Business Sense
Thread poster: Eleftherios Kritikakis

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:03
Greek to English
+ ...
Jun 27, 2008

I'll talk about the following business sense in our industry (I've seen this scenario more than 10 times this year): "Hi Lefteris. This client was not satisfied with the previous vendor, and they decided to come to us, and they specifically asked for you. Attached is the previous translation, please follow it as it is".

Question: If the client was not happy with their previous vendor, and they specifically requested my services, why is the project manager asking me to follow the bad translation of the previous vendor?

(same applies for prices -- farmers close down roads when their income is lowered by 5% - translators are very happy when their income is lowered by 20% - as long as they keep making more than someone else - anybody).

I'm in a crazy industry




[Edited at 2008-06-27 14:26]


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Shannon Summers  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:03
Member (2008)
French to English
Possible other reasons Jun 27, 2008

Have you already ascertained that the translation from the previous translator is bad?

As someone who has previously worked for large service providers for many years, I can guess that the reason the client wanted to switch vendors may not have been because of poor quality (or price for that matter). Very often, clients get turned off because of the incompetence of their project or account managers (i.e. not responsive, not empathetic to their needs, late deliveries - you don't know what they need to do after the translation phase) or maybe they just don't have the technical expertise or bandwidth?

Just just possible other reasons....


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:03
Greek to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My mistake Jun 27, 2008

My mistake for not clarifying: in all of these cases, the clients had problems with the quality of the translation from the previous vendors (that's what I was specifically told).

When I asked the PMs "why would I follow material that the client has already rejected?" the response was "hmmm... I don't know... maybe I'll contact the client and let you know".

Go figure.


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 04:03
English to Spanish
Because... Jun 27, 2008

The translation has been corrected/proofread/edited by the client, I guess.

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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 10:03
chain of work Jun 27, 2008

If the client already knows about your services, why not work with you directly?

Having said that, I was in a similar position with a project these past few weeks at work, so these things do happen. My team took over a medical translation project that wasn't doing well with the client. We had to go and find new linguists, who have been super by the way. The client is a lot happier now. In our case though, we went through the client's feedback and created glossaries and memories from scratch. So far so good.

Here is an idea to make some money. Have you asked for the corrected translations so you learn their style? You could also suggest compiling a glossary/style guide, correcting the TM and charge per hour as a linguistic consultation


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Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 11:03
English to German
+ ...
Poor project managers... Jun 28, 2008

I have never had a real positive view of PMs, but I suppose it has to do with the fact that whenever I wanted a service from them such as a sending me a work reference, I didn't even get an answer...

They are probably instructed not to anwer any questions unrelated to the job.

If I had the choice I would take this agency off my list, but they send good jobs and pay promptly...

Never mind the predicament the PMs are in, they are there to make the agencies rich and not the translators and don't have time for such trifling things as rendering a service to a long-standing translator...

Eleftherios, I am completely with Orla and wondering if you shouldn't try to establish contact with this client yourself...you may be a better communicator with them than their project managers...


xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hi Orla, I'd be interested in knowing how you like your new job. Is this working out ok for you? If you find the time to respond, please tell me your experience in a nutshell since I cannot reach you via the proz.com email service any longer.

Thank you,

Martin
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 16:03
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
EN-TH case Jun 28, 2008

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:
....Question: If the client was not happy with their previous vendor, and they specifically requested my services, why is the project manager asking me to follow the bad translation of the previous vendor?


In my case, clients want a lower price for a 4-year consecutive and repeating web-based e-learning project to achieve in their profit. They supplied me with many bad translations in Translation Memories. They also instructed me with poor practice (e.g. use of Trados Workbench + MS Word for Thai wherein corrupted characters are persistent.)
[And they got headache later.]

Cheers,
Soonthon L.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:03
Dutch to English
+ ...
Suggested answer Jun 28, 2008

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Question: If the client was not happy with their previous vendor, and they specifically requested my services, why is the project manager asking me to follow the bad translation of the previous vendor?



Ask the project manager - as has been suggested, there may well be a very rational reason.


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:03
Greek to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good project managers Jun 28, 2008

To tell you the truth, good project managers are behind my success, and maybe that of all of us. They are the ones who use common sense and keep the lines of communication between client-translator-editor open. They are excellent professionals and they deliver products I consider works of art in many cases.

Lefteris

PS. The problem is with the ones who do not make the effort because they' re too shy to call. Maybe it's just this "email generation".


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