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To leave factual errors in or not?
Thread poster: Eden Brandeis

Eden Brandeis  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:27
Japanese to English
+ ...
Mar 29, 2002

I am translating a newspaper article that has at least one verified (by me) factual error in it. The \"Founder and Chief Scientist\" of a company is referred to by the article as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). These two positions are not at all the same.



In this position would you:

1) Correct the error to give the client the whole truth and nothing but.



2) Leave the error to give the client what a speaker of the source language would have seen.



3) Do something I haven\'t thought of.



Thanks for your advice. I am new to this field and am still developing my technique.


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Richard Boyce
Local time: 00:27
Italian to English
note to the client Mar 29, 2002

I go for option b) but send a note to the client explaining the error and let them decide what to do. It helps if you send the note in advance of delivery so you can incorporate their instructions into the translation. Going for option a) would be the best solution but sometimes clients have said that they want the translation to reflect the original taxt - warts and all. And what if it\'s not an error? Option a) is full of risks!

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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:27
English to Dutch
+ ...
Translate + note for the client Mar 29, 2002

In such a case, I translate the text and add a comment for the client. That way, he can\'t accuse you of misinterpretation and you show your added value (being that you do not just translate the words, you also think).



Joeri


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Alev İlkiz
Local time: 01:27
English to Turkish
+ ...
I would leave them Mar 29, 2002

I would leave the error to give the client what a speaker of the source language would have seen. However, I would make a separate note to the client explaining/correcting any factual errors I have found/verified in the source text. Thus the client will have what he should have, which is the accurate translation of the source text, and the truths about the errors in the source text.

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Note it... Mar 29, 2002

It should neither be IGNORED nor CHANGED.



The normal and recommended practice is to translate \'as is\' and then NOTE it to the client in a separate document, if necessary with supporting evidence.





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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:27
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
I second that Mar 29, 2002

Translate + note



Have a nice weekend
[addsig]


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Eden Brandeis  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:27
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great suggestion Mar 29, 2002

I was started thinking along the same lines after I posted this question. I am going to add footnotes with corrections or notes for factual errors or points that are unclear.



I love Proz!


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Angel Biojo
United States
Local time: 15:27
English to Spanish
factual errors Mar 29, 2002

I agree with King. That´s what I normally do.

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xxxJon Zuber
Spanish to English
+ ...
Case-by-case basis. Mar 29, 2002

The one you cite, I\'d correct, without comment. But sometimes it just isn\'t worth spending the extra (read unremunerated) time to correct things that are inconsequential, not to mention the wrangling you can get into when you tell people they\'re wrong.

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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:27
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The client must be warned Mar 29, 2002

The first time I encountered such a situation was in a project that was to be translated into several languages. A colleague from a different language pair found that one text claimed that the institution the document was referring to was located \"400 miles East from New York.\" They warned the client immediately about the typo, and the client on his turn warned the other translators who had not got to that part yet, and so the mistake was remedied.



If I find a factual error, I warn the client, if possible before the translation is delivered. As King says, this way they can see that you don\'t just translate, but you can also read and think.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-29 17:35 ]


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Martina Ley
Local time: 00:27
German to Czech
+ ...
Yes, the client should be warned Mar 29, 2002

I fully agree.

However, one has to find a subtle way how to point out such a mistake.

The reaction of my clients was mostly positive, sometimes very positive, in rare cases just neutral.

Beside that you gently offer a kind of help, you prove yourself a careful and caring reader of the source text.



Martina


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
I agree: the client should be warned Mar 29, 2002

Whenever this kind of thing has happened, I have alerted my customer. I have always been thanked, and the thanks have always been followed by compliments for being a translator who thinks about what she is translating.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-29 23:47 ]


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Scott Li  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:27
Member (2005)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Translate + note for the client + suggested correction Mar 30, 2002

both client and agency will appreicate such a move.

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wrtransco
Local time: 18:27
German to English
+ ...
I would never correct without comment! Mar 30, 2002

First, you have to be faithful to the text (be it right or wrong). However, you should point it out to the person for whom you are translating. Should this person not clear it up for you, then you still have the option to put (sic) behind your translation.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:27
English to German
+ ...
Added value of correction Mar 30, 2002

Here\'s what I usually do (bear in mind that I specialise in financials, having spent 15+ years in that industry myself):



- If the error does not affect the meaning of the original text (e.g. a spelling error), I simply add a note.



- If it\'s a factual error, and I\'m 110% certain about what is correct, I change the translation to the correct meaning, ALWAYS adding a note outlining the error AND the fact that the translation has been edited accordingly.



- If I\'m in doubt myself, I translate what\'s there, adding a note.


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