I particularly like how he distinguishes the cases of limited distribution languages and French, Italian, German and Spanish (FIGS, but be careful before you eat them... dogs have urinated on the low-hanging fruit). There are also some interesting statistics shared, such as
"An average of 59% of ProZ translators into English from Spanish, German, or French are not native-English speakers."There's an old saying in German about how even with a golden ring an ape remains an ugly creature, and those translating into a language acquired in school or in bed who assume that revisions by a "native speaker" will make the result "all better" would do well to remember that. I've seen what they consider to be acceptable results often enough, and I often see no ugly ape there but at best a gut pile from one which has been too long in the sun :-)
Of course, in an age when charlatans work the conference routes selling snake oil and machine translation "miracles" and conjure quality in a bottle with metrics received on faith from technocrats with little understanding of real language, and presumed reputable purveyors of translation assistance technologies sprinkle themselves liberally with these elixirs and exude their perfume, Wendell's commentary is most likely to be dismissed with a knowing smirk and a learnèd discourse on fit-for-purpose quality and customer satisfaction.
I smile with some pleasure when I hear such Wise Words as low-grade linguistic sausage purveyors and their suppliers would have us believe. There is a certain economic dynamic in the circles of fantasy fandom which may lead them to conclude that they are on the right path, as an individual lemming might think with the comfort of the crowd around him.
Until there comes the cliff on which the skeptical competition will stand and look down on the remains of those who trusted in Common Sense Advice and translators without native language mastery of their target language for critical communication with customers and prospects.