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Poor translations on Agencies\' websites.
Thread poster: Rossana Triaca

Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 12:38
English to Spanish
Jan 22, 2002

Once a year or so I do some Agency website research and submit my resume to a few chosen ones to avoid being forgotten and to let them update their database...



This year however I found an enormous quantity of agencies wich had their website translated into my language (SP) in a *dreadful* way.



True, I have a website and never seem to get about to proofread it, but we are talking about allegedly professional agencies here!. Some translations are not so terrible, but some have that distinct feeling of being done by non-native speakers.



Does this happen so often in other language pairs? It was puzzling to me since I couldn\'t decide whether or not to submit my resume. After all, do I want to work with such careless people, who care little for the company\'s image?



On the other hand, they obviously need a good translator. Should I politely point out the mistakes and say \"I can do better - hire me\"?. Or perhaps they are very serious about their business but blindly trust a fixed translator who is ruining their image...



And yet again, even if they correct the webpage, do I want to be part of an agency who can repeat such mistakes in the future, unnoticed by them and me?.



Puzzling subject...



Cheers,

Rossana


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French Locale
Local time: 17:38
English to French
+ ...
they do seem to take it rather badly Jan 22, 2002

Yes, that\'s exactly the same problem with some agency websites being translated into French.

I sent emails to some of these agencies telling them not to take it badly but that there were spelling, grammatical or typographical errors on their site. Although I have quite a very good response rate when I send my CV to agencies, those I sent comments to (but phrased nicely) didn\'t even answer!

The only good contact I had was with a French agency sending faxes to potential clients. I sent an email pointing out the mistakes and the guy who wrote the ad called me the following day to ask for my CV, rates, etc.

As for whether the other agencies corrected the mistakes is another story, I didn\'t have time to check it )


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Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Perfectionists" Jan 22, 2002

Hi Rossana,



Something like two months ago, an agency asked me to do a short sample test in order to be included in their database. I did not do the sample test since I had previously decided not to do any more tests whatever long or short. I remember the note I was sent by the agency read: \" the sample test will be examined by a perfectionist... bla bla bla\".



Why would an agency feel the need to send a note claiming that they have \"perfectionists\" in their staff? I sensed that \"something was rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark\" so I decided to take a peek at their site. Wowa! The site\'s spanish version was horrendous! I guess that the same \"perfectionist\" that was pressumably going to go through my test, must have had a hard time correcting that \"wondrous\" spanish version.



Perfectionists! Ha! Go figure!


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Geri Linda Metterle
Local time: 17:38
English to German
+ ...
Many agencies with bad translations on their websites Jan 22, 2002

I did some agency research recently myself, and I made the same experience. I found a few sites with horrible English and German. I never sent in a CV to any of those agnencies. Why should I work for such an agency? And these are just the agencies who claim to let your test be checked by a perfectionist.

I wonder how those agencies can survive!



And customers usually prefer to trust agencies to a freelance translator.



Anyone who has made any experience with such an agency? I would be really interested in details.



Geri


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 12:38
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
I tried the "phrase it nicely approach"... Jan 23, 2002

and sent a company an e-mail pointing out some mistakes and they replied at once thanking me, although it remains to be seen whether I\'ll ever hear from them again



I think I\'ll try a middle approach; if the page is plagued with mistakes I\'ll stay clear of them; if it is tolerable but needs improvement I may consider sending an e-mail (provided I have time for such niceties, of course).



At least I\'m reassured with this thread that it\'s not just me who finds mistakes everywhere... after all those sites I was beginning to think I was too demanding!



And that leads me to another thread... should we point out mistakes we find in colleague\'s profiles? I do not mean in public, but a well-intended, carefully phrased e-mail to make the translator aware of them.



I know I would like to be corrected if I slipped (heck I should have checked my profile before writing this! ), but I don\'t want to hurt any sensibilities either.



I won\'t even consider the \"let them be, you get more jobs that way\" approach (and believe me someone told me that much), but the truth is that letting it lay at least avoids any animosities...



Just curious...

Rossana


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Birgit Gerdes
German to English
+ ...
A new agency needs your help Jan 23, 2002

What the hell am I saying, I\'m no agency, just a small business, freshly started, still in baby shoes, and in the need of some reviewers. If any German/English expert takes a look at my website at www.germanamericanservices.com, please let me know where I have to improve, so that any future team member (I hope there will be some) doesn\'t complain

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lcmolinari  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:38
Member
French to English
+ ...
Sometimes criticism works Jan 23, 2002

I had a one-time and thoroughly positive experience criticizing the poor translation on someone`s website. It was not a translation agency, but a large \"international\" company whose website had been translated into English obviously by a non-native speaker. Given the company`s status, I was surprised.



So, I fired off a polite e-mail to several execs listed on the site, not knowing who would be responsible for web content, pointing out that the quality of the English on the site is not good for their image and if they would like to have it edited, fixed, please give me a call.



Well, they did! I got a call from a US-based exec who told me he had been aware of the \'horrible\' state of the web site, despite having hired professionals translators. The point is, they were probably great translators, but not native speakers. Seems I caught the company at a good time as they were about to update their site, and subsequently sent me all the translation!



To make a long story short, a little boldness can pay off. Of course, you`re surely to offend many others along the way.
[addsig]


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xxxJon Zuber
Spanish to English
+ ...
Against correcting others' profiles. Jan 28, 2002

Quote:


And that leads me to another thread... should we point out mistakes we find in colleague\'s profiles? I do not mean in public, but a well-intended, carefully phrased e-mail to make the translator aware of them.

....

I won\'t even consider the \"let them be, you get more jobs that way\" approach (and believe me someone told me that much), but the truth is that letting it lay at least avoids any animosities...



Just curious...

Rossana



Call me cynical, but there\'s another consideration, and that\'s that potential clients looking at profiles need to get an accurate idea from them. If someone has his or her mistakes cleaned up by someone else, together they\'re putting one over on the client.

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