Let's say my current job requires me to contact a certain hardware manufacturer in China and request technical documentation. But they don't speak English and I don't speak Chinese. Hiring a commercial translator would be impractical due to the number of reasons.
Which of the ways of dealing with the situation would be more (culturally) appropriate?
- Asking one of my known business contacts to do this for me.
In this case, what should I offer in return - a similar favor or a small amount of $?
- Using machine translation.
Which could lead to prolonged and tediously unproductive conversation, wasting the manufacturer's time.
- Making acquaintance with someone speaking both English and Chinese remotely (like in a chat or language exchange group) and asking them for a favor on the same terms as in pt. 1
Which is fine in my country, but I'm not sure if it wouldn't look weird or insulting elsewhere.