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Poll: If I found the text I'm translating already translated on the internet I'd
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:49
SITE STAFF
Sep 17, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If I found the text I'm translating already translated on the internet I'd".

This poll was originally submitted by ryancolm

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


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 00:49
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tell the client and charge for my time Sep 17, 2007

Or at least get a little bit of mileage out of being "honest" - such as pointing out that you're not charging them this time. All this depends so much on your relationship with the client, but I find it v difficult to charge for work I haven't done (this time round), but frustrating to be expected to do it for free if my time has been taken up....

[Edited at 2007-09-17 16:36]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:49
French to English
+ ...
Depends on the quality of the translation Sep 17, 2007

I think it depends on the quality of the translation you come across and how far into the job you are when you find it! If it's a good translation and you've only just started, then I'd tell the client and not charge anything. If I was well into the job, I'd expect to charge for my time and if I'd finished and was just checking terminology, I'd expect to invoice as usual.

Hence "other" as my answer.

[Edited at 2007-09-17 17:42]


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Inform the client and charge if necessary Sep 17, 2007

We have had some cases with clients who wanted us to translate some official documents from the EU from English into German, often some kind of directives. As such kind of texts often are available in at least in English, German and French, we always do research before starting our job.

It seldom takes us more than two minutes of research on the internet to find an official German version of the text - so of course we were honest to our clients and told them that an German version already exists. In such cases we don't charge anything, and I think that our client is happy with that


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, completely agree! Sep 17, 2007

Claire Cox wrote:

I think it depends on the quality of the translation you come across and how far into the job you are when you find it! If it's a good translation and you've only just started, then I'd tell the client and not charge anything. If I was well into the job, I'd expect to charge for my time and if I'd finished and was just checking terminology, I'd expect to invoice as usual.

Hence "other" as my answer.

[Edited at 2007-09-17 17:42]


Yes indeed. That would be our approach as well.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tick the box Sep 17, 2007

Can I just tick a box somewhere saying I agree with all of the opinions above?

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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Same here Sep 17, 2007

Erik Hansson wrote:

We have had some cases with clients who wanted us to translate some official documents from the EU from English into German, often some kind of directives. As such kind of texts often are available in at least in English, German and French, we always do research before starting our job.

It seldom takes us more than two minutes of research on the internet to find an official German version of the text - so of course we were honest to our clients and told them that an German version already exists. In such cases we don't charge anything, and I think that our client is happy with that


It happened the same to me with a Swiss Law. I could not translate it myself in any case, just because it was a law, that's why I informed the client and I did not charge anything. My client (agency) was obviously happy, and their client too.

Sometimes I find little excerpts of translations, and I use them, if they seem useful. I do not believe I need to say something to clients in this case.



[Modificato alle 2007-09-17 19:19]


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Magali GUENETTE
France
Local time: 00:49
English to French
+ ...
Ask the client Sep 17, 2007

Happened to me last year.

Told my client, i-m sure they must have an old translation cause it's an old type of product (transmission for trucks).

Translation manager could not find it - mechanical training did not know either, so i said, ok i'll have a look on the internet and i-ll keep you informed.

On the Internet, I found the company who had a sort of joint venture with my clients and had been selling them those products for the past 30 years... The company sent me their brochures (both bilingual! with French and English texts on same page).

i called my client back, explained what i found and what i can do with it : pick up parts of it but not all, and rearrange as in the original text they gave me this time.

Saved me a bit of time although i had also looked up many things on my own and started a new translation before i got the old reference version... >> i slightly lowered my price in the end, in agreement with the Translation Dpt.

Magali


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Magali GUENETTE
France
Local time: 00:49
English to French
+ ...
Tell the truth or not... that-s not the quetion. It's a problem anyway Sep 17, 2007

I had another case when i started :

a company wanted to retranlate an international standard because they apparently were working on a similar French standard, with no official translation and disagreed on some points.

The agency (that-s why i don-t- like working with agencies) did not tell me about the problem, did not want to give me information either or to give me a direct contact to its client in order for me to ask questions...

So i called the AFNOR, (French Standard Org.), explained my case to get some information from a good source and they put me through with the guy in charge of this particular standard, who sent me the standards he had in stock.

I translated my standard with his as a very good reference (of course).

Then both companies realised they were working different ways on these English texts. I found out to... (cause i was still thinking in the first place, that the AFNOR wanted this translated, and the AFNOR Guy thought somehow that i was his translator on this job).

Agency got angry that i had called the AFNOR. I answered, you can-t possibly try to translate a standard without refering to other existing standards, if agency cannot provide me with old standards for reference, of course i have to buy them myself.

Agency warned they would not pay... I warned : i'm not sending the translation before you pay me...

They payed for the translation+ the standards i had bougth and sent back to them >> and so i finished my translation and also sent it to them.

Not telling the truth here would have been a problem, but telling it ended up to be almost a bigger problem...

Problem is : client and agencies not knowing how to trust translators, what information they need, how to work in "close contact" with them so that this does not happen.

Magali


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:49
English to Arabic
+ ...
Are more than 50% of poll participants being honest?? Sep 17, 2007

So far, 33.6% have answered that they'd use the translation for difficult terms only, while 17.9% said they'd disregard the translation...

I'm baffled - you find a perfectly acceptable translation (assuming it is) of a 50-page document on the internet, and you decide to completely ignore it (or just use it as a reference)? WHY????

Personally, I think it's our duty to tell the client of our findings, and to give them a quick assessment of the quality of the translation, and then let them decide if they want it redone or amended.
And I wouldn't think of charging for a simple internet search.


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 17:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do not charge a thing! Sep 17, 2007

I completely agree with Nesrin. I was surprised to see the large amount of translators cheating over there!!

I always tell the client and do not dare to charge a cent. It's not even a matter of copy&paste to Word, it probably was a search of 15 seconds in Google. It's only a matter of informing the client, thus the job is cancelled.

Are we also charging when answering peer questions? We also make searches in Google that probably take longer...


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Elena Carbonell  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:49
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I wonder... how many times you came across such a situation Sep 17, 2007

I answered that I would tell the client and charge for my time (as corrector) since I would check whether the translation is any good but that has never happened to me.
Not that I haven´t tried, though. Google is much a tool for me as any old dictionary.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
There's no way I will translate anything that already exists Sep 17, 2007

I am far too busy for that. I am delighted if I can find the translation and the job is then cancelled. However, situations do occur when the client even already knew that an official translation existed, but wanted a new one. That is not particularly surprising, as not all official translations are well done or eloquent. Then I get lumbered with the job after all. But otherwise, if the job can be cancelled, I move straight onto doing the same client's next translation. After all, the documents for translation are not exactly in short supply, and the cancelled one might sometimes give me an extra night's sleep after all, when otherwise I might have possibly worked through the night on that day.

Astrid


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Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 00:49
English to Arabic
+ ...
Really happened Sep 18, 2007

... only once. It was 20 pages. While looking up for some difficult terms, I found like 5 - 7 pages. I don't remember. I didn't check the whole. But I felt that it's a kind of automated translation, where some parts well translated and sometimes It was like a concatenated words.
I told the client and I translated the whole my way. I sent my translation along with the link of the already translated pages. My client wasn't the end client , he said : "As if I doesn't exist, I want yours only".



[Modifié le 2007-09-18 01:39]


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