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I need your opinion as to whether I should or not change a previous translation
Thread poster: PaulinaRich

PaulinaRich  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 15, 2006

I have a client that is working on a project that has not been released yet, there is compound term that I translated several months ago, which works fine withing the context, and I have been using consistently thoughout all different sections of the translation.
I am about to turn in another part of this project but I came up with a "better" translated term for the compound term I am refering about. It is a more literal tranlation but finally I found a way to compound it so it also sounds ok in the target language, and I would like to change it in this translation but I need to be consistent so the question is:
Do I even consider changing the term and sending my client a correction of all the previous translations that use the same term?
or Do I leave it alone, even though I know it could sound better if I made the change, afraid of loosing my client's trust in my translations?
I am asking you guys what you think because it would be the second time that I would make a stylistical change (I did that once at the very beginning of this project, several months ago).


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:14
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Change it Jun 15, 2006

Hi Paulina,

I would make the suggestion to the client and let him/her decide. It is logical that, the longer you work on a project and the more you learn about the topic, you will revisit some of your earlier decisions about the translation. Hopefully the client will appreciate the fact that you keep thinking about it and that you want to do the best job you can. Ultimately I think that will make you feel better and the client will have a better document. Good luck,

Tina

After reading other responses I would like to add that I would not charge for making the change.

[Edited at 2006-06-16 16:01]


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PaulinaRich  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Tina Jun 15, 2006

thanks for your reply

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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:14
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Suggest and provide estimate of re-work time Jun 15, 2006

I've been in a similar situation a couple of times:
I told the client about it, explaining the reasons for the suggested change and assigning it a priority level (i.e. is it a "vital" change, or more of a "cosmetic" change?).

I also supplied him with an estimate of the time required to edit previous translations to ensure consitency throughout the project - in fact this is really the crucial factor for deciding whether or not to implement the suggested change.

Also, the client will know whether there will be other material affected, that you might not be aware of (like other parts of the project, translated internally or by other translators)

cheers,
Roberta


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xxxTrans Secret
Local time: 19:14
English to Arabic
Do not change it Jun 15, 2006

Good morning

In opinion, leave it as it is because it is correct. Why? Because people always have negative thinking and the client may say that you are not sure and he or she may think that it is wrong and your image becomes shaky.

Thanks


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:14
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
I'm moving the thread... Jun 15, 2006

to the Translation Techniques forum and making it ON-Topic.

Best,
Magda


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Marie-Céline GEORG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:14
English to French
+ ...
Suggest and justify your change Jun 15, 2006

I don't think that changing a translation to provide a better term can damage your image. It shows that you're serious in your work and that you are open with your clients.
I agree with Roberta that you also should provide some justification / priority / time estimate so that you can discuss the different possibilities with your client who will make the final decision.


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Anne Koth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:14
German to English
Send all revisions at the end Jun 16, 2006

If the whole project is not going to be published until your translation is finished, I suggest telling your client that when you have finished translating, you are going to send the whole text again with minor changes all the way through.

When you've completed any project it is normal to go through the whole thing again and make sure that it works as a whole. It's one aspect of producing a really polished translation. You can't be expected to make final decisions about what may be thousands of terms before you start translating.


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Abdallah Hussein
Local time: 03:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
Abdullah Hussein (PhD Translation) Jun 16, 2006

I think you need to let your client know that you have at a better translation for that specific term, phrase, etc. This shows you respect your work, client and above all the ethical part of your job. It should also, I believe, get your client to value the quality of work you ar producing, which will, in the end, make him trust you more.

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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
French to English
Propose the change but don't charge Jun 16, 2006

I agree with the others about proposing the change, but I would not charge the client for it. After all, it was you who came up with the better term. It wasn't the client asking for the work to be done. I think it would be unfair to charge the client in this case.

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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:14
French to English
+ ...
Disagree Jun 16, 2006

In opinion, leave it as it is because it is correct. Why? Because people always have negative thinking and the client may say that you are not sure and he or she may think that it is wrong and your image becomes shaky.

I disagree completely with this - it is usually worthwhile to go for the best possible translation, and of course your ideas at the end of a project will be better than your ideas at the beginning of it. The client shouldn't think less of you for making this change.


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Alexandra Douard  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:14
English to French
+ ...
Change it Jun 16, 2006

A similar situation happened to me few weeks ago. I explained to my client that I had found a better translation for a certain expression, explained why and she accepted it. I can tell you that I slept a lot better afterwards!
I think that it shows seriousness and that you do care.

Good luck!


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