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Status of the study

As may be inferred from the above, the present report makes absolutely no claim to objective validity. Less than fifty people were interviewed in all, and no attempt was made to obtain more than an intuitively representative sample. The techniques employed are not such as to lend themselves to statistical analysis, even if the sample had been larger or more representative. The aim here is modest: to present one outsider's picture of an organisation which is unique in its size and its complexity. The usefulness of the report will, it is hoped, reside in its conveying to others just how different the SdT is from other translation services, and perhaps in its providing fertile ground for ideas on how the production of multilingual documents can be facilitated.

It should also be noted that the report represents a snapshot of the state of affairs at one particular point in time, and, like all snapshots of moving objects is unlikely to be entirely accurate. One of the aspects of the SdT that was most apparent throughout the study but especially during the period in which this report was being written was the speed with which the SdT evolves; every new draft brought forth comments that although some point or other was certainly so at the time of the interviews it had by now changed. Where possible, changes that intervened during the report writing period have been incorporated, but it is still true that what is represented is what the author believed to be true on October 20th, 1995. By the time this report is read, there will certainly have been further developments.