input is essential to give them the service they really seek. This talk aims to give some ideas as to how to do this with a little humour.


This short talk is scheduled for Thursday, 19 April.