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Being called to do a (legal) translation that is already 'partly translated'
Thread poster: writeaway

writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 21:23
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2005

An agency I used to work for regularly and which has now adopted the habit of only calling for 'urgent' work with very short deadlines (and always introduced as being 'fairly simple') called me last week asking me to please, please help out and do an urgent translation, parts of which were already translated into English. She sent the doc, but the email never arrived and I turned it down anyway since I am busy on another job.
By chance this a.m. I found the email with the doc, so I had a look. Parts of it were indeed in English-but it was very poorly translated and incorrect legalese terminolgy!
My question is: if I had accepted the job, would the errors already there have suddenly been on my plate? I had no French text to check the English already done and I was not told to proofread it-just to finish the translation. When it was handed back to the client, it would have been MY translation-so would I have found myself liable for the other person's errors?

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Kathinka van de Griendt  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
"Partly translated" Jun 13, 2005

Hi writeaway, I often get files which contain already translated sections. I ALWAYS point out the amount of lines and the quality to the agency concerned and ask them whether they want me to correct the text or not. If not, I tell them I will not be held responsible for the quality. If yes, it simply counts as part of my translation and I invoice it accordingly. Never had any problems with that.
Have a great day

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Burkhard Ziegler  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
Russian to German
+ ...
Partly (and poorly) translated: Responsible if signed and sealed Jun 13, 2005

Hi, as you wrote about a "legal translation" let me point out another issue:

If a certified translation is required and you do the certification, sign and seal the translation you are responsible for the quality. In this case (errors in the previous translation) you should agree higher rates.

Regarding the quite late delivery of the text you had to work with, take a look into DIN 2345 which points out that the time of delivery of the source text and reference materials should be agreed and the real time should be fixed. I may recommend you and your clients using the demand of reading confirmation receipt and delivery confirmation receipt provided by your e mail software. It's not the (legal) solution but a reasonable help for both parties in order to be sure if "everything" has arrived.

[Edited at 2005-06-13 11:25]

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