Translated products: ready to be used by the translation client from the word go, or not?
Thread poster: George Trail

George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:23
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 3, 2010

[If anyone out there would claim that this blog is in the wrong forum, you can relocate it - but please don't deny what I'm talking about is a "business issue" in a valid sense of the expression.]

For me, professionally translated products always fall into either of two categories: those that the client only wishes to sample (e.g. from formal correspondence written to them in a language that they cannot understand) and those which the client really wishes to "use" (such as marketing materials in a new foreign language, as part of a company's bid to win clients based in countries that they have expressed an interest in expanding to).

I recently stated on a blog on Google Blogger "Woe betide the person who dares to neglect speculation when translating!" http://foreignlanguagesdifferences.blogspot.com/ and who could argue with that? Because, as we all know, having a wide vocabulary and masterful grammar is, to be frank, just not enoughicon_frown.gif

I can comfortably say that I have properly established myself as a professional freelance translator by now. I have got a Paypal account; I have an idea of where to find dictionaries that are up to the task (not just those bog-standard bilingual dictionaries you used when you were still learning a language at school); I have a proven translation industry-related blogging record on multiple forums. And I can think of one good reason why I still prefer to translate via agencies rather than for clients directly. It's not just because they do all the business sourcing work when you register with them - translation may be a competitive industry but that does not mean that translators don't look out for each other. Make no mistake: I always spell-check my translation work and vouch for its reader-friendliness prior to sending it off; but however good a job I did purely on language-work terms it does not necessarily mean that the material, when finished, is ready to be used by the client right from when they receive it. And who could argue that if something does need "editing" etc., that translation agencies are in a much better position to fulfil the task than individual remote-location translators like you or I? Are there specific terms for this in the translation industry; to differentiate those translated documents that have gone through their final translation work draft by an individual and which are ready to be used, and those translated documents that have gone through their final translation work draft by an individual and which are ready to be used save for things like slight uncertainty about the "absolute best expression" to use in a particular place?

I like to think that the client should always be allowed the final say because it's their material. But, after all, cohesion is everything in business (especially where deadlines are concerned).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@George Apr 3, 2010

George Trail wrote:
I can comfortably say that I have properly established myself as a professional freelance translator by now. ... but however good a job I did purely on language-work terms it does not necessarily mean that the material, when finished, is ready to be used by the client right from when they receive it.


I think I agree. Can you give us some examples of what you mean?

And who could argue that if something does need "editing" etc., that translation agencies are in a much better position to fulfil the task than individual remote-location translators like you or I? [emphasis mine]


Translation agencies are often no less remotely located.

I like to think that the client should always be allowed the final say because it's their material.


True, but although the client may be an expert in his own field, he is not necessarily an expert in communication, and it is here that the translator should be firm enough to tell the client if he (the client) seems to labour under the impression that he knows better, when in fact he doesn't.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

amefi
Local time: 13:23
From what I get, and from my point of view, it always depends Apr 3, 2010

Translation is a complicate business, and when we talk about products that will be delivered to our clients' clients, it can be even more complicated.

I just love being able to talk with my client and finding out exactly what he means with some words, and then I try to translate accordingly.

Sometimes the words in the source language have more than one meaning, and we have to check with the client what he/she means. On the contrary, sometimes we can pick different words in the target language forming a range of similar but different meanings, and we also have to check with the client.

I like to translate making lots of notes to the client, and re-check the translation after he posted his answers. Sometimes they do not have the time, or the patience, to send it back to me and I feel somewhat frustrated, in fear that my work will not be perfect.

Maybe an agency could do this for me, I don't know; I have never used one. But I would definately miss a close contact with the authors.

As regards proofreading, it would be nice to have someone to help me with it. We sometimes fail to spot our own mistakes...


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Translated products: ready to be used by the translation client from the word go, or not?

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search