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Bad Translator
Thread poster: Justin Lockyer

Justin Lockyer
Peru
Local time: 09:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 29, 2012

I have a problem with a team member who was removed due to the fact he stated he was using google and submitted a translation filled with grammar and words that were not translated. He also after 2 weeks send a threat of legal action and today he began with his legal threat, payment for services are not due untill the last day of the month which is friday.

any suggestions on how to handle this matter? some of the faults are below.


he is demanding payment but he:
* was 24 hours late and did not request an extention.
* his translation was not even half the minimum standard.
* his work was sent for retranslation.
* filled with words that were not translated.
* called and said he put it through google and then just sent it with out checking the document.
* did not respect deadline.
* did not answer the phone when we called.
* did not follow the instructions of the client.
* and many other reasons.
* sent confidentional translations to a third party.

I regected his work and refuse payment but he insists he should get paid even if his work did not even pass the minimum standard for the industory.

And comments are welcome.

Thank You


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xxxXX789  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:41
English to Dutch
+ ...
He used Google Translate? Aug 29, 2012

LOL, tell him you're looking forward to meeting him in court and don't pay him a penny. The judge is going to love this. This ain't substandard, this is malpractice. You could even sue him, actually.

[Edited at 2012-08-29 17:49 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Tricky - you maybe need legal advice Aug 29, 2012

Justin Lockyer wrote:
today he began with his legal threat, payment for services are not due untill the last day of the month which is friday.

Well, in most countries (I don't know about all), no legal action for non-payment can be started until (a) the payment deadline has passed, (b) an official reminder has been sent (often, this has to be by letter post to the registered office and sent recorded delivery), and (c) the additional time to pay cited in the above reminder has elapsed.

So, I think you have a little while to talk about this before you can expect the bailiffs to arrive.

any suggestions on how to handle this matter? some of the faults are below.

Not really my area of expertise, but...

deadlines: Do you have documented proof that he was aware of the deadline and that he delivered late without any plausible reason?
standard: Can you prove to a court that it was substandard? Did a qualified proofreader annotate it? Did you confront him in writing to this effect?
confidentiality: Do you have proof of a breach of confidentiality? Had you made it clear the text was confidential (I know, we should always assume that, but...)

In each case, I believe (I'm not a lawyer) that an ordinary email will be accepted as evidence of proof, as long as it received some sort of reply that was not a refutal.

he insists he should get paid even if his work did not even pass the minimum standard for the industory.

What's important in the court's eyes is whether it was made clear to the supplier that his services were far from satisfactory. If he was warned yet did nothing to improve his work, you may have a valid cause for refusing payment, at least in part. However, it's my understanding that you chose this person for your translation, so in part it's your business risk. Of course, nobody can make you choose him again or recommend him!

A thought: Have you considered suggesting to him that he accept payment for the amount of time it took to pass the text through a machine translation program and deliver it? It won't be much!


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Dassé Théodore, Ph.D  Identity Verified
Cameroon
Local time: 15:41
English to French
He must be joking! Aug 29, 2012

Let him proceed with his legal action if there is evidence that he used google translate.


"called and said he put it through google and then just sent it with out checking the document."


If you wanted a google translated text, you could have done it yourself. You cannot pay somebody for google translating a job. No way!!!!


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Branka Ramadanovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 15:41
Member
English to Croatian
+ ...
How did you Aug 29, 2012

come across that person in the first place? Did you check his or her credentials at all? I am asking this because you have chosen this person to work for you. I have been more active on Proz.com for the past two months than for several years before, and I have noticed now that an increasing number of clients is only interested in how much this costs. Just as an example: Today, after having quoted at N jobs with my standard rate, without getting any answers from clients (obviously I was too expensive or what), someone sent me an e-mail barely saying 'hi', but there was this question: How much would this cost? Of course, I offered my standard rate although I was aware that he was probably looking for something cheap, and I was right: he never responded to me, although this was a rush job for him. What I am trying to say here is that clients are increasingly neglecting quality over price, and this is what you get when the price gets too low: Google translate. I am in a way trying to view both sides of the matter. Although the translator did not act professionally in this case, the fact is that rates are going down all the time, and if they get too low, I may opt for using Google translate as well, who knows, and then demand to be paid, too. For the time being I am not, but on the other hand, I am trying to stick to my standard rates, not lower.

Best,
Branka


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Postings should stay on point. Please contact ProZ.com staff directly.

Manuela Ribecai  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:41
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
A standard for the translation ? Aug 29, 2012

Just a stupid question: what do you mean standard?
Is it really an objective evaluation grid for translations? If this is the case, I don't know it, but I would!

Manuela


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Branka Ramadanovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 15:41
Member
English to Croatian
+ ...
Well, Aug 29, 2012

My standard rate is the rate that I usually charge (and may I just say that it is not at all near the average rates suggested as average rates on Proz.com for my language combinations). If you were referring to translation standards in your question, my standard is to use all of my knowledge and best efforts to do the job. Lower working standards means that I will use less knowledge and less effort and may potentially say to myself "who cares about this", or even turn to Google translate. Everybody can do this. I hope this answers your question. Forgive me for being literal in my answers. Best

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A cautionary tale Aug 29, 2012

My strong suspicion is that Justin offered less than a sterling rate for this translator "who did not even pass the minimum standard for the industory."

In short, grossly sub-standard rates will often result in--and certainly deserve--substandard translations.


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Justin Lockyer
Peru
Local time: 09:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My pay rates Aug 29, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:

My strong suspicion is that Justin offered less than a sterling rate for this translator "who did not even pass the minimum standard for the industory."

In short, grossly sub-standard rates will often result in--and certainly deserve--substandard translations.





My Minimum pay is AUD 0.05 per word
Max Pay is 0.09 Per word and higher for specialized Translations.

He was offerd a rate of $100 for the transcription and translation based on the beginner rate, not much work at all.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:41
English to German
+ ...
I see. Aug 29, 2012

Justin Lockyer wrote:
My Minimum pay is AUD 0.05 per word
Max Pay is 0.09 Per word and higher for specialized Translations.

He was offerd a rate of $100 for the transcription and translation based on the beginner rate, not much work at all.



I do have to say that not even your maximum rate qualifies for the translation of confidential text. Especially when transcription was part of the job, too. This is not the best combination to outsource to a beginner. You get what you pay for.


Edited to fix quotation marks

[Edited at 2012-08-29 23:36 GMT]


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Justin Lockyer
Peru
Local time: 09:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a better example of rates Aug 29, 2012

[quote]
Nicole Schnell wrote:

I do have to say that not even your maximum rate qualifies for the translation of confidential text. Especially when transcription was part of the job, too. This is not the best combination to outsource to a beginner. You get what you pay for.

[quote]

it can get as higher than 0.25

i just wrote that as a standard because for the high paid translations it depends on the job.


some do pay high and some pay standard for example;
for defence it can be 0.25+
for a business weekly report 0.09
for a birth certificate 0.05


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:41
English to German
+ ...
Depends where your colleague lives Aug 30, 2012

Justin Lockyer wrote:

it can get as higher than 0.25

i just wrote that as a standard because for the high paid translations it depends on the job.


some do pay high and some pay standard for example;
for defence it can be 0.25+
for a business weekly report 0.09
for a birth certificate 0.05


There are countries where US $350 are considered a decent monthly income, and there are countries where you don't get decent housing for less than US $1,000.00 per month. Beginners do a lot and will bend backwards to get some work experience. But even beginners are highly capable to distinguish very well between pro bono for a good cause and mere exploitation. If you happen to encounter one of the smarter ones, you will - I repeat - get what you pay for.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A worrying trend Aug 30, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:
In short, grossly sub-standard rates will often result in - and certainly deserve - substandard translations.


Nicole Schnell wrote:
I do have to say that not even [Justin's] maximum rate qualifies for the translation of confidential text. Especially when transcription was part of the job, too. This is not the best combination to outsource to a beginner. You get what you pay for.


There is a [worrying?] trend in the translation world that instead of delivering a best translation the translator delivers a translation of which the quality is proportional to the fraction of the client's per-word rate to the translator's ideal per-word rate. This flame is fanned by comments such as "substandard rates deserve(!) substandard work" and "you get what you pay for", as if a low rate is a valid excuse for low quality and as if it is nothing but fair that clients who expect the best should get the worst as long as the translator (or any of his colleagues) is unhappy with the rate that he had accepted.

That some of these sentiments are uttered by ProZ.com Pro translators is even more disconcerting, if the cream of translators truly believe this.

Surely if a client's rate is substandard and will result in substandard work, it is the translator's duty to inform the client of this beforehand, and not just assume that the client knows it (and expects it)? Of course, ignorant clients may assume many things that do not form part of a translator's service, and it is no fault of the translator if he does not produce those things if it wasn't agreed to, and he can't be faulted for not realising that the client has had misplaced expectations, but is "quality" and "suitability for text's purpose" truly unrealistic, unreasonable expectations? Has quality and suitability become "added value"?


[Edited at 2012-08-30 07:29 GMT]


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polyglot45
English to French
+ ...
@Samuel Aug 30, 2012

Hear, hear!
If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well!
Cutting back your quality because you are sulking over price is not the answer and won't do your reputation any good either.


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