Letter to the Editor: Why do Slovaks do things differently

Dear Editor,

One of the smaller problems of starting a business in Slovakia is the need to have everything translated - by an official translator - with their little blue stamp.

However, international standards dictate that all work should be done into the target language by a native speaker. Why do Slovaks do things differently?

The question arises once again while reading the advert in the current Economist for invitations to tender by Košice? It certainly wasn't a native speaker. More than likely an official translator - hence the bad English grammar. Why?

Why do the Slovaks continue with an out-dated system, managed by existent translators - thus stopping competitors entering the market? Why do they maintain the cartel and thus persist in letting Slovaks translate into English?

Does it matter - yes, because this not only impacts on business, but it also impacts on students - official school and University documents into English (note: not actually a request for an official translation) but charged at the official rate and other people who need documents into English (or German/Spanish/French etc...)

It goes on - A beautiful book about Banská Bystrica was ruined by all the translations - The Slovak Consulate were in angst over the Spanish - although the English was better than a Ben Elton script. It's about time that the system was liberated and Slovaks realised that natives do the job better!

David Barry

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