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Problems with a translator
Thread poster: xxxInterpretali
xxxInterpretali
Local time: 00:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 13, 2007

Hi everybody!

Last week we posted a job to translate around 3000 words. As usual, we received lots of wonderful CV's and we finally chose a translator who had almost 20 positive feedbacks of other projects.

He handed in the translation sooner than expected, but it was full of spelling mistakes. In fact, it took a colleague and me almost five hours to check it.
We sent him an email saying that he should chech the translation again, because it had lots of spelling mistakes and since last friday morning, we don't know anything about him.

We have sent the translation to the final client this morning, so there's nothing he can do now. Whay should we do? Should we pay the whole proyect, although it took us five hours to check it and we got no answer from him?

Thanks everybody!

[Edited at 2007-08-13 07:56]


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Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:50
English to Russian
strange Aug 13, 2007

For 5 hours the one could translate 3k words, if the correction took that long, it must have been terrible.
Quite a lot of POs I receive contain a clause like this

...delivery after the assigned deadline, or with the quality that doesn't meet minimum quality requirements and evaluated as ‘Poor’, and breaking the instructions that follow together with a project will cause a reduction of amount to be paid up to 30% of the total PO amount.
However noone used it so far.
May be you could ally smth like this...

[Edited at 2007-08-13 08:40]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:50
English to German
+ ...
A couple of questions Aug 13, 2007

Firstly, how was the overall quality of the translation, typos aside? (Style, flow, were the technical terms correct, was the tonality to the point? Was it brilliant perhaps?)

Secondly, how come that it takes two people 5 hours to proofread 3000 words (!)?

Just curious.

Maybe this person had an emergency, broke his back to deliver on time, then had to rush off.

I would wait for feedback from the translator before I'd start arguing a case.

Since last Friday till now it also happened to be a weekend.

I recommend to take a deep breath, slow down and rather worry if the person is well instead of planning what nice and hefty deductions you can apply and even start a forum about this 3 hours into Monday morning.


Sincerely,

Nicole Schnell

Addendum:

- The translator delivered earlier than requested, right?
- Have you received an invoice at all?
- Did you contact the person adding the "Request Read Receipt"-function to your email?


[Edited at 2007-08-13 08:49]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:50
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
5 hours for proofreading 3k word? Aug 13, 2007

It seems very very strange, especially if there were only spelling mistakes as you stated,
may be there were also translation mistakes?
Even in this case, 5 hours, 2 persons... strange very strange

Just curios

All the best

Angioletta


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 00:50
French to English
+ ...
UK v. US or similar? Aug 13, 2007

Is it possible that the translation was in US English and you spell checked it in UK English (or some other language / dialect pair)?

If so, was the dialect specified in the P.O?

Terry


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Jalapeno
Local time: 00:50
English to German
... Aug 13, 2007

What kind of typos were there? Perhaps there was a misunderstanding regarding the target language, i.e. you wanted American English, the translator delivered British English or vice versa.

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xxxInterpretali
Local time: 00:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
More info Aug 13, 2007

First of all, thanks everybody for answering.

The final client of our proyect is the local government of a Spanish city. They needed to translate into English 50 short posters with the history of the most relevant monuments of the city, so that tourists can get information as they walk around the city. That is why it took us so long to check the proyect, because I checked every single word and then my colleague re-checked it again. We wanted no mistakes (but that is our decision).

Typos aside, the quality of the translation was quite good, despite some unjustified omissions. The strange thing is that when we sent the text to the translator last wednesday, he answered in less than a minute and we also exchanged several emails last friday.

I suppose we'll have to wait, as Nicole says, until we get an answer. He sent us the invoice, but our data are also incorrect, so I suppose that sooner or later he shoud appear.

Thanks everybody.


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Nizamettin Yigit  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:50
Dutch to Turkish
+ ...
Time management Aug 13, 2007

Hi,

With all due respect, if 2 people had 5 hours to waste (10 hours in total) why did not you translate this work yourself?

At the end you spent that time and technically you did not earn anything.

Good luck,

Nizam

[Edited at 2007-08-13 09:47]


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Flo Demolis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:50
French to English
+ ...
"0.040 EUR per word" Aug 13, 2007

Interpretalia wrote:

Hi everybody!

Last week we posted a job to translate around 3000 words. As usual, we received lots of wonderful CV's and we finally chose a translator who had almost 20 positive feedbacks of other projects.


Thanks everybody!

[Edited at 2007-08-13 07:56]


Hello Interpretalia,

I have been following this thread with interest and was feeling quite sympathetic towards you until I checked your profile and BB (no problem: 5/5). Then I saw the job you had posted and the rate you offered... !!!

Did your marvellous translator with almost 20 positive feedbacks accept your rates? Well, then, you got what you paid for. Those are proofreading rates, my dear colleagues.

Two of you had to proofread the translation, so this job cost you 0,12 €/word (at normal proofreading rates) rather than the 0,04 € you had hoped to pay! That's what you should have paid right at the start. I just hope that you and your colleague are actually qualified to proofread a native English translator's work. (I presume you did choose a native English speaker.)

Kind regards,
Flo


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Two proofreaders Aug 13, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Secondly, how come that it takes two people 5 hours to proofread 3000 words (!)?


Easy. One person reads the source text, the other person checks the target text. It is a very accurate but time-consuming method if the text type requires it. I've often used it when proofreading lists of things where the source text wasn't initially available as electronic text.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Higher rate = better quality? Aug 13, 2007

FrenchtoEnglish wrote:
Well, then, you got what you paid for.


I strongly disagree. No translator has the right to deliver substandard work for substandard pay unless that was the specific agreement with the client.

Two of you had to proofread the translation, so this job cost you 0,12 €/word (at normal proofreading rates) rather than the 0,04 € you had hoped to pay! That's what you should have paid right at the start.


I doubt if one can safely remove two rounds of proofreading from the quality control cycle by simply paying the translator the amounts that the proofreaders would have received.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:50
English to German
+ ...
Tourist guide vs. Nanotechnology Aug 13, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Secondly, how come that it takes two people 5 hours to proofread 3000 words (!)?


Easy. One person reads the source text, the other person checks the target text. It is a very accurate but time-consuming method if the text type requires it. I've often used it when proofreading lists of things where the source text wasn't initially available as electronic text.


Sorry. Reading 600 words/hour while the overall quality of the translation was rated "quite good"?

Nah.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:50
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Right Aug 13, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Sorry. Reading 600 words/hour while the overall quality of the translation was rated "quite good"?

Nah.


Moreover, in my opinion, if the translation was quite good and the agreed rate was 0.04 eur per word, you should pay the whole amount without any deduction whatsoever for 3 reasons

1) You stated that this kind of complex proofreading was your choice.
2)Since the target language is English it is possible that you used the spell checker of British English and the translator the one of US English or viceversa.

3)The Italian spell checker (my native language) for example, sometimes suggests wrong and even ridiculous corrections, so if the translator is native it is possible he knows that those suggestions were wrong and just disregarded them.



All the best


[Edited at 2007-08-13 14:26]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 00:50
German to English
erhm... with all due respect... Aug 13, 2007

I would love to take a look at the finished (2 non-natives proofing native speaker's work) piece. (Anybody else notice the spelling mistakes in Interpretalia's postings?)

Terry Richard's question is extremely valid. Was the target language US or British English, and is this perhaps the "spelling" problem?

Um, data incorrect on the invoice. Are you going to wait until the translator notices and contacts you?


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Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:50
English to Russian
spellcheck Aug 13, 2007

IF the text was OK, apart from poor spelling, it could be solved with simple automated spelling check (e.g. in MS word) and fast proofreading afterwards. One hour work for one man.
I still don't quite get it.
With all due respect.

[Edited at 2007-08-13 10:42]


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