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Advice required about UK Translation Agencies
Thread poster: Sonia Gomes

Sonia Gomes  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:59
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Apr 6, 2004

Let me begin by saying that this is not a complaint but I am very curious and a good deal hurt.

Some months ago a British Agency approached me with a proposal about being a part of their panel of freelance translators. I was thrilled as this was my first "association" with agencies outside India. The Agency sent me a sample to be translated which I did very meticulously and got it proofread by a native speaker the proofreader also a member of Proz, assured me that the translation was very good and that I need not be afraid of the quality. A good deal of time elapsed and the Agency did not contact me again. I sent them an e-mail asking them about the outcome of the test. There was no reply. Some days back I received a mail from the Agency, my sample had been rejected for the following reasons

1. Twicce there was an extra space between the number and an unit ( eg 10 mgs)
2. Twice I wrote an a (grave)instead of an e.

The sample was around 400 words.

The agency further added that "although these errors are very small they reflect on the translator." My question is are agencies in the UK so particular that they would discard a sample because the translator had missed 2 spaces and 2 errors in orthography.

I would truly appreciate feedback on this subject.

Thanking you in anticipation
Sonia


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 15:29
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
There must be a space before the unit Apr 6, 2004

At least I always add one, if there is no, but perhaps the rules are different for English.
No reason to be hurt, translation tests are a nuisance.


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:29
Spanish to English
UK Translation Agencies no different from others Apr 6, 2004

[quote]Sonia Gomes wrote:

Let me begin by saying that this is not a complaint but I am very curious and a good deal hurt.

I have been told by several agencies in Spain and Germany that my test translation was fine and was on their list of translators only to be told later, after filling in the detailed registration form, that my translation was not up to standard. Could be they were re-checked or something on my form (my age for example, made them change their mind).


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:29
Dutch to English
+ ...
One space is usually included Apr 6, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

At least I always add one, if there is no, but perhaps the rules are different for English.
No reason to be hurt, translation tests are a nuisance.


In English you also include a space although sometimes people do not. See:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/translation/writing/style_guides/english/frame_index_en.htm
and
http://www.ex.ac.uk/cimt/dictunit/dictunit.htm

Many translation agencies (in the UK and elsewhere) do not check translations before sending to the end customer and, therefore, they may require perfection. You may not agree with this, but it is a fact. Personally, I believe it is better to have a translation proof-read before delivery by another person/expert/translator.


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:29
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Lame excuse Apr 6, 2004

Hi Sonia,

I can't help getting the impression that this sounds like a lame excuse on the part of the agency. IMHO they were just looking for some "alibi" reason to reject you as they hadn't contacted you for such a long period after the test. As such, the two minor mistakes you mentioned would not necessarily justify a rejection.

Let me add that it is quite common in the UK, in contrast to what official guidelines may say, not to put spaces between numbers and units. However, in a serious business relationship, such conventions or rules should be clarified and communicated beforehand.

My 2c,
Steffen


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Sonia Gomes  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:59
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you everyone Apr 6, 2004

Thanks a lot for the mails.

This was no complaint, but I was curious to know how agencies outside my country work that is all. Also I was amazed that such tiny mistakes could be the basis for a rejection.

Many times here in India, I discuss the format, the font or any other particular requirements of the client with the outsourcer/ client themselves.

In this case there were no specifications at all, I was supposed to translate and send them the translation that is all, but I am glad that they themselves agreed that the translation was good !I forgot they wishedme good luck and all the best in my future !!

Thank you again

Sonia


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
In your rights Apr 6, 2004

I think you would be in your rights to communicate with them your doubts. It may read something like this:

Dear Mr(s). XYZ,

Thank you for your response to my test and your comments. In my continuing endeavour to improve my translation skills, I checked out your comments. It seems that you may be in err about the measurement units, according to the following references: www.abc.com, www.xyz.com. As for the other error, you are right. I will continue working hard to always turn in perfection.

I would appreciate a reply to this email.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

ABCXYZ


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