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Financial penalties for quality defficiecies
Thread poster: shabda

shabda  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 23:43
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Jan 11, 2006

Hari Om and Namaste

Dear all,

Can someone of you tell me how few errors a translation should contain in order to be accepted? Furthermore, if finacial penalties were to be imposed, how would they have to be calculated?
Dhanyavadah!
Thank you!
Vielen Dank!


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:43
German to Spanish
+ ...
Never Jan 11, 2006

You shoul never accept penalties for translations quality
shortcomings. Do you know any translation provider that accepts penalties for payment delays? But, you should try to give a translation without any kind of errors the first time.

regards,
Pablo B.


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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:43
French to English
+ ...
"penalty" wrong way to look at it Jan 11, 2006

An agency shouldn't penalize a translator. Penalties are for the criminal justice system. If a translator provides a poor quality product, the agency shouldn't be as concerned about "punishing" the translator as it is about finding a fair and appropriate remedy that reflects the increased costs associated with the situation. What is fair and appropriate will depend on the specific factors at play. A professional translator and a reasonable agency should be able to come to some arrangement. If not, they probably won't be working together again.

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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:43
French to German
+ ...
How long is a piece of string? Jan 11, 2006

shabda wrote:
Can someone of you tell me how few errors a translation should contain in order to be accepted?


Evidently this depends on the context, for instance on what the translated text is to be used for.

If you mistype a figure in a construction plan for an atom plant, causing the plant to blow up, rendering the whole country uninhabitable, destroying the ecosystem on the continent, extinguishing the light of the sun, killing all human and animal life in the long term, destabilizing the planetary orbits, causing the galaxy to implode...

... well, then nobody is going to say, "oh, it was just one little digit that was mistyped in translation".

P.

"And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 23:43
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Method of Grading Jan 12, 2006

There is an obtainable grading form for translation which quantifies each mistakes, creating a grade. It takes into account length of document and seriousness of mistakes. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name of the company that produces it. Maybe somebody else will.

Stephen Rifkind


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Zhijun JIANG  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:43
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Penalties calculation Jan 12, 2006

As per my experience, no quality deficiency is acceptable to any end user. But if unfortunately we have to live with it, the usually acceptable rate is less than 1%. Over such rate, your client shall be entitled to decline the payment. With said scope, each and every error shall be penalized by around 3-5 times that of translation rate.

Per 24-hour late delivery shall be penalized with 25% of project cost.

Wish you a happy new year!


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Claire Titchmarsh  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:43
Italian to English
+ ...
In that case, nobody's going to say anything... Jan 12, 2006

"If you mistype a figure in a construction plan for an atom plant, causing the plant to blow up, rendering the whole country uninhabitable, destroying the ecosystem on the continent, extinguishing the light of the sun, killing all human and animal life in the long term, destabilizing the planetary orbits, causing the galaxy to implode..."

I knew it, we are to blame for wars, shortages, strikes, defective machinery and 95% of all court cases. It's all our fault!!


Seriously though it all comes down to terms and conditions of business. Take a minute to agree them with the agency before you start working for them and it will save you a lot of aggro in the future.

And keep away from atom plants.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Paradox of Errors Jan 12, 2006

I once read an article published by a professor at our local law school \"When Fear Knocks: The Myths and Realities of Law School\" and I encountered a number of points that could also apply to translators/interpreters (link to complete article follows).

The paradox of errors is that mistakes in a translation are UNACCEPTABLE and a translation should contain ZERO mistakes or errors, but we are human beings and as human beings, we make mistakes.

Here are a few quotes from the article:

"Myth #22: The Paradox of Errors

This is really not a myth but a paradox. The Paradox of Errors is that while mistakes by lawyers will occur, they are unacceptable. I remember working on a brief when I was in practice with a now-deceased lawyer. He was a crusty litigator in the old mold, who had successfully argued in major cases. While working on a brief with this lawyer, an error occurred. It was early in my career and I was summoned to his office in a very calm and deliberate tone, he pointed out the error. He sensed that I was uncomfortable, because I tend to be a perfectionist, and stopped for a minute to say something that has stuck with me every since. He said, \"I know that errors will occur, but they are unacceptable.\" In the practice of law, as professionals we begin to set for ourselves a standard of perfection that borders on strict liability. We assume that we will not even make the most venial errors. Our learning techniques are oriented toward the notion that errors are simply unacceptable. Nonetheless, we know they will occur. How is it possible to enter a profession whose standard is the acceptance of nothing less than perfect, knowing full well that you will make mistakes and fail to meet that standard? At a certain level, it seems sort of stupid that anyone would ever want to do that to themselves. I guarantee you that at least once in your career you will make one monumental mistake, you may make several...\"

"Myth #7: The Imposter Syndrome

I find it particularly intriguing that lawyers typically suffer from what is well-known as the Imposter Syndrome. This means that throughout their careers lawyers often experience themselves as people who enter a situation, regarded as the expert or person in charge, when in fact they see themselves as teetering dangerously close to the edges of their own competence. One common sentiment is that everyone in the room knows more than you do, or is better educated than you, or is more capable than you. Sooner or later you are the \"Great Oz.\" As time goes by in the practice of law we all learn to cope with this and overcome this in various ways. We actually
learn to appreciate the Imposter Syndrome for fear of its toxic mimic: the Top Gun

Syndrome is far worse.

The Top Gun Syndrome is the situation in which one actually believes that one is utterly incapable of error and is an absolute expert in all things that come in front of her. It is hard to believe that anyone would be so foolish as to think that they have completely mastered the law, legal analysis, and all possible angles. For in almost any day, even if you are highly competent at what you do, someone will offer a point of view, or a case, or a prospective you may not have considered before. Among first-year law students, the Imposter Syndrome manifests itself in a variety of ways. Often the law students feel - secretly - that other students know more, are smarter, are more connected, have better opportunities, etc. The truth is, just about everyone in the room feels exactly the same way. Quite honestly, if they do not, they probably should. Intriguingly, if you step back from the Imposter Syndrome, you begin to recognize that it is nothing other than a healthy recognition of one\'s own limitations and it is a natural and common feature of being a professional. I often feel that the essence of professionalism distills down to the fact that to be a professional is to be someone who can master not only difficult concepts and well-received wisdom, but can also experience herself at the frontier of her abilities and be willing to confront the challenges that society has that will test the abilities of even the very best among the professional caste. At some level we are confident and capable based on past experience, and at another level we are challenged and somewhat unnerved by the open-ended possibilities in front of us...\"


http://www.law.stetson.edu/lawrev/lake.pdf

shabda wrote:


Hari Om and Namaste

Dear all,

Can someone of you tell me how few errors a translation should contain in order to be accepted? Furthermore, if finacial penalties were to be imposed, how would they have to be calculated?
Dhanyavadah!
Thank you!
Vielen Dank!


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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:43
French to English
+ ...
Thank you Tampa Translator Jan 13, 2006

As someone who is both an attorney and a translator, I second your suggestion that the professor's comments apply to translators as well as lawyers. Thanks for posting this.

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#41698 (LSF)
Malaysia
Local time: 04:43
Japanese to English
+ ...
Well before the galaxy implodes Jan 13, 2006

Well before the galaxy implodes,

Sticker at side of bed: Falling off may be fatal.
Sticker on packet of macadamia: You may be allergic to nuts.
Sticker at rear of car: Tailgating is costly.
Sticker at exit of bus: Watch your head.
Sticker at back of watch: Watch may become kaputt.
Sticker on book cover: May contain errors.
Sticker on clinic's door: We are not 100% perfect.
Sticker on . . .



And not to be left behind,

Sticker near bidet: Not for washing [cowboy] boots. Not a wash basin for kiddies.
Sticker on pedal car: Not for highway use.


[Edited at 2006-01-17 14:25]


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:43
German to Spanish
+ ...
IBM Nov 27, 2006

rifkind wrote:

There is an obtainable grading form for translation which quantifies each mistakes, creating a grade. It takes into account length of document and seriousness of mistakes. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name of the company that produces it. Maybe somebody else will.

Stephen Rifkind


IBM uses such system, but it does not apply penalties. It returns the job with a common sense delay to correct the job that didn`t surpassed the quality test.


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