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Poor reprographic quality in source texts
Thread poster: xxxtnkw
xxxtnkw
Local time: 08:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 12, 2004

Many of the source texts that I receive have already been faxed two or three times before they arrive on my fax machine. Add to that the fact that they are often typeset in Times Roman 10 pt, plus the fact that successive attempts at fax transmission have:
1)left lines down the centre of the pages and 2) obliterated a number of characters from either the left or the right margin
and one is left with a document that calls for cryptographic skills on a par with one's linguistic skills.

I would be interested to hear other Prozzers' views on what is acceptable in terms of reprographic quality and on the point at which one is entitled to start thinking of charging a premium for 'deciphering time'.

Very best wishes to all

Nicholas


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 03:18
German to English
Times Roma(illegible) Dec 12, 2004

When I have time, I'm going to create a typeface that would accurately reproduce the appearance of faxed documents.

In the meantime, extensively marking words, passages as "illegible" has cured a few clients of sending me 3rd generation copies of documents.

I've found that many clients are able to create pdf or at least TIFF images of faxed documents which reduces the degradation occurring during yet another fax transmission. If you have a good graphics program, you can use the "despeckle" feature to clean up TIFF files.
Kevin


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xxxtnkw
Local time: 08:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the tip Dec 13, 2004

The problem is that adding in scan and processing time reduces the amount of time available for translation, but the idea is still very useful and I shall try it. Fortunately, the agency is very sympathetic and has told the client on numerous occasions 'not to expect miracles'.

Thanks for that comment.

Nicholas


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:18
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Efax removes one step Dec 13, 2004

If you use efax yourself the last printing stage will be omitted. If all would use efax there would be only one single faxing, after that the file can be sent via email.
I generally charge more for hardcopy-like jobs, but it's impossible to charge enough for low-quality output.
Ask them to fax straight to you, illegeble text simply cannot be translated.


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xxxtnkw
Local time: 08:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Efax Dec 13, 2004

Heinrich

Thank you for your comments. Your suggestion is, without doubt, the most intelligent option. Unfortunately, it is not open to us, as we have no direct contact with the party that issues the reports.

Kind regards

Nicholas


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:18
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Fax it back ;-) Dec 15, 2004

This is not always practical, and some clients would be deeply offended instead, but some years ago I was sent a pre-translated document for proof reading, and it was simply the opportunity I needed!

The client had made a 'draft' that he wanted 'polished up' into an English advert. It was useless, but I was new to the job and did the best I could with all the standard proof-reader's hieroglyphs.

My 'proof' was also totally unusable, but when it came back in the fax it made a point!

I received a clean version in the source language... and believe me, translating it went much faster than all the bother of proof reading. I ended up with a good client.

It sometimes works if you ring or mail the client and ask for the first word on each line of the relevant pages. Some documents just don't exist electronically (birth certificates or exam. certificates for instance... ) but if you adopt the right tone of voice and apologise for causing them trouble... they do sometimes see what you mean.

The problem's not going to disappear for a long time, so educating the client is the only workable answer.

PS. I keep a large magnifying glass on my desk, and one of the agencies I work for is very good at sending me a photocopy by post, enlarged where appropriate. I can start working from the fax copy, and solve the problems when the clean version arrives next day.

But with handwritten or damaged documents you simply have to reach an agreement with the client about it from case to case.

[Edited at 2004-12-15 08:37]


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xxxtnkw
Local time: 08:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Educating reluctant clients Dec 15, 2004

In my situation, I cannot deal directly with the client, but I know that the agency ... which is also very good at sending enlarged copies of poor-quality source documents ... does attempt to educate the client, but the latter appears to be reluctant to understand the problem.

Thank you for the useful tips relating to diplomacy!

Kind wishes to all

Nicholas


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