Agency questioned my work
Thread poster: slabejka

Local time: 13:29
Slovak to English
Mar 11, 2004

Hi, I am new to this website. I have been doing regular work for a particular agency, and although I mainly focus on legal and commercial translations, they recently sent me some news clips and radio transcripts for translation into English. Maybe I'm being too hardheaded, but I did the translations of the radio transcripts and other quotes with a fair trueness to the original. The agency (where they have the translations proofread by non-native English speakers) called to let me know that my translation was not up to par, and that it was terse, to say the least. Maybe because I translate mostly legal documents I felt that I needed to maintain the spirit of the original, but I would like some other opinions. I defended my work with them and they did not respond. Although they have sent me some work since then, it is not as regular as before (maybe it's just my imagination). What do you think?


sandhya  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Don't be sensitive Mar 11, 2004

Hi slabejka,

First, yes, it is your imagination. The fact that the agency continues to send you work shows they havent deleted you from their database - congratulations!
Second, as a service provider, it is best to take concrete criticism about your work in a positive spirit. Do not be sensitive!
Nobody is perfect, but it does help to learn from your mistakes - perhaps you have learnt one here - "do not accept work in subjects you do not specialize in".

keep up the good work


Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:29
Spanish to English
Don't worry Mar 11, 2004

Well we all make mistakes and most of us live to tell the tale.
First of all I imagine that the agency hasn't been sending you much work because there just isn't much work in your language pairs at this moment, nothing more. So many times I've thoght that an agency hasn't sent me work because of something they mustn't have liked, but so far so good, the lack of work is just that, a shortage of work.
But I do think that ideally we should try to respect the tone of a translation, translate formal into formal, informal into informal.
And that we should listen to criticism before jumping to defend ourselves and of course, when necessary apologise and try to remedy the situation if possible.
But we live and learn and I'm sure the only reason you are not getting much work at the moment from this agency is that things are going slow.


Doru Voin  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:29
English to Romanian
+ ...
Stay closer to your fields of expertise Mar 11, 2004

I tend to agree with Sandhya, the fact that the agency did continue to work with you si promissing. However, my advice for you is to stay closer to your fields of expertise. I think there is quite a difference btw. translating legal documents and radio transcripts.

It's much better this way: you avoid situations like this, develop your experience, and in time you will be able to rightfully increase your rates.

Best regards from Bucharest,
Doru Voin


Local time: 13:29
Slovak to English
Thanks for the feedback Mar 12, 2004

Thanks for the good feedback. In fact, I just did a job for the same agency this morning. I know that I'm a stress girl and when I get unfounded (in my opinion) criticism, I'm a bit touchy. I shall try to better myself! Renata


Bianca Adriaensen  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:29
English to Dutch
+ ...
Don't worry Mar 12, 2004

Sometimes clients use transcribers / translators in order to "undo" certain false statements in recorded interviews. If you feel uncomfortable with that, you could still do the job and maybe deliver it with a note saying you cannot be held responsible for eventual consequences following from that interview.


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