Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Maksu- ja Tolliamet perils of internationalization

In these tax declaration times, as a foreigner in Estonia I have a particularly treacherous time to get with the usability of Estonian e-services.

This year the Estonian tax authority (Maksu- ja Tolliamet -, twitter) proudly declared that they will accept tax declarations in English:

However, trying to take them up on that promise, disregarding the numerous times I'm thrown into an Estonian-only environment, the English environment doesn't have the 2009 tax declaration I see if I switch to the Estonian one:

Estonian version:

Furthermore, once successfully in the declaration environment, the English version seems completely broken as I for example can't save my changed postal address (which of course works in the Estonian one). I can only deem this complete usability fail.

For the fairness of things and to provoke a debate, I'll share the opinion of a Swedish friend of mine:

"Yeah.. they really should not do it [attempt translation] at all..  no need to, really. Either you learn the language or you get help with it. Your choice (not theirs).

Just as in Sweden where they translate everything into 27 different languages and the tax payers pay for it. Not the tax payers fault that people do not know Swedish.

I do not mind any kind of miniority population but if they are unable to learn Swedish then they should pay for their own translation. Just as I seem to be unable to learn Estonian hence it is my problem to translate what I need, not the Estonian tax payers problem"

On another note, I've finally got a functioning mobile-id, as I was tired of the ridiculous software issues I had with my ID card. There english translation is even more absent, the support because of the jungle of organizations involved is terrible - but I recently was lucky enough to get both competent and helpful feedback when my ID card wasn't working.

1 comment:

Sildenafil Citrate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.