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Off topic: discounted rates for "not perfect" translations
Thread poster: xxxdf49f
xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 02:19
Feb 13, 2005

Found in a member's profile page:

["A low-cost service is available for half the price for documents of less importance, where no formatting is done and where the client accepts that the translation may not be perfect (typos, not optimal choice of words etc.). This is mainly relevant for private clients, but some business correspondence could fall in this category."]
(standard rate 0,10 euro - location: France)

Is my horrified reaction to this just ridiculous and unjustified?? Though my basic philosophy is live and let live, somehow advertising for second-rate translation at a discounted price does not seem too great for the reputation of the translators community... Or maybe I am being excessively righteous?
What do you think of it?

dominique


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Machine Translation Feb 13, 2005

Maybe if that level of work is what the client desires, then he would be best advised to go with machine translation. It can provide the same thing just as quick and equally dirty; plus it would be much cheaper.

Yes, that is somewhat horrifying.


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Arroger
Canada
Local time: 20:19
English to French
+ ...
high speed Feb 13, 2005

A ferret would be faster though.
should I give a discount for speed?


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Jalapeno
Local time: 02:19
English to German
Spot on... Feb 13, 2005

Henry Hinds wrote:

Maybe if that level of work is what the client desires, then he would be best advised to go with machine translation. It can provide the same thing just as quick and equally dirty; plus it would be much cheaper.

Yes, that is somewhat horrifying.


That's probably what our esteemed colleague is doing. Just having the text translated by a computer and charging money for it. Despicable...


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 02:19
TOPIC STARTER
discount rates for second-rate translation (cont'd) Feb 13, 2005

Just in case we needed further clarification, this is another version of the same but advertised on that person's web site:

"Low-cost translation [...] may be typed as plain text without time-consuming formatting. If you order this service, you accept that the translation may contain typing errors, spelling errors, grammatical errors, inconsistencies, and that the choice of words may not be optimal."
...
(
df


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 17:19
English to French
+ ...
Finally! Feb 13, 2005

An offer that makes sense...

Usually they want a top-notch translation at a discount rate.

You ask me, this is a step in the right direction!

Sarah


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 02:19
TOPIC STARTER
discount rates for second-rate translation (cont'd) Feb 13, 2005

sarahl wrote:

An offer that makes sense...

Usually they want a top-notch translation at a discount rate.

You ask me, this is a step in the right direction!

Sarah



now that you mention it...

Reminds me of an agency who once proudly told me they had come up with a brilliant marketing system with 2 interpreting rates: Bronze and Gold - Bronze meant accepting so-so/non-professional interpreters and for Golden rates, the client got top-notch pros!!

df


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:19
German to English
+ ...
...this is a step in the right direction Feb 13, 2005

or the right step in the direction of not getting any repeat clients!!

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Elodie Rousseau
Mexico
Local time: 19:19
English to French
+ ...
"not perfect" promotion as well! Feb 13, 2005

Hi,

I've found this homepage you mentionned and went to see the French version of their site out of curiosity.
I guess they used their "not perfect translation" for their own promotion (not such a good idea, I guess), because the text is quite strange and full of mistakes, typos, etc.

Here's an exemple, French speakers will appreciate!

"Vous pouvez toutefois attendre que le texte soit clair et sans ambiguïtés. La différence entre une traduction Standard et une traduction Discount ressemble un peu la différence entre la préparation d'une soirée avec des invités le samedi et la préparation d'un repas simple pour vous-même le lundi. Vous ne feriez pas toutes les décorations et les détails gastronomiques le lundi, mais vous ne *quitterais* pas la table en *avant* faim et vous n'attraperiez pas un empoisonnement alimentaire non plus."


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vorloff
Bosnian to English
+ ...
I don't know, at least the person is honest.... Feb 13, 2005

...I bet there are translators out there charging top rates for the same type of work. I could see how it might make sense for a client who needs something translated for personal use/informational purpses only, but only has a hard copy to work from.

I say live and let live!


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:19
Member (2004)
English to Polish
It is a way to view it! Feb 13, 2005

I agree with Vera! How many of you know translation agencies, that hire low-paid, not-so-professional translators and provide translations at half of your price? I do know quite a few... The company you mention is just being frank about it!

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xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Français Discount seulement Feb 13, 2005

Elodie Rousseau wrote:

Hi,

I've found this homepage you mentionned and went to see the French version of their site out of curiosity.
I guess they used their "not perfect translation" for their own promotion (not such a good idea, I guess), because the text is quite strange and full of mistakes, typos, etc.

Here's an exemple, French speakers will appreciate!

"Vous pouvez toutefois attendre que le texte soit clair et sans ambiguïtés. La différence entre une traduction Standard et une traduction Discount ressemble un peu la différence entre la préparation d'une soirée avec des invités le samedi et la préparation d'un repas simple pour vous-même le lundi. Vous ne feriez pas toutes les décorations et les détails gastronomiques le lundi, mais vous ne *quitterais* pas la table en *avant* faim et vous n'attraperiez pas un empoisonnement alimentaire non plus."


C'est parce qu'ils ne connaissent que le français Discount, ainsi qu'ils l'annoncent clairement:

Langues & Combinaisons

* Français-danois
* Anglais-danois
* Français-anglais
* Danois-anglais
* Danois-français (Discount seulement)
* Anglais-français (Discount seulement)


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:49
English to Tamil
+ ...
The offer is not unprecedented Feb 14, 2005

I too have located the Website in question. Their rates are as follows:
0.06 euro per source word plus 5.00 euros per document for the low cost translation and 0.105 euro per source word plus 10.00 euros per document for the high cost translation. Plus VAT as applicable in both the cases.
How about some airlines company, which is cutting on the frills and charging half the standard airfare? It will not employ beautiful airhostesses to serve you drinks. It may even dispense with the drinks per se. And are such airlines not flourishing?
Under some circumstances, the translation is required only as per some formal regulations and nobody might be reading it at all. In my company all the circulars and annual reports were being translated into Hindi on account of the Official Languages Act of the Government of India. Yet, nobody reads them- not even the persons having Hindi as mother tongue. Everybody will read the English original only. Shocked? That's a fact of life.
The Webpage goes on to say:
"Low-cost translation does not include translation of letterheads and other text that has no real meaning, and the translation may be typed as plain text without time-consuming formatting. If you order this service, you accept that the translation may contain typing errors, spelling errors, grammatical errors, inconsistencies, and that the choice of words may not be optimal."
Only the mention of possible typos is unfortunate.
Regards,
N.Raghavan



[Edited at 2005-02-14 03:22]

[Edited at 2005-02-14 09:18]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Lower rates for gist translations okay Feb 14, 2005

df49f wrote:
"A low-cost service is available for half the price for documents of less importance, where no formatting is done and where the client accepts that the translation may not be perfect (typos, not optimal choice of words etc). ..."


Well, you can give what is known as a "gist translation", which is a quick-and-dirty translation suited for people who don't require the translation for printing purposes but only wants to know more or less what the text means.

In such a translation, it may be okay to spend little time on formatting. It is implied that the word choice would necessarily not be optimal.

However, I strongly disagree that it is acceptable for such a translation to contain *spelling errors*. The same goes for blatant mistranslations, faux amis, non-transparent unidiomatic speech etc. You have to draw the line somewhere...


[Edited at 2005-02-14 10:02]


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