Sonadezi’s story: The ejector

(Fun story in translation work)

In the early years of opening to foreign investment, one of Sonadezi’s difficulties was the translation problem. The translation team of the Company was very small and had to take on several other tasks. There were some translators who were proficient in foreign languages, but before that, they hardly had the opportunity to cultivate and practice, so their foreign language knowledge was faded seriously. In particular, they encountered more difficulties in groups of specialized words for each field.

In July 1994, a project owned by joint venture investors from Singapore and Japan applied for an investment license. It was a project to lease 35,000 m2 of land in Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Park to establish Showpla Vietnam Co., Ltd. (later renamed TENMA Co., Ltd.), specializing in manufacturing plastic electrical and electronic machinery and equipment. The translation of documents from English to Vietnamese for the project’s technical and economic documents was assigned to an officer working at the Investment Consulting Department. This is an senior employee, who used to work as an English interpreter at Bien Hoa Airport before the national independence, so the company was confident in his English level.

When the Company’s Director checked all the economic and technical documents before submitting them to investors, he discovered a problem with the use of words. The director asked the translator: “There are some errors in this technological chain. Why do you put it as an ejector?” The translator reviewed and explained: “This machine, after heating and melting plastic, extrudes it into a pressed mold. How about translating it as an exuder?” “It doesn’t sound good!” said the director. “An exuder, perhaps?”, the translator was confused. “Exuder and exuder are not some thing different, you should find a better word for it”, suggested the Director.

There was due to only one untranslated word, the project’s technical and economic document was suspended and has not yet been submitted to the investors for signatures. After that, the Company must invite an English expert in Ho Chi Minh City, who supported the Fashion Garment project in Bien Hoa 1 Industrial Park. After that, the translation problem was solved satisfactorily, so the document was submitted on time and the project was granted the investment license No. 920/GP on July 25, 1994 in the endless joy of the English translator and all Company employees.

This story is also a brilliant lesson for the project development and translator team of the Company, as a premise for the good handling of documents and procedures of other projects investing in Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Park and future industrial parks.