Every couple of weeks we get a ticket submitted in French, German, Portuguese. We've also had them in Dutch, Swedish, and other less-popular languages. About five years ago we got one in Czech. That was fun.
We make it clear to every customer that support is done in English. This often means mangled English, and I don't mean screwing up they're/there/their or lose/loose like so many supposed native speakers do. We get quite a lot of Googlefish translations (popular in France and Germany) which we'll often have to reverse-translate to understand and then get a colleague to properly translate for us.
We also occasionally get the word-for-word dictionary translations so that the entire content is incorrect English words in using some other language's grammar. This can be amusing for some but for most it's just frustrating and annoying.
This means that we have to write the answers in such a way that when the customer heads back to Googlefish to translate our answers, they remain clear, something rather hard to judge if you don't know the language yourself.
Once in a while we get a ticket from a guy who's either on so many drug he makes Keith Richards look like a sober schoolgirl or he's been up for four days straight and the full hallucinations have kicked in, something like this:
In giving to you the question of the manage to be system, where comes flowering and that it is seen as otherwise. Given to send, she waits rather and our doing is none.Pure poetry.
I more than understand language barriers and am often on the other side, but the requirement for communications through our support system is the use of English or something at least closely resembling it. If you can't be bothered to get one of your English-speaking colleagues (for example, that colleague of yours we actually trained... in English), you can wait a week for someone who speaks that language to get around to it.
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