Problems with customer service? Something may be lost in translation!

Chinese and English are the two most difficult languages to learn. A phrase that has only one meaning in one language can have several meanings when translated. This holds especially true if a word has not been encountered before in the context that it is being used. Asking what may seem to be silly questions is the only way to determine what is being said. When both parties are using a third language to try and communicate it becomes much more difficult.

I was born in the Netherlands, and my family immigrated to Canada as a child. My father was certified as draftsman and precision machinist in the Netherlands. Upon arrival in Canada, his occupation was translated as drawer, and tinkerer. As you might imagine, this official translation of his occupation led to employers thinking that he was some sort of artist. It took over three years for him to realize and correct this mistake. My parents took English at schools in the Netherlands for over five years. In public we spoke English as soon as we landed in Canada. We started speaking English at home a year after we immigrated. Forty years later, my parents still had problems with some of the phrases used.

When dealing with a person that has a different native tongue one must always start with the assumption that they are trying their best to translate your words into something they can understand. Questions that may seem silly, or even demeaning are not. They are simply meant to help the person understand what you mean.

If you are not satisfied with the response made by a customer service representative in another country, it is very reasonable to think that something was lost in translation. Try again, using images and video if you can. It takes time and patience to ensure your complaint is fully understood. Only then can your complaint be properly assessed for an appropriate response.

Posting your problems on a public forum such as this opens it up to others. Members can offer solutions, or help in communications. The use of English by Aspire's team is very good, but always remember it is not their first language. Mistakes in translation will be made. This is very frustrating for both parties. Have patience, and keep trying.
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