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Looking for "Thomson Financial" (nickname of translator)
Thread poster: Yolande Haneder
Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
German to French
+ ...
Apr 4, 2007

Dear all,

I received today a translation back which had been obviously passed on on my back.
This time I am quite happy with the translator but as a matter of rule, I usually only deal with end translators and I don't like having somebody in between.
The name of the person making the comment on my translation named himself as "Thomson Financial". If the person writing the comments at about 1 pm recognize himself, could he please contact me with the name of the end-client of the translation he was working for. I would like very much to add him in my database.

Also I only want contact from this person and people not having had the translation in the hands won't know the term I am expecting so I would like not be be flooded with applications.

Thank you in advance.


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Italian to English
+ ...
Looking for "Thomson Financial" (nickname of translator) Apr 4, 2007

Dear Yolande,
Do you know for sure that the translation was outsourced behind your back? Only guessing here but I imagine you spotted "Thomson Financial" in the "Properties" window or in "track changes" in your document? Perhaps your translator has an ex-Thomson Financial PC or notebook, a partner who works in the company, or they themselves have a part-time job there or are an ex-employee! The possibilities are endless. I would contact the translator if you have issues.

All the best,
Amy

[Edited at 2007-04-04 18:17]


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am 99% sure that it had been outsourced Apr 5, 2007

I got several hints that the person answering me had been expecting the text from another source (answers as I had been asking for the text that hints that the translator was not really sure how far the text was and answering after half a day, delay between the time it got finished and I got it, some hints from the comments from another person from whom I never heard of).

I seriously think that the text had been outsourced because on the other side it was a technical text and this was not on the speciality of the translator.

I however think if it was not her speciality, she should have redirected me directly to a colleague or letting me the chance to take or reject another outsourcer.

Overall, I want to be able to contact directly the translator, I don't like when it is taking half a day to get answers when I ask a simple question.

Maybe I am paranoid (because I had some bad experience) but the following sentence "I should have it with you by mid-afternoon" does not sound like somebody working directly on the text (or is my English so bad?)

Edit: I would prefer knowing it without contacting the translator. It was clearly set when accepting the job that she was not allowed to transfer it to a third party and she will surely not acknowledge it. She would then acknowledge being in breach of contract. This time I don't make much of it because the translation was good (except that I may not outsource jobs to her again if that point is not clear to her) but it did happen other times that I lost a client because of it and I am not going to allow it anyway.

[Edited at 2007-04-05 05:13]

[Edited at 2007-04-05 05:13]

[Edited at 2007-04-05 05:14]


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:47
German to English
English conditional Apr 5, 2007

Yolande,

I don't really think it's possible for any third party to establish with any certainty whether or not that translation was "daisy-chained" (i.e. subcontracted without your knowledge or permission).

What I do think it's possible to say is that:

"I should have it with you by mid-afternoon"


sounds absolutely 100% OK English to me. It's the sort of thing that I, and I think most native speakers, would say straight off if asked when we're going to have a translation ready by, but aren't quite sure.

I seriously think that the text had been outsourced because on the other side it was a technical text and this was not on the speciality of the translator.


Sorry, but perhaps I'm being a little dense here. You mean you contracted a translator to do a translation in a subject area in which that translator doesn't specialise? Perhaps that was a mistake...

What I do think is that "daisy-chaining" (see above) happens far too often, and there does seem to be an increasing tendency for even the most professional of solo translators to do it. It's unprofessional and, in many cases, a clear breach of contract.

Robin


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My opinion Apr 5, 2007

I contracted her for a job that was pretty straightforward - a marketing leaflet with some technical elements.

I can't tell for her if she can take it or not so I offered it to her too because the marketing side was more important that the technical side. It was my assumption that she might have forwarded it because of some technical elements. Maybe she did not.

There is something in my gut saying that somebody else may have been at work. At least she read the text again or took care of taking somebody qualified for it because the text didn't sound as having suffered (the price I offered her didn't take into account any agency fees so when she subcontracted either she offered the whole money or the translator didn't get what he was worth).

In any case, I'm pretty happy with the translation so it will have no consequence. Concerning the new European translation norm with all its requirements about the selection of proper translator and the fact that even if you get a diplomed translator, the translation may be subcontracted without your knowledge to somebody not meeting the norm's requirement, I don't think that the translation business over the Internet as it is will survive.

Each translator subcontracting to another without the knowledge of the client may destroy the trust that have clients for translation over Internet and push the merge of country-based translation offices where the client may have to pay more but will be sure the translation is not going to end up (even with the best care of the provider) on the computer of a translator employed by the competition.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
French to English
+ ...
British habits Apr 5, 2007

"I should have it with you by mid-afternoon" does not sound like somebody working directly on the text (or is my English so bad?)


I wouldn't worry too much about this wording - I catch myself saying that kind of thing quite often, and this is when I am working on the file myself and I know damn well when I'm going to deliver it. It's not that your English is bad (it isn't!), it's a bad habit, and quite British, to sound less sure than one is.

Having said that, though, you seem to have other reasons for believing that the translation was outsourced. I hope this turns out not to have been the case, but I'm glad that the quality of the work doesn't seem to have suffered.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:47
German to English
European translation standard Apr 5, 2007

Yolande Haneder wrote: Concerning the new European translation norm with all its requirements about the selection of proper translator and the fact that even if you get a diplomed translator, the translation may be subcontracted without your knowledge to somebody not meeting the norm's requirement, I don't think that the translation business over the Internet as it is will survive.


I can let you into a couple of little secrets:

1) The new European translation standard (EN-15038) will have very little impact on the translation business. It will be used mainly as a marketing tool by translation agencies selling to industries that are traditionally standards-driven (automotive, machine engineering, aerospace, medtech, etc.).

2) Because of the revision requirement, and the requirements imposed on revisors, probably max. 5% of those companies that claim to comply with the standard will actually do so. The rest will be lying, massively. There simply aren't enough good translators out there to handle the revision task. The standard is living in a dreamworld.

3) The paper qualifications a translator may have (diploma, MA, DESS, etc.) have no bearing whatsoever on either the ability of that translator to translate, or on whether that translator subcontracts or not. And don't forget that the European standard (very sensibly) does not stipulate what qualifications a translator should or must have.

4) If you mean "blind" translation business over the Internet, where translation projects are simply shunted across the Internet to e-mail addresses that may or may not be owned by translators ("On the Internet, nobody knows you're a translator"), that's where the money is today, and in the future. Nothing to do with translation quality, of course, but translation quality isn't an issue for 95% of buyers (and translators!).

Robin


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
German to French
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TOPIC STARTER
Maybe you are right Apr 5, 2007

A couple of thoughts:

1) The branches you are describing are usually not the branches giving me work. I have rather the type of client who may be having their translation checked by all their business partner before using it so quality is just a matter of survival. Wether I get this paper or not won't change a lot to my business or way of working because as a matter of survival, my way of working is quite close to the prescriptions.

2)If my clients pay for revision, they expect it too. If they don't want to pay for it, I make clear that someone will have to do it and it is clear to them that there may be typos. I think you can never build your business on lies, whatever paper you have. It is like taking the clients for idiots. The agency will then become a 1-stop shop because as soon as they find better, they will dump you. Only trust can build a long lasting partnership. I have clients that have been accompanying me since the 1st year of my business with its developments and price increases because I would tell them frankly the truth and they trust me that I would do my best, even if no one is perfect. If a proofreader was bad, I would know it straight away. The only times I got dumped (in my early years) is when I went to trust another agency for the end product (or agencies calling themselves freelancers).

3)It does actually. It does stipulate that the agency getting these certificates will have to hire only certified translators (maybe in the long run). As a translator to get certified, you have like showing a diploma in translating or 10 years experience and showing some proper way of working to get certified at all. Since these translators would be quite seldom, these translators will be very expensive, making certified agencies following the rule as expensive and deepening the gap between high and low quality agency. I do hope that some client would see through that.

4)That's my problem. Since it is an issue for my clients and they have the means to check my work it is an issue for me.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:47
German to English
Do you have a different version of the standard? Apr 5, 2007

Yolande Haneder wrote: 3)It does actually. It does stipulate that the agency getting these certificates will have to hire only certified translators (maybe in the long run). As a translator to get certified, you have like showing a diploma in translating or 10 years experience and showing some proper way of working to get certified at all. Since these translators would be quite seldom, these translators will be very expensive, making certified agencies following the rule as expensive and deepening the gap between high and low quality agency. I do hope that some client would see through that.


Not in the version of the standard I have!! Perhaps you could simply quote those paragraphs from the version of the standard you have, and then we can compare.

But as to the standard itself, I really don't think it will be any different to DIN 2345 or the Ö-Norms: we translate primarily financial, legal and corporate communications materials, and our corporate customers couldn't give a damn about translation standards. They're simply not interested. It's the quality of the translation that counts.

Robin


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I can't quote the standard Apr 5, 2007

I just know it through seminars about the standard.
What I further just got to learn through the last seminar from SDL to about 400 representants of agencies last Tuesday is that not only the certified translators will have to meet some requirements to get certified, but they will have to show that they are doing some further education and training on this topic.

Maybe the interested people will have to buy the standard to see further in this subject, as far as I concerned and from what I heard, I would then have to decide either to do here and now some translations *or* to adapt the standard and not translating anymore because I would be the first not to meet the translator's requirements and any of my translation for the agency would be non standard. So far nobody had asked me to do it and I wouldn't spend much thought or money in it (yet).

Edit: We had been asked not to specifically quote the standard terms.

[Edited at 2007-04-05 13:44]


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:47
German to English
Certification = certification to EN-15038 Apr 5, 2007

Yolande,

I think you're getting confused here between general translator "certification", i.e. for court-related work, and certification to EN-15038.

The first is country-specific, and quite a lot of countries (e.g. UK) don't have any form of translator "certification".

The second is a requirement of the standard: if you, as a company, are certified to EN-15038 (there are three levels of "certification", and the terminology in use here is causing a lot of confusion), then any subcontractors you use must also be "certified" to the standard. However, "certification" doesn't necessarily mean third-party certification, e.g. by means of an audit. It can also refer to self-certification, sometimes called "first-party" certification, or confirmation by a standard-compliant client that you comply with the standard ("second-party" certification). This has nothing to do with the professional qualifications of the translator. There is no requirement under the standard for a translator to have a translation degree or equivalent qualification, or to have a set number of years of experience.

Robin
PS: anybody can cite from the standard if they want, that falls under EU "fair comment" rules.


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
There is a requirement for a translator to get certified Apr 5, 2007

http://www.london-translations.co.uk/quality/index.html

To find more details, I will have to dig a bit further, for which I have no time now. If the standard were not applying some minimum requirement for a translator to be certified it would be an useless piece of paper.

You should ask the certification body in your country. I don't think they have other rules than in Austria.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:47
German to English
Certification v. certification Apr 5, 2007

Yolande,

I suggest you get in touch with Ö-Norm to get hold of a copy of the standard. I think you'll find it's not as bad as you might suspect. In particular, I understand that Austrian certification of freelances has already started.

http://www.london-translations.co.uk/quality/index.html


I'm afraid this is a good example of misinformation. And anything that talks of "product quality" in connection with EN-15038 is extremely misleading. This standard has nothing at all to do with product quality (i.e. the quality of translations), but with the quality of services (the provision of translation services). See what I mean about the standard being (mis)used as a marketing tool?

If the standard were not applying some minimum requirement for a translator to be certified it would be an useless piece of paper.


There are a number of optional recommended qualification criteria for translators in the standard, all of which require experience. The people that drafted the standard were very aware that, say, equating a translation degree with x years' translating experience would never stand up in court.

Robin


[Edited at 2007-04-05 15:45]


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:47
German to English
EN 15038 requirements for translators Apr 6, 2007

Yolande,

Just to make a couple of things clear about the criteria for translator qualifications etc. in the EN 15038 standard.

Firstly, the educational criteria (which are so broad that most translators will meet one or other criteria without any problem) are all recommendations ("should"), not requirements ("shall"). This has clearly disappointed the translation prescriptivists in certain European countries, but it certainly avoids court actions regarding unsustainable educational requirements (e.g. it's impossible to demonstrate that a translation degree is equivalent to any number of years of practical experience).

Secondly:

not only the certified translators will have to meet some requirements to get certified, but they will have to show that they are doing some further education and training on this topic.


The "requirements" here are the general requirements of the standard regarding process quality and organisation, not education. What you call "further education and training" requirements are, again, merely suggestions in the standard that essentially every person and organisation certified to the standard should engage in a limited amount of continuing education on process quality-related issues, no more than that.

I think it's worthwhile buying a copy of the standard so you're familiar with its requirements, but I wouldn't bother thinking about getting certified unless one or more key clients actually demand it. Please remember that your educational background and professional qualifications would be no barrier to certification, neither would the fact that you may not personally translate yourself (the standard documents translation process quality, not translation or translator quality!).

Robin


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:47
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I just ordered a copy of the norm Apr 6, 2007

Dear Robin,

I just ordered a copy of the norm, I will probably receive it today of after the holiday week-end so I will proceed in my comments then.

Basically, I don't know how I should evaluate my translation experience.

Basically I have a language degree which was tailored for natives of a reduced number of foreign language speakers. This means that translation in my mother tongue was a big part of my BA.
When I came over in Austria, I was told that these translation modules are worthless because it was not a translation degree.
After my translation degree, I was shortly employed but I mostly made translations on a free basis (like if you would seek for my maiden name on the Internet, you would find my first on the web published translation about mongolian mices - I would not dare to read it again knowing my improvements since then). I didn't keep track of theses translations, changed my computer without backup.

As a consequence, I can only prove translation experience starting from my official business in 2004. This means for certifications purposes I have only three years translation experience if my degree is not qualifying (or the translations exams for it).

I will wait for the certification - I am tempted but it is an awful lot of money to get audited and at the time being I am working on changing my name (according to the new regulation in Austria with the e.U. add-on). I think I will wait until the autumn then to see if it brings more trust to clients and maybe I won't have to explain all the time how I work anymore and why should I ask for proofreading since a translator should be able to write properly.


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