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"in all fairness to him..."

Posted by Koh on June 17, 2004

At a meeting in our Thai company, our British boss said this about the interpreter (when he saw the detailed documents were only prepared in English, even tho there were non-English speakers in the room):
"In all fairness to our interpreter, this can only be discussed among those who feel completely comfortable in both Thai and English, so please prepare documents also in Thai from now on."

Do you think he wanted to say that the interpreter's abilities were not good enough in both languages, OR that it would be impossible for the interpreter to go thru with this meeting in a meaningful way without documents in both Thai and English that they could discuss from? I ask because normally this phrase preceeds a negative thought, doesn't it? Thank you.