The other day I was doing an interpretation job on a construction site. The workers were Japanese, but the product (a 5-story high device) was sold by a German company. This German company provided the Japanese company that bought the device with with hundreds (maybe thousands) of pages of documentation. I know, because I was interpreting during three previous meetings that finally led to signing the contract.
But on this occasion I was interpreting on site for the construction supervisor. Japanese workers and the respective people in charge of various things **ON SITE** always complained, that they do not have the necessary drawings and specifications. BUT, I know for a fact, that the company (at some other department) has those drawings.
However, the people on site apparently do not read/understand the language on the drawings/of the specifications = German + English. This resulted already during the one week I spend on site to misunderstandings, mistakes, delays, confusion. And EVERY delay in the construction work probably incurs incredible extra costs!
I asked the person in charge of the translation department of the Japanese client and asked, why they do not translate the documentation they have received. So, nobody would have to waste time asking unnecessary questions.
The answer: the client does not want to waste money on translation.
Well, I do imagine that the required translation would cost lets say a few hundred dollars. The delays caused by lack of information on the other hand probably will cost thousands, tens of thousands ... who knows dollars!!!
Complete nonsense. Or am I missing something here???