A quick Google turned up Romania's biggest banks, and the biggest - BCR - just happens to have an English-language version of its website. Honestly, I'm not sure whether I wouldn't have been better off using Google Translate to convert the original Romanian site.
If you can spot the errors here, you clearly do actually speak English:
- "Current Account Pachages" (in a headline on the homepage no less!)
- "Save every month and win a good sum!"
- "Your personnel account"/"Your personnal service" (ironically on the same page)
- "Keeping Values in Boxes" (This is my favourite - they were looking for 'safety-deposit boxes')
"We know that yourtime is very precious" (on the Private Banking page, for richer but less demanding people)
- "Don’t leave the performance of your portofolio to chance!" (side-note: are exclamation marks really that popular in Romania?)
Now don't get me wrong, I understand that English is a second-language in Romania. I've read all the tourist advisories that while most young people can speak it, you're better off with a phrasebook in the rural areas. However, am I wrong to expect that Romania's BIGGEST bank would at the very least ensure that their English homepage (at the very least the headlines) is error free and grammatically correct?
I'll be the first to admit that if I tried to write anything in my fledgling Romanian, my spelling and grammar would be far worse. However, the difference is this: I'm not trying to write Romanian homepages for major banks.
English is the global business language, and banks are in the business of business. This is also the 21st Century, and I assume that English immigrants looking for banking details are not a new phenomenon.
The reason this frustrates me beyond belief is not because I urgently want to open a bank account in Romania, or because I'm the ultimate perfectionist (although a bit of accuracy from the people who'd deal with my money is desirable). No, the reason is this: I keep on hearing that English-language jobs for immigrants in Romania are A: not hugely common, and B: easily filled by English-speaking Romanians.
Yes, that latter point shows, it really does. If you're in Romania and considering hiring somebody for an English-speaking role, please hire a native English-speaking immigrant. Not only will I, as an immigrant, learn more about your beautiful country from the outside, but I may actually find a demand in Romania's job market for my unique skill-set and be able to move there before my 100th birthday.
PS: Just so that BCR doesn't feel unduly targeted, can you spot the difference between these two pages from the Romanian Cultural Institute's (ICR) website: original Romanian and English version. Or how about that a page like this one exists? Maybe it's just me, but I find it strange from an organisation that is "tasked with raising the profile of Romanian culture around the world." Yes, people from around the world will (try to) read your website.