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Proofreading issue
Thread poster: Shooting
Shooting
Mauritius
Local time: 15:05
French to English
+ ...
May 13, 2008

What happens if you have been proofreading a job for a company and that the company phones you one month later to tell you that they are not satisfied with the translation (which was done by another translator) and makes you understand that they are hesitating to pay you the proofreading fees? (In fact, a new manager replaced the one I was dealing with in the first place, and she is the one telling me this).

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:05
English to French
+ ...
A month after the fact? Because of someone else's work??? May 13, 2008

I don't understand... How can they even possibly think of hesitating to pay you because of someone else's translation that you proofed? I hope they are not actually blaming you for not having turned a mediocre translation into a perfect one... Proofreading doesn't take into account the translator's style, the terms used, etc. - it is strictly about grammar, spelling, punctuation and readability. You are not accountable for the content - that is what they hired the translator for. Unless they expected to pay you three or four times less than the translator to do his/her work in his/her stead... I've seen that before. Besides, the translation may well have been satisfactory and it could be they are just trying to not pay both of you. It sure would sound nice to have 0 cost for something I'm selling - if that was the case, I wouln't be translating and would be selling snow during six months per year and go on holiday during the other six.

In any case, I don't see why they bother you with this a month after the fact. That is just unreasonable. Not to mention that the person you originally worked with on this doesn't seem to have objected, neither to your work nor to the translator's. And then, one month later, you get criticized by another person who is really a perfect stranger and whom you've never worked with in the first place.

This all sounds way too fishy to me. I would show these people that I am serious about collecting my money. They seem to be about to pull the vanishing into thin air trick on you, so you may want to hurry.

For starters, I'd ask them to prove the relation between their dissatisfaction with the final result and the work you performed. This mean s not only giving you examples of sentences that are wrong, but telling you how they think it is your fault that that sentence is considered to be wrong. You would be able to prove your point right there without going further.

Then, I'd check if the "faulty" translation was actually published. If it is the case, they are required to pay, because according to any copyright law, if it's been published, then it is deemed to be satisfactory.

Then, you can start collecting.

To begin with, I would politely demand payment - I am sure you have arguments you can use (I just gave you some, just in case). Ask them to reply to you within X days (no more than 48 hours for such matters, in my opinion). If you don't get a reply or arrangement within that timeframe, send them a registered letter about going to small claims court if they don't pay within another X days - no more than a week, in any case. Also tell them that you are already charging interest. If they don't react favorably to that, you have a case to actually do as you said in your registered letter - and I advise you to do that as soon as you can. Like I said, they may be too quick and long gone by the time your letter reaches them, along with any trace they ever existed.

Claim your money.


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Shooting
Mauritius
Local time: 15:05
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 14, 2008

Thanks Viktoria,
That is exactly what I did: I asked them politely to pay me the proofreading fees of the French text, which is not a lot at all, honestly.
But I think that this new manager doesn't have a clue about "translating" and "proofreading" a document. She is mixing both up...
Someone else also told me to bring this to court if they are still not keen to pay.

I have 6 years experience, clients have always been happy and satisfied about my work, and this is the first time that something like this happens. So, thanks for your help because I don't really know how to procede.



[Edited at 2008-05-14 07:37]


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Emmanuelle Riffault  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:05
Member (2004)
German to French
+ ...
Forum francophone May 14, 2008

S S wrote:

What happens if you have been proofreading a job for a company and that the company phones you one month later to tell you that they are not satisfied with the translation (which was done by another translator) and makes you understand that they are hesitating to pay you the proofreading fees? (In fact, a new manager replaced the one I was dealing with in the first place, and she is the one telling me this).


Je ne veux pas être rabat-joie, mais pourriez-vous communiquer ici en français ? Merci !

Emmanuelle


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Shooting
Mauritius
Local time: 15:05
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oui bien sûr, désolée pour l’anglais. May 14, 2008

Oui bien sûr, désolée pour l’anglais.

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