Editing or re-translating horrendously translated web-site?
Thread poster: Anne Seerup

Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 08:07
English to Danish
+ ...
Aug 23, 2003

Hi all,

A while ago I discovered a web site of a translation agency which had been localised into several languages and while most of them are ok the part translated into my native language, Danish, is extremely poor. I wrote to them and also offered to correct this and although I did not really expect to hear from them, they have now asked me to correct this using dreamweaver (which I have). The want to pay me per hour and they probably think it is nothing major, but I have now had an extra look at the web page and discovered that the work that needs to be done is far more extensive than first assumed. The content is so poorly translated that it is impossible to get the original meaning, there are untranslated bits and graphics have to be opened and edited etc. I fear that I would end up spending hours and hours on this, so perhaps translating it all over again would be a far better option for me and the client. I am having quite a busy time already, so I would really prefer the most time saving option. Have you any good advise/experiences on translating websites?


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Alexandru Pojoga
Romania
Local time: 10:07
Japanese to English
+ ...
Bill them per word Aug 23, 2003

No other way really; otherwise they'd just be using you. If they don't realize the site needs to be re-translated from the ground up, it's their problem.

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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 09:07
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
the most saving time option... Aug 23, 2003

Anne Seerup wrote:

Hi all,

A while ago I discovered a web site of a translation agency which had been localised into several languages and while most of them are ok the part translated into my native language, Danish, is extremely poor. I wrote to them and also offered to correct this and although I did not really expect to hear from them, they have now asked me to correct this using dreamweaver (which I have). The want to pay me per hour and they probably think it is nothing major, but I have now had an extra look at the web page and discovered that the work that needs to be done is far more extensive than first assumed. The content is so poorly translated that it is impossible to get the original meaning, there are untranslated bits and graphics have to be opened and edited etc. I fear that I would end up spending hours and hours on this, so perhaps translating it all over again would be a far better option for me and the client. I am having quite a busy time already, so I would really prefer the most time saving option. Have you any good advise/experiences on translating websites?
according to my experience is to translate that website again...


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xxxT_Herrmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:07
German to English
+ ...
Have them get a second opinion to proof your point... Aug 23, 2003

and then offer them to retranslate. Editing in Dreamweaver can take quite some time, tell them. Make them a good offer, and let them know that either editing the translation or having a web-designer enter new text and pay on an hourly basis will eventually cost them more than having the whole thing redone.

Be sensitive though, if none of them speaks your language there, and they don't see the point, they might think you're out for a quick buck, do recommend a second opinion to them.

[Edited at 2003-08-23 12:01]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
A poor translation is as helpful as a poor fuzzy match Aug 23, 2003

I would accept their offer of hourly payment after describing thoroughly the estimated effort.
You could also agree on a lump sum or a word rate, depending on how sure you can estimate this project.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:07
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Hey, they're a translation agency... Aug 23, 2003

... they'll understand.

Regards,
Gerard


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:07
Danish to English
+ ...
retranslation with bad translation not a good choice Aug 23, 2003

Retranslation with a bad translation is not a good choice. I have done it and the result is not as good as with a fresh translation, because the bad translation might have been influencing the vocabilary choice when retranslation. I would submit a proposal about time and price to the client, and if you can't agree, don't take the job. It is not worth the headache. Chalk it up to experience and accept another job with another agency.

[Edited at 2003-08-23 14:51]


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:07
French to English
Be honest Aug 23, 2003

Hi Anne,

I would be honest with this client and tell them that because of the quality of the Danish, which was (most likely?) translated by a non-native speaker, it requires extensive work and will take X hours to revise (give them a high hourly rate). Also give them a rate for retranslation (which should come out lower than the revision amount). Then let them decide.

If they approve, then great! But if they decide not to have it done, then let it be. Don't pursue it. Such clients aren't concerned about quality and are often pennypinchers (speaking from experience - I've had enough recently to know).

Good luck!

Erika


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Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 08:07
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I have written to them and I am awaiting the outcome Aug 23, 2003

I decided to be straightforward with them - as re-translating the pages is definitely the better option as it could take many hours figuring out the true meaning of the text and there is literally errors in every single sentence. Also the poor style would be a hard one to get rid of. Anyway it all seems a bit suspicious because they just asked me to go ahead and correct the pages without any PO or any form of agreement as to what needs to be done. Not very professional so until that is sorted I am not correcting one bit. Thanks to all of you for your reponses.

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