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Has this ever happened to you???
Thread poster: Ionela Popescu
Ionela Popescu
United States
Mar 13, 2012

I recently completed a translation in the medical field with a lot of tables and formatting. Those tables were a littel tricky in the sense that they were very small and with a lot of information inside (medication, hours, amount, etc) and I had to respect the page formatting and it took me a while to finish them as I had to make sure nothing was omitted, I had to insert a lot of boxes etc. And it was a rather tight deadline as well so you can imagine I worked like crazy.
Today, after two days after delivery, the PM contacted me and asked me if I could fix the tables again (the ones I worked so hard on!) as the proofreader got them mixed up. I could not believe that I was actually asked to redo what I had done correctly because the reviewer messed up those tables!
I was not even offered payment to redo what I had already done correctly (it sounds crazy, I know, but that is how it happened!) so you can imagine that I immediately suggested to the PM that she should send the file back to that proofreader and ask him to fix the mess he himself made.
Did I do the right thing? Because, in my opinion, I think I did.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 12:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Resending Mar 13, 2012

Can't you just send them the original files again? I mean, the translated files with the proper tables you originally sent them and which you for sure kept a copy for your records and references.

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Ionela Popescu
United States
TOPIC STARTER
I did resend the original translation Mar 13, 2012

Walter Landesman wrote:

Can't you just send them the original files again? I mean, the translated files with the proper tables you originally sent them and which you for sure kept a copy for your records and references.




Yes, I did resend the original translation, but the PM told me that she actually had to use the proofreader's version as a lot of editing had been done (?! ) - I am not sure what she meant, all I saw was the mess the reviewer made!; so that was when I suggested that she should send it back to the "proofreader" and ask him to correct his own mess.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You did the right thing, IMO Mar 13, 2012

Ionela Popescu wrote:
I did resend the original translation, but...


That was all you could be expected to do without additional payment. Now, they either have to pay you or get the reviewer to fix their own mess. That's my opinon, anyway.

Sheila


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 12:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You did right. Mar 13, 2012

Ionela Popescu wrote:

Yes, I did resend the original translation, but the PM told me that she actually had to use the proofreader's version as a lot of editing had been done (?! ) - I am not sure what she meant, all I saw was the mess the reviewer made!; so that was when I suggested that she should send it back to the "proofreader" and ask him to correct his own mess.


You did the right thing. Now it is the PM and the proofreader's business. The are accountable for the mistakes they might have done.

I agree with Sheila. That's all you can do without extra payment.


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 15:56
Japanese to English
Do it Mar 13, 2012

If they come back to you and ask you to fix the tables again, you can estimate how much time that will take and charge them an hourly rate. That sounds like a fair compromise for all involved.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Copy and paste? Mar 14, 2012

I agree that it's really the agency's/proofreader's problem to fix the mess they made, but can't you just copy the part of your translation containing the tables and paste it into the proofreader's version? Or can't the proofreader do just that himself/herself?
Best wishes,
Jenny


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:56
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You broke it you pay for it Mar 14, 2012

Who "broke" this, the proofreader, who should "pay" for this, the proofreader.

IMO you did the only thing you could do.


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Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
Payment Mar 14, 2012

When you say you were not offered payment, did you make it clear that you wanted to be paid for your time?

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not my job mate Mar 14, 2012

I'm afraid this client and/or their "proofreader" would get extremely short shrift from this old grouch. As our colleague says, they broke it, they can fix it.
In fact, I have a disclaimer to that effect: "(Translator name) no se responsabiliza de las modificaciones efectuadas a posteriori por terceros en los textos traducidos".


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keshab  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:26
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Proofreader's Duty Mar 14, 2012

It is completely proofreader's problem. If he mess the table, he should regain it from the original translation file and all his previous correction/comments should redone. This is his duty to deliver file duly proofread. If any help is sought, a pdf file can be sent. Nothing more.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yo did right Mar 14, 2012

If the tables were all messed up by someone else, either let that person fix it or ask for payment at your hourly rate. Makes total sense to me.

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xxxchristela
Did you ask for it? Mar 14, 2012

Ionela Popescu wrote:
I was not even offered payment


Nobody will offer you something. Ask for it, make a quote, say: yes but it will cost you xx. You are the service provider.


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Enrico C - ECLC  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 23:56
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
Its an additional service...however.. Mar 14, 2012

...if the company is a regular customer sometimes it's good do some extras for them. If that extra turns into a huge editing work then regular customer or not it should be done at your standard rate. As to the proofreader, he should have been so wise to make a copy of your work and proofread that, so that he could copy/paste the tables again in case of troubles.

Has this ever happened to me? YES. Sometimes i charged an extra, sometimes the company paid me an extra without me even asking, sometimes they paid an extra under my request and then stopped using my services as a sort of revenge and in other cases i provided the work for free because they were regular customers sending tons of work and the extra work wasn't too much anyway.

I don't think there is a "fit for all" approach in these things but in your case i'd ask for an extra or would resend it to the proofreader. A mere matter of responsibilities.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lots of agreement here Mar 15, 2012

So far it is unanimous that you should not fix someone else's errors without payment.

There may be some exceptional circumstance where you might agree to do it without payment, such as it being a good customer to whom you owe a favor. But I'm stretching my imagination here.


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