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Contacting a company for the first time after visiting its website
Thread poster: Robert Such

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
Aug 7

I've come across a company website whose English translation looks like a machine translation.

I'm thinking of emailing the company to ask if they'd like the website translated into more natural English.

My plan is to translate 100-150 words from the website, and send it along with my proposal to translate the rest of the website.

Just wondering if anyone's done this before, and whether any particular approach had worked or not worked.

Thanks.


 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
For me it didn't work Aug 7

Many years ago, I came across an absolutely hilarious translation of a touristic website and approached them.
I never got any answer. Afterwards I thought that maybe it wasn't wise to blackguard (although in an absolutely polite manner, but I guess it was clear anyway that the outcome was not quite brilliant) the results as the person that I addressed my mail to, or his/her wife/husband/girl friend/boy and whatever, might have been the one that did the "translation". Who knows? Then, mach
... See more
Many years ago, I came across an absolutely hilarious translation of a touristic website and approached them.
I never got any answer. Afterwards I thought that maybe it wasn't wise to blackguard (although in an absolutely polite manner, but I guess it was clear anyway that the outcome was not quite brilliant) the results as the person that I addressed my mail to, or his/her wife/husband/girl friend/boy and whatever, might have been the one that did the "translation". Who knows? Then, machine translations yet didn't exist.
This was the first and only time for me. But you can always try. Make sure anyway you are very diplomatic, and good luck!

[Bearbeitet am 2020-08-07 21:18 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:56
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
If you're looking for clients Aug 7

If you're looking for clients, and only if you're really looking for clients, ask yourself:

Is this website proposing anything useful for people in my mother tongue?

Are the pages I want to translate static? Sometimes you can be of help for the static side of the website and translate like 8,000 words very well at a good or reasonable rate.

Cheers,
Gerard


 

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, tricky Aug 7

Yes, I’m still debating whether to send the translation or not.

I don’t want them to take offence if the existing translation was done in-house, or as you say, maybe a relative they know did it.

But it does have that obvious machine translation feel to it.

Diplomacy, as you say, is the watchword.

[Edited at 2020-08-07 22:20 GMT]


 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:56
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
website Aug 7

I doubt very much if the agency would be interested in your proposition. Move on and don't worry about offending them. They are most probably a BFA.

 

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agency Aug 7

Hi Michael,

It's not an agency website.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:56
German to Serbian
+ ...
What is it then? Aug 8

A large corporation (they probably won’t even reply to your email), medium or small business/start up, they probably lack budget for a decent translation.

If they cared about decent content, would they have bad content on their website in the first place?



[Edited at 2020-08-08 01:24 GMT]


Tina Vonhof
Teresa Borges
 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:56
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Website Aug 8

I doubt very much if the company/organization/institution/entity would be interested in your proposition. Move on and don't worry about offending them. It's most probably a bottom-feeding company/organization/institution/entity.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You won't be the first Aug 8

Robert Such wrote:
I'm thinking of emailing the company to ask if they'd like the website translated into more natural English.

My plan is to translate 100-150 words from the website, and send it along with my proposal to translate the rest of the website.

I suspect the majority of us did that at least once in the early days. Maybe a tiny minority actually got the job. I didn't, so the "house in the bottom of a lime-pit" probably didn't sell to an English speaker .

Go for it if you like. Just don't expect too much from it.


Robert Such
Josephine Cassar
Tina Vonhof
Teresa Borges
 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Business-wise: Non progredi est regredi Aug 8

I fancy many colleagues suppose no company would be interested in a translator directly for the real business allegedly prefers to work via agencies.... outsourcing to translators, right?

Business must always stay pro/active: As far as a real businessman wants to make sure even a homepage is up to date and makes best impression to keep or improve their good name--let alone this socially-distancing time, such an offer would be quite generous.

It might require some extra
... See more
I fancy many colleagues suppose no company would be interested in a translator directly for the real business allegedly prefers to work via agencies.... outsourcing to translators, right?

Business must always stay pro/active: As far as a real businessman wants to make sure even a homepage is up to date and makes best impression to keep or improve their good name--let alone this socially-distancing time, such an offer would be quite generous.

It might require some extra researching to get proper contacts and deliver lucid explanations, but a business register and valid arguments is a must.

Who dares--does care, wins! At least they will remember your active position, understanding (knowledge + exp), and relevant assistance in a good light, which is really an investment.
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Robert Such
 

Elena Feriani
Italy
Local time: 11:56
Member
French to Italian
+ ...
I did it once Aug 8

It was a "niche" streaming service that I used and their site was professionally translated but some cultural references were almost offensive for Italian users, like "you probably can't afford to attend (European film festival). I sent them screenshots of the phrases that didn't work for the Italian market and a short explanation. They had me review the whole thing.

Maybe you should point out to them the sentences that are really bad for their business. I wouldn't send a translatio
... See more
It was a "niche" streaming service that I used and their site was professionally translated but some cultural references were almost offensive for Italian users, like "you probably can't afford to attend (European film festival). I sent them screenshots of the phrases that didn't work for the Italian market and a short explanation. They had me review the whole thing.

Maybe you should point out to them the sentences that are really bad for their business. I wouldn't send a translation sample that they can use for free, but an explanation in English.

Edit: Ooops, I assumed you translated from English... I meant that I would contact them in their own language!

[Edited at 2020-08-08 09:22 GMT]
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Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Excellent Aug 8

> Maybe you should point out to them the sentences that are really bad for their business.

Great idea, Elena. Thanks.


 

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes Aug 8

Is this website proposing anything useful for people in my mother tongue?

I agree with you there Gerard. It's an important thing to consider...


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 03:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not once but thrice burned Aug 8

I agree, it could make you cry to see what some companies or organizations have on their websites. Years ago, I translated three websites, one pro bono for a charitable organization, one paid by a commercial company, and one paid by an artist. The problem in all three cases was that the person I dealt with was not always the one who actually put the text on the web, so right away there were some mistakes. Then the clients themselves added or deleted things, or even changed much of the content wi... See more
I agree, it could make you cry to see what some companies or organizations have on their websites. Years ago, I translated three websites, one pro bono for a charitable organization, one paid by a commercial company, and one paid by an artist. The problem in all three cases was that the person I dealt with was not always the one who actually put the text on the web, so right away there were some mistakes. Then the clients themselves added or deleted things, or even changed much of the content without asking or my further input, so then there were even more mistakes. When I undertake a job, any job, I really care about the results but with these websites, in the end I just took a step back and let it go.Collapse


Robert Such
Wai Hin Lee
 

Wai Hin Lee
Hong Kong
Local time: 17:56
Member (May 2020)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It' just funny... Aug 10

There are problematic translations everywhere in my daily life, while agencies claim that they maintain high standard and ask for at least xxxx words of experience in a particular field when they recruit contractors. Not to mention the "best rates" they propose...

For example, one multinational retail chain uses very weird marketing script. It is as if someone is speaking English in Chinese characters. And the translation in a world famous game that mixes up "play (玩) as in playin
... See more
There are problematic translations everywhere in my daily life, while agencies claim that they maintain high standard and ask for at least xxxx words of experience in a particular field when they recruit contractors. Not to mention the "best rates" they propose...

For example, one multinational retail chain uses very weird marketing script. It is as if someone is speaking English in Chinese characters. And the translation in a world famous game that mixes up "play (玩) as in playing with a toy and "play(演奏)" as in playing musical instruments. There are more MT-like translation that I cannot count.

I believe such companies pay handsome fee to have their content translated, but the agencies may have looked for the cheapest translator they can find. And for the end clients, I cannot figure out if they are not aware of the quality or just simply care nothing for the outcomes.




[Edited at 2020-08-10 09:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-08-10 09:46 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-08-10 20:18 GMT]
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