Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: Do you inform your client when you find an error in the original text?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:59
SITE STAFF
Mar 12, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you inform your client when you find an error in the original text?".

This poll was originally submitted by John Cutler

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:59
French to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends Mar 12, 2007

If I understand the error I don't. If, because of the error, I don't understand what is written, or it leads to some confusion or translation problems, I certainly do.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always! Mar 12, 2007

In today's environment of unrealistic deadlines, often the translation process actually turns into a QA step for the English (my source language). I find everything from typos, to missing words, to errors in concept, and I find that this is part of the value that I bring to the client. Of course, i also pass on text that I cannot understand, in the form of a question, and this often leads to a rewrite of the source text.

In most cases the client appreciates the feedback, understanding that it contributes to improving the source copy. I have had some clients get defensive about their writing, and in these cases I then stopped passing on this information to them, but this is the exception rather than the rule, most often clients thank me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:59
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, in a translator's note Mar 12, 2007

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you inform your client when you find an error in the original text?".

This poll was originally submitted by John Cutler

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Yes, I usually inform the client, sometimes by telephone, often by inserting a "translator's note" in a footnote - Word is wonderful at footnotes!
Jenny.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jo Rourke  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agreement! Mar 12, 2007

I agree with Ivana, if the error affects my understanding of the text then I ask the client about it, if not, I usually leave it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always Mar 12, 2007

In the case of certified translations, I have to do it (raise my voice). Most of the times, the original document cannot be changed, so we (certified translators) resort to the [sic] inclusion. 'Sic' is a latin word that means: 'like this'. You are letting the reader know that you found a mistake and that you realized, but as you cannot change it, you just make a note about it (by including [sic]).

Example:

The undersigned was born on December 34 [sic], 1985.

In these translations, there is no Translator's note. We have to maintain the mistake.


In the case of translations which are not certified, as soon as I find a mistake in the original, I let my client know, just in case. S/he will decide what to do with that.

Au


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Almost always Mar 12, 2007

[quote]David Russi wrote:
" ... and I find that this is part of the value that I bring to the client."
Definitely added valued, although not all clients may receive the news well. If it's too late to change the original, or the client doesn't really care if their text/web/publicity is 100% OK, then I may not bother to inform them, although a translator's note is good to let them know you're on the case...
BTW, has anyone noticed the errors in the Babylon ads on the proz main page? I would love to send them a mail about it ( I recently acquired a cheap version of their software with El Pais and it's ... pretty rubbish IMO)... but there seems to be no way to do it through their website. It's quite funny, since it's supposed to be a dictionary...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 16:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Always Mar 12, 2007

In some cases I email them a series of questions about the original text and the possible interpretations. I include several versions in the source language according to each interpretation, so that my clients tell me which is the correct one.

In other cases, I use "sic" and translator's notes and tell the client about the errors I found.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 17:59
German to English
Yes Mar 12, 2007

Yes, I always do.

I think it's especially important to let the client know about errors in cases where the source text is customer-facing, for example if there are typos in a brochure, on a label or in web site content.

Fixing such errors can only make the client look more professional - and if I can catch them before the text goes to the printers, it will actually save them money!

I would also query anything I thought was strange - I would consider it extremely irresponsible to blithely translate "Take 33 tablets twice a day" without mentioning that this dosage seems rather high!

Needless to say, most customers have been happy to have these things pointed out...

[Edited at 2007-03-12 17:18]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Poll Misunderstood Mar 12, 2007

Does this poll refer to:

A.- Material that is in the process of being generated by the client or

B.- Material that has already been generated and is final, sometimes produced by the client but often from another source.

I replied "always", but I refer to material that is being generated by the client as opposed to existing material.

With A: My clients appreciate my feedback on any discrepancies, especially legal documents that they are generating. I am another "pair of eyes" for them and I always mention possible errors and ask them for a correction or clarification, which is their function. In other cases with client-generated material I have been given the freedom to remedy bad writing and clients appreciate that; they know that not all their people are good writers.

With B: Like Aurora, if I am doing a translation of an existing, final document (certified or not) then I use (sic) and notes to point out discrepancies. I cannot change anything because it is already written in stone, warts and all. All I can do is direct attention to possible errors which also ensures that I am not blamed for them.

In the "A" case, I cannot understand why a translator would let errors pass without comment if there is any possibility of communication with the client. Even when working with an agency, one can at least inform the agency. Granted, with an agency the chances of the news getting through are more remote, and asking for feedback and clarification may be an exercise in futility.

But I think that professional ethics require us to make the effort.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Going the extra mile Mar 12, 2007

When I thought of the question, I was referring to a final draft copy of a text. I asked the question because I nearly always mention to my clients any errors or discrepancies I find in a text.
I just call it "going the extra mile" or "added value".
It's true that some clients could become angry and take the correction as a criticism, but I generally start off by saying something like: "I'm not trying to be a know it all, but...", or in Spanish using the saying Henry Hinds alluded to: "Cuatro ojos ven más que dos" (Two heads are better than one).
I believe as many people have said already that making the extra effort is appreciated in most cases.

I noticed that Jenny Forbes mentioned she does her corrections as footnotes. I'd like to offer an alternative:

I prefer to insert comments into the text. It's another great MS word feature. If you haven't tried it, all you have to do is use the cursor to select the word, text, section, etc. you want to comment on. Then click on "Insert" in the upper tool bar. The menu will open and offer the choice "comment". Click on that and a dialogue box will open on the right hand margin of the page with a line connecting it to the text you have selected. You can write your comment in the box. For me, the advantage is that it's parallel to the error you are pointing out and is connected by the line. To delete or edit the comment, just place the cursor over the box and press the right hand button of the mouse. A menu will appear offering the choices of deleting or editing the comment.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:59
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always. Mar 12, 2007

Yes, always.

One of the funniest examples is when I received a programming text. I could not understand the porno-related term "hardcore" throughout the text, so I asked the client and she told me: "Well, yes, there's a mistake, it's HARDCODE".

Sometimes there are bizarre mistakes: original japanese texts whih were translated into German and then English and I have to do the Spanish version. A real mess!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:59
Italian to English
+ ...
Sometimes/It depends Mar 12, 2007

I don't usually bother telling clients about typos in the original, as most of what I do is either for use only in the translated version or are pdf copies of letters, contracts and the like.

I always tell the client about any error that makes a substantial difference to the meaning though, or any obvious mistakes in calculations. And in one case, I told the client that the test procedures they'd written for some chemical tests were actively unsafe and I refused to translate them literally! Instead, I rendered them into the correct, safe procedure, highlighting the bits I'd changed. (If they'd told me I had to translate them literally, I would have refused the job, simple as that).

[Edited at 2007-03-12 18:36]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 00:59
French to English
+ ...
ALWAYS Mar 12, 2007

As a translator, I would always use track changes to show any mistakes I found in the original. What happened next was not my affair. Highlighting is a great way of showing up doubts - like a press release I was working on today where reference was made to 357 countries (it should have been either 35 or 37 and I didn't know which).
It helps also to add a note in the covering email explaining that there are problems and calling attention to the way they have been flagged up.
When translators work for me, I am most appreciative of those who point out errors or potential errors in my source text. Everybody misses something at some point and the translator can be that invaluable extra pair of eyes.
As long as you are polite and helpful, pointing out errors will do nothing to harm and a lot to improve your professional image as someone who goes the extra mile, someone who thinks about what he or she is doing.

When I find the errors myself later and realise the translator either didn't notice or just ignored the mistake, somehow I feel short-changed - be warned if you ever work for me !


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always! Mar 12, 2007

... we can't help it. We're addicted to it!

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Do you inform your client when you find an error in the original text?

Advanced search






LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs