Friday, May 02, 2008

An unfortunate choice of words

I open my mailbox this morning and I'm greeted by a message from SDL TRADOS: "Upgrade Amnesty for SDL Passolo 3 and 4".

The message then goes on to say that users of Passolo version 3 and version 4 may still purchase licenses to the current version of the software for the reduced upgrade price.

I would normally call this an upgrade offer extension, and if that had been its title, there would be little to say.

By choosing to call it an "Upgrade Amnesty", though, SDL TRADOS seems to indicate that it considers those of its users who do not upgrade on the SDL schedule as offenders. After all, the meaning of "Amnesty" is clear, according to my Random House Webster dictionary:

1. a general pardon for offenses, [...] often granted before any trial or conviction.
2. Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, [...].
3. a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.


  1. This will seem self-serving as I am a Cisco employee, but I am told that at some point in the not too distant future the network will be able to do the translating for us real time over intelligent IP infrastructure. In other words, you will speak, say Mandarin Chinese on one end of your phone and the person on the other end, who is a Spanish speaker, will hear Spanish on her end of the phone.

    Time will tell if this possibility comes to fruition, but intriguing nonetheless.

  2. Unfortunate indeed. But this is just one of the cases of a CAT tool acknowledging the complete power it has over us translators. You see, we can't live without them, so they feel allowed to impose on us whatever conditions they may think they're entitled to (or use humiliating language in their corporate relation with us).


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