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end client ruins translation
Thread poster: biankonera

biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 23:58
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Jan 5, 2008

Dear all,

I have by chance discovered that an end client has ruined the translation I did for them via an agency. By "ruined" I mean that in some parts the text that is in their website now is absolutely horrible - words are missing some letters etc. I have suspicions its due to some technical reason - to fit in the text in boxes of certain sizes - but knowing I did that translation of an excellent quality and its important for my resume I cant support such wrong doing. So I was wondering what should I do - contact the end client and tell them about this problem or do something else? All opinions are greatly appreciated!:)


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Joseph Ferran
Argentina
Local time: 17:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
end client ruins translation Jan 5, 2008

Dear Translator:

Never contact the end client. You should contact the agency that extended the assignment to you. Indicate the problems that you have noticed and let them handle it. I do not believe that the end client even knows who did the translation. Therefore, I beleive that this particular problem (about poor notes attached to your CV) will not occur. An observation to your client should be enough and they will contact their client. Keep proper records of dates, time and person who handled the calls, faxes and/or emails of any and all communication you have with them in order to cover yourself. Also, send them again the translation in order to verify accuracy.


Good luck

[Edited at 2008-01-05 11:24]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 11:27]


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 22:58
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
Contact Jan 5, 2008

I think it is safer to contact the end client and tell them about this problem.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 22:58
English to German
+ ...
then he was going for MT.... Jan 5, 2008

my best guess. I would go for a baguette with cheese, cold salad with a few olives and absolutely no wein. Brandis

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Elzbieta
Netherlands
Local time: 22:58
Dutch to Polish
+ ...
Never contact the end client directly Jan 5, 2008

I agree with Joseph: you should not contact the end client directly under any circumstances. Even if you have not signed any non-disclosure agreement, this might ruin your relationship with this agency. How can they trust you ever again if you contact their clients behind their back?
You have no agreement with the end client, you only have agreement with the agency. If you mentioned problems with the final version, you should contact your PMs, explain what's the problem and how serious it is, and ask them to inform/warn the end client. Maybe you could even offer to shorten your translation (free of charge or for a reasonable amount) so that it will fit in the available space. This way you prove that you care about the quality of your work and whatever might happen, they cannot blame you. But leave all contacts with the end client up to them.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
End-client will be grateful Jan 5, 2008

The client is probably not even aware of what happened to the translation, and will be grateful to hear your comments (if they're at all concerned about the quality of their website).

But I agree with Joseph. I too think it's more appropriate to do so through the agency, as they're the ones who have dealt with the end-client and are in a position to discuss the translation with them.

[Edited at 2008-01-05 12:22]


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Joseph Ferran
Argentina
Local time: 17:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
end client Jan 5, 2008

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT:

I do not understand Brandis comment, Please clarify.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
French to English
Don't use websites as references Jan 5, 2008

Well, you said all opinions would be appreciated...

Your main concern appears to be using the website as a reference for your CV.

The end-client has paid for a translation. It's theirs now, they can do what they like with it. They don't have to use it at all. They could print it on toilet paper. Anything. It belongs to them, not you.

The fact is (in my view) that websites are dynamic. Indeed, they need to change more or less constantly to keep high positions in search engine rankings. Therefore to rely on content that you have provided remaining stable enough for you to be able to use it as a permanent reference and testament to the quality of your work is, perhaps, misguided. Even if the client formats your work brilliantly, it may not be there in a week, a month or a year.....

I had a similar, but different experience. I translated a website, which then grew - bits were added, etc. The paragraphs I had done were still there. The other stuff had been translated by someone at school (I would guess). The difference was obvious. But anyway, I couldn't use that website as a reference any more.

Anyway, for both those reasons (i.e. 1. it's not your text, it's theirs; 2. websites change all the time) I don't think there is much point pursuing the issue. Sorry if that is not what you really wanted to hear, but it is my view.


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
Finnish to English
I agree with Charlie Jan 5, 2008

Unless your name appears by the translation I would forget all about it. It is their text to do with what they like. Just make sure you have been paid.

The case would be different if it concerned an article published in a magazine, for example, giving the translator's name.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
German to English
+ ...
Don't tell the site owner Jan 5, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Well, you said all opinions would be appreciated...

I had a similar, but different experience. I translated a website, which then grew - bits were added, etc. The paragraphs I had done were still there. The other stuff had been translated by someone at school (I would guess). The difference was obvious. But anyway, I couldn't use that website as a reference any more.

Anyway, for both those reasons (i.e. 1. it's not your text, it's theirs; 2. websites change all the time) I don't think there is much point pursuing the issue. Sorry if that is not what you really wanted to hear, but it is my view.


Welcome to the frustrated HTML club (Haters of Those Messed-up Lines).

Bramasole: My advice is to never, ever contact the client directly for the reasons that others have stated. If you have a good working relationship with the agency, you should tell them as your contractual partner.

Otherwise, just bite the bullet. And if you ever have permission/an interest in listing a website as a reference, then remember to check the content regularly.

If I sell my Rolls-Royce to an accredited dealer, and they sell it on to someone who changes the engine, lowers the suspension, fits a 500W disco sound system, paints the car pink and has it serviced elsewhere, then it is most certainly not my problem.

HTH

Chris


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 23:58
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks to everyone! Jan 5, 2008

Thanks to all of you for expressing your thoughts about this issue. I suppose I will indeed contact the agency who assigned the job to me because it would be a real shame to ruin the brilliant work relationship I have with them.
Anyway, just a quick note to explain why Im so annoyed by this particular case. I fully realize that end client can do what they want with the translation and I dont mind, but in this case the problem is this: for example, I have written "the nature is absolutely enchanting" while on their site the same text appears as "te ntre is abslel echntng". Add to that my love for the subject, place and hurt professional pride and you will get the picture why I feel the way I do.:eek: But will let my PM know and hopefully sense shall return to my sentences.:D


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 22:58
English to German
+ ...
here it is.... Jan 5, 2008

Joseph FERRAN wrote:

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT:

I do not understand Brandis comment, Please clarify.
MT is machine translation. If the customer is showing a failing end customer, usually it is a MT working somewhere. This happened to me and my team last time with a rather large project and the price did not fit. Finally we found the poster at proz.com for USD0.01c. we also saw the sampling work which we had deliverd to the client oringinally, only now coming through another agency. We had also a chat and telefonic contact with the poster, and found that if they do not get that at a such low rate, it will be managed using MT. I am very sure when the end customer does not know how his project is being dealt with all the middlemen meddle and damage it in thousand ways, so ultimately we are stuck with a genuine translation argument. Hence my best guess, it was MT. and it will be post edited. and everything goes wrong. who loses?. Brandis


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 23:58
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not the case Jan 5, 2008

Brandis wrote:

Hence my best guess, it was MT. and it will be post edited. and everything goes wrong. who loses?. Brandis


It was not MT.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 22:58
English to German
+ ...
if it is not... Jan 5, 2008

bramasole wrote:

Brandis wrote:

Hence my best guess, it was MT. and it will be post edited. and everything goes wrong. who loses?. Brandis


It was not MT.
what can it be? Apparently something is not going right, else you would not be positng here. May your customer´s customer lost faith and would like to do everything himself. No one knows ! The end customer is now probably trying to save as much as he can, while giving his project a try on his own. Whichever way it was, large projects with serious terminology structure need attention and can not be accomplished at such low rates as mentioned in the above example. We have something like a community average pricing, why should such postings be entertained in the first place. It´s ..... just weird about the averarage pricing policy and entertaining such postings. Brandis

[Edited at 2008-01-05 16:16]


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 15:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Your suspicions are correct... Jan 5, 2008

IMO This is a glitch and has nothing to do with the translation per se if the example you gave is anything to go by. Anyone reading the text, whether they speak English or not, will recognise this as a technical snafu and someone, somewhere will inform the site owners.

I might check the site again in a week or two and see whether anything has changed. If not, then a note to your client might be appropriate, I think, since it's their reputation, too.

In any case, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it

Paty


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