Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Late delivery of project - translator's invoice exceeds PO
Thread poster: Therrien

Therrien  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:48
English to French
+ ...
Oct 24, 2008

Send a PO to a translator.

A TM is given with all % and $ information.

PO is approved by translator after TM and file are sent to translator, and translation apparently starts.

Translator sends document in an incorrect format.

Nudges are sent.

Calls are made.

Lateness occurs.

Translator now sends correct format, but the document sent is not translated; its exactly as per the client had submitted to the translator, as if he hadn't even touched it.

Translator claims he translated everything anew because the TM was "bad" and even translated the Xtranslated, uneditable segments in TagEditor; while they were not part of the PO. They were not even editable in TagEditor.

Translator requests 200% of PO due to the above and claims all files were due sent.

Client does not even have a single translated word after this investment of time and effort and must find another translator.

Faulty translator announces no other communications will be heeded other than the reception of the 200% sum of the PO in his paypal account and threatens sending mass communications to client's own clients and saturate all communication lines, memberships, etc., the client could possess unless he is paid in 24 hours. (While the PO even stated 30 days at that). And he threatens suit to boot.

Translator claims there was 1000 words MORE than the complete document, Xtrans segments included, even if he had translated it completely.

It seems to appear there is a grave misunderstanding; but the client's paperwork and correspondence proove to be accurate; correct file sent, correct PO done. I am bewildered.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-10-24 06:45]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:48
English to German
+ ...
What are you looking for? Oct 24, 2008

Hi Therrien,
TBH I'm not sure about the point of your posting. Did you just need to vent your frustration, or are you looking for advice on how to deal with the situation?

Best regards,
Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I guess you want comments, so... Oct 24, 2008

To start off with:

Therrien wrote:
1. Send a PO to a translator.
2. A TM is given with all % and $ information.


Did the PO specify which CAT tool should be used, and did the PO mention the document format to be delivered? Or did you just assume that if you provide X type of TM with X type of discount scheme, the translator will know that Y type of CAT tool is required and that Z type of document should be delivered?

3. PO is approved by translator after TM and file are sent to translator, and translation apparently starts.
4. Translator sends document in an incorrect format.


Warning bells should have gone off (mixing my metaphors well) at this stage. Did you check at this stage if the translator had likely made use of the TM?

I'm sure this is easily checked, and if it looks like he didn't use the TM, you could have sent him a message with two or three high matched segments and asked him why his text apparently differs so greatly from the TM matches.

Translator now sends correct format, but the document sent is not translated; its exactly as per the client had submitted to the translator, as if he hadn't even touched it.


Ergo, the translator does not understand how that particular function of the CAT tool works. Perhaps the PO did not mention that that function should be used, or perhaps it did and the translator simply did not realise what he was agreeing to. So to make sure you're not to blame, tell us what the PO said... did it specify these things? Can we say that the translator knew full well that he was supposed to use X function in Y tool and deliver Z file?

Translator claims he translated everything anew because the TM was "bad" and even translated the Xtranslated, uneditable segments in TagEditor; while they were not part of the PO. They were not even editable in TagEditor.


Aha, so he didn't use TagEditor, and he would not have known that those segments should not be edited. He may have thought that he is doing you a favour by reviewing/editing the mistranslations that exist in the file

Translator requests 200% of PO due to the above and claims all files were due sent.


The translator is angry and frustrated, and he blames it on you. He believes that he didn't do anything wrong. Now he becomes unreasonable. But where does his frustration come from? What did the PO say? What did you agree upon initially?

Whose fault is it really?

Client does not even have a single translated word after this investment of time and effort and must find another translator.


That is your fault. You did not (a) ascertain initially that the translator is capable of using X feature, you assumedly did not (b) direct the translator sufficiently specifically about the required workflow (but correct me if I'm wrong here), and (c) when it became apparent that there is something really wrong, you did not test it and you assumed that the translator had simply sent the wrong file by mistake, and not done the translation in the wrong way.

When the wrong file was sent, you should have checked, and you should have known to find another translator at that stage.

But it doesn't stop there, does it...

Faulty translator announces no other communications will be heeded other than the reception of the 200% sum of the PO in his paypal account and threatens sending mass communications to client's own clients and saturate all communication lines, memberships, etc., the client could possess unless he is paid in 24 hours.


This behaviour from a translator peeves me off. I've had it in the past where translators try to hold me hostage with payment etc. But what you're experiencing is worse than that -- the translator is threatening you.

I say, relax. Revenge should be sweet, not hurried.

Now think... what can you possibly do to this translator? Does he belong to translators' association? Does he have a ProZ.com profile? Does he have profiles elsewhere? Is there a bureau in his home country that will take a cursory look at a complaint of harrasment, and therefore cause some discomfort for him (even if only temporarily)?

And what can he do? His threat of mass mails will fall flat. People wil ignore it.

What bugs me is that he is threatening the end-client (with whom he has no relationship) and he is threatening to do harm to the client's clients, all because of a business deal between you and him that went sour.

Is there a translators' Blue Board out there?

Translator claims there was 1000 words MORE than the complete document, Xtrans segments included, even if he had translated it completely.


Not relevant. Don't respond to things that are not relevant. Keep the battle focused. It is a ploy from the translator to confuse the issue. He has declared war on you and he has drawn up his army on an empty field. Let him sit there. Don't go to him (on this particular issue). It is not relevant to the war.

I wish you luck... but first, tell us what the PO said.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:48
English to French
+ ...
Blame or revenge are not appropriate here Oct 24, 2008

Hi Therrien,

I think blame or revenge are not appropriate here.

It shouldn't be an emotional discussion, there is no crime, but damages you need to recover, and damages you need to prevent.

Because the behaviour of the translator is so unlikely, if I were you I would look a second time and find which technical detail the mistake might have come from.

From what you say, I would suspect the translator doesn't possess Trados. He tried to edit the text like in a text editor. That's the only explanation I find.

I suggest to send a letter immediately asking for a Trados purchase evidence.

I would inform the end client of the steps taken, so he won't take the spam seriously, and will even sue.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-10-24 08:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:48
French to English
Musings Oct 24, 2008

Therrien wrote:

Send a PO to a translator.
A TM is given with all % and $ information.

Shouldn't the PO have the $ information?

PO is approved by translator after TM and file are sent to translator, and translation apparently starts.
Translator sends document in an incorrect format.

How incorrect?
Arial instead of Times New Roman?
3 columns instead of 2?
A PDF file when you wanted an Excel spreadsheet?
In other words, how "unusable" was this translation?

Translator now sends correct format, but the document sent is not translated; its exactly as per the client had submitted to the translator, as if he hadn't even touched it.

And what has happened to the file in the wrong format?
Could this not be used as a start point to give the customer what they want

Client does not even have a single translated word after this investment of time and effort and must find another translator.

You have said the same thing twice, so I will too
What happened to the translation in the wrong format, and could it not be used at all?

Faulty translator..... And he threatens suit to boot.

Oh dear. Well, if your PO explains exactly what was required, I would simply sit back and say "bring it on, sunshine, bring it on".

Translator claims there was 1000 words MORE than the complete document, Xtrans segments included, even if he had translated it completely.

To be fair, he did translate it, just not how you wanted it, it seems. However, I agree that you do not owe him for the extra 1000 words.
If the PO says "X words" and you (as a translator) think there are "X + 1000" that need to be translated, you should always ask for clarification. If you don't, and you do work that was not needed - too bad.

correct PO done. I am bewildered.

Yeah, that's where you need to start. What exactly did it say, and to what extent does the delivery (or the deliveries, plural) match up. And where IS the stuff in the wrong format???

[Edited at 2008-10-24 08:42]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:48
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Try explaining what you want in clear English Oct 24, 2008

Sorry, Therrien, but I haven't got the faintest idea what you are trying to say. I know that there are long-standing political issues with the anglophone parts of Canada, but if you post a note in an English forum, it will have to be written much more clearly to achieve the result that you want. Aside from the language issues, there is the missing statement of purpose. As Ralf pointed out, you haven't actually said what you want. Nor, as Charlie has pointed out, is it at all clear whether you received a translation or not. Altogether a waste of time. Try again.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
On second thought..., and comments Oct 24, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:
I know that there are long-standing political issues with the anglophone parts of Canada, but if you post a note in an English forum, it will have to be written much more clearly to achieve the result that you want.


I have no idea where that quip about the Canadian political situation comes from. What does it mean? Is there something in the OP's post that indicates that there may be a Canadian political agenda here? Weird...

Arnaud HERVE wrote:
1. I think blame or revenge are not appropriate here.
2. From what you say, I would suspect the translator doesn't possess Trados.
3. I suggest to send a letter immediately asking for a Trados purchase evidence.


1. Yeah, you're right... I was just so angry at that translator's gall! But you're right. The OP should remain rational.

2. Hmm, could be, now that I reread the original post. Therrien, when you say that the translator said the TM was "bad", I interpretered it to mean that he didn't like the translations in it, but is it possible that he meant that he could not open the TM?

3. No, that is rude. If the translator didn't say "I have Trados" then asking for a receipt without first asking "Do you have Trados" is quite rude, in my opinion. And, erm, what kind of evidence would a person show to prove that he had purchased Trados anyway?

Charlie Bavington wrote:
1. In other words, how "unusable" was this translation?
2. And what has happened to the file in the wrong format? Could this not be used as a start point to give the customer what they want?
3. What exactly did [the PO] say, and to what extent does the delivery (or the deliveries, plural) match up?


1 & 2. Charlie, if this was truly a Trados job, and then the job in any other format is pretty useless, even if the PM is able to do tricks with conversions and realignments etc. If the client or the PM wanted a translated TTX file, then there is little they can do with some other file. For example, if the TTX file was created from an INX file, and the translator delivered an MS Word file, well, then the translator may have delivered the translation chipped out on a marble slab and it would have been no less useful.

3. Therrien, I agree with Charlie. We need to know what the original PO said in order to give advice or to find out who is to blame and/or where the problem came in (presumably to prevent it from happening again).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Therrien  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:48
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What an abundance of responses! Oct 24, 2008

Well gentlemen, thank you for answering the post.
I understand I did not include as much details as I should in order to keep it short. However I see that elaboration is necessary.

What I am trying to accomplish is, now that the translator in question refuses communications, to obtain multiple viewpoints on the technical problems that could have occured. At the same time, I was asking the tacit question : "Is that even possible? Has that ever occured?" I am bitter, I like to pay for good works. (Thank you, Ralf)

Politics has nothing to do with the price of fish in this situation, nor does my nationality. I will nevertheless verbalise more precisely. (Thank you, Kevin)

By incorrect format, I mean that the original document was an xml. It is knit with tags, very tightly. It was sent as a .ttx. The first format surrendered by the translator was an html. It contained french translation. It was however, block text. Tags and formats are gone. This is unusuable for us, because, there are some hundreds of tags in the TagEditor segments; impossible to copy/paste should we simply want to copy/paste the works. Might as well retranslate it--it will take the same amount of time. It was asked, that the uncleaned, translated files be sent to me. At which point the translator sent what appears to be the original .ttx. It had PerfectMatches (Xtrans), the rest was blank.

It was a prereq that the translators use Trados Tag Editor in the posting. That's what was needed and wanted.

Now by "Bad" TM, I mean inadequate.

My first reaction to disagreements is to always be sympathetic; to the point where I give more than I take. But I cannot incur a significant loss on a "product" that has no value afterwards. It would then be a 200% loss at that. I'm still not interested in creating antagonism. He's drawn his sherman tank.

I believe the best answer to this would be to appoint a mediation, external person that could talk to him personally. If at least I could HAVE it, then I could pay him some. Not all he wants, but at least as per the PO. It's a complete waste otherwise. Despite the gravity of the threats and their harshness, I can't help but sympathize with loosing all this valued service. Phooey. I don't have the product, still.

Best Regards:

Alexandre

[Edited at 2008-10-24 10:22]

[Edited at 2008-10-24 10:24]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:48
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Ah, now it's clear! Oct 24, 2008

Thank you, Therrien. I wasn't trying to stir up a political debate - I was actually trying to avoid one, and in the past I've gotten an earful or eyeful on the subject. I simply could not understand the language or logic of your original post.

You have certainly remedied that. So you sent XML prepped as a TTX, specified the use of TagEditor (irrelevant actually, because TTX can be handled successfully with a number of tools) and specified delivery in the original (I mean TTX) format? A translation delivered as HTML does not meet those criteria in any way whatsoever. As someone who has suffered with "tag salad" (an overabundance of tags in the text which makes formatting and translation a challenge) I can certainly appreciate the fact that the effort of retranslation would be as much as that of incorporating the original translation from the HTML file. (I wonder how on Earth the translator made the jump to HTML. And why.)

I'm inclined to say that the translator violated the contract and you owe him nothing at this point. If he is unwilling to provide the full translation in the TTX format requested at the original price, by all means give the job to another translator, provide the HTML file as reference and pay him the difference between what the other person charges and your original PO. Let him know in advance that this is the plan in order to give him the opportunity to reconsider.

But if I have understood you correctly this time, your terms were stated clearly and the translator accepted them, then failed to abide by them. It's up to you to decide if your margin or sense of desperation allows any "enrichment" of the PO (I wouldn't - I'd do as described above, though for all I know there may be legal reasons not to, so don't rush off and take what might be bad advice from me - though a retranslation WITHOUT providing the HTML doc and little or no payment to the translator would certainly seem a safe bet).

Good luck getting this one sorted out. It certainly is a frustrating situation for which you do not appear to deserve any blame. I know how frustrating tag salad can be for a translator - I have spent the last month suffering through a text that I should have finished ages ago, but where my speed was knocked down by nearly 80% due to the proliferation of tags. That's my tough luck - I'm a grown-up, I looked at the original files, prepared the project, submitted my bid, and I just have to eat the extra effort and learn from it. That's business. I would never dream of doing more than providing a friendly hint to the customer that this particular format caused problems and that we might consider alternatives in the future.

[Edited at 2008-10-24 10:52]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:48
French to English
Useless deliverable Oct 24, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:

I'm inclined to say that the translator violated the contract and you owe him nothing at this point.


Me too.
It is now clear that the file orignally delivered was unusable

As long as you specified the output format on the P.O., then you are in the clear.

IMO, just saying Trados Tag Editor is required in the job posting is not enough.

You need to be clear what you want delivered.
How the translator achieves this is entirely his/her own affair, in my view.

If you did not specify the exact nature of the deliverable required on the PO, then it is less clear.
(Apart from the extra 1,000 words - forget that!)
If you think some use can be gained from the html file, some reduced payment might be justified.
Otherwise, basically, failure to meet delivery requirements = no pay. Simple.
Good luck


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Comments for Therrien Oct 24, 2008

Therrien wrote:
By incorrect format, I mean that the original document was an xml. It is knit with tags, very tightly. It was sent as a .ttx. The first format surrendered by the translator was an html.


Hmm, as Kevin also said, there is no way you can get from TTX to HTML using Trados. I can think of two ways it could have happened:

The first workaround that I'm aware of where a TTX file might end up in HTML format is if the user had used OmegaT with their XML hack. You should ask the translator what program(s) he used to prepare and translate the file.

The second is that he had opened the TTX file in his browser (it is an XML file, after all), and this caused the cleartext to be displayed. If I open a TTX file in my browser, I can see all the text but none of the tags. Then press Ctrl+S (save) and the browser offers to save it as... well... as... HTML!

It was a prereq that the translators use Trados Tag Editor in the posting. That's what was needed and wanted.


Ooh, well, but there are ProZians who have a policy of responding to job postings that they do not qualify for. And legally speaking, they are in the right, because the job posting is not binding -- the offer by the translator and its acceptance by the client is binding (and the PO is binding) but the job posting is just a kind of wish list from the client to indicate what sort of quote he would be interested in.

So, did you mention Trados on the PO?

I believe the best answer to this would be to appoint a mediation, external person that could talk to him personally.


You are very kind.

This is really a no-win situation. We can't expect all translators to know all types of files. I mean, we don't always deliver a translation in the same format as we receive it. If he did not open the TTX file in Notepad, but in his browser, then he would never have seen any of the tags, so you can't blame him.

So... did you mention Trados on the PO?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Comment on Charlie Oct 24, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:
IMO, just saying Trados Tag Editor is required in the job posting is not enough.
You need to be clear what you want delivered.
How the translator achieves this is entirely his/her own affair, in my view.


I agree with you up to a point. How the translator translates the file is his business, as long as the file delivered lives up to the client's expectations. And for TTX, which is a proprietary format, it is safe to assume that the client's expectations will always be that the delivered file should be fully Trados compatible and Trados compliant. It is quote all right for the translator to use his own tool, as long as the use of Trados wasn't specified as part of the deal.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:48
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Uh uh Oct 24, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
It is ... all right for the translator to use his own tool, as long as the use of Trados wasn't specified as part of the deal.


Partly right. It is OK in all cases for the translator to use his own tool as long as the deliverables meet specifications.

The only time the use of a specific tool would be contractually binding is if it is needed as part of a "collaboration deliverable" (my invented term), such as the use of an online TM with Trados for a project possibly involving multiple translators needing realtime access to your results. I don't step in those cow patties, so in every project I do I am free to use whatever tool I want as long as the result meets customer specs 100%.

In this case, if TTX (or Trados uncleaned files of any kind) was specified as the file to be delivered, the translator blew it totally and has no lawful or moral claim to payment. There are various options which we've hinted at where Therrien might accommodate him in some way if he chooses to, but there is very little that I can see that constitutes an obligation based on the information presented. Like you said - the PO (or e-mail specs and agreements) is/are the key here.

I'm a big opponent of translation tests in general, but given the ongoing problems I see/hear with agencies getting shafted by translators who claim to be able to handle TagEditor but can't, I think a short (VERY SHORT) TTX-based test with lots of tags would be a reasonable measure to ensure that fewer messes like this occur. It would also be a good way of testing people like myself who claim to work in a 100% Trados-compatible manner but seldom actually use their Trados licenses. Entirely reasonable.

[Edited at 2008-10-24 13:15]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I think a tool can be binding Oct 24, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:
It is OK in all cases for the translator to use his own tool as long as the deliverables meet specifications. ... The only time the use of a specific tool would be contractually binding is if it is needed as part of a "collaboration deliverable" (my invented term)...


Well, I have had experience of slight incompatibilities which seemed negligible to the translator but turned out to be crucial to me. One silly example is MS Excel versus OOo Calc. They are 99% compatible, but sometimes that 1% is crucial, and it may be too much trouble explaining to the translator everthing that could go wrong if he doesn't use the tool specified in the PO.

Example: If you give 10 translators a Wordfast TM to proofread, and they all use MS Excel, I bet 9 (or more) will deliver a broken, corrupted Wordfast TM, because of one small invisible little thing that is only discovered the hard way. And if I, the PM, have already discovered it, then I think I would have the right to expect a translator to use a certain other CSV editor (or even Notepad) if the PO specifically says so.

At the very least, the translator should be in a position to test his completed file. If you translate a TTX file, you must at least have a demo version of Trados so that you can open the file and see if it works in the program. Ditto folks translating MS Word files in OpenOffice.org -- I believe they should use the official Word Viewer to double-check their file before sending it off to the client.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:48
English to Czech
+ ...
Tools Oct 24, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

Kevin Lossner wrote:
It is OK in all cases for the translator to use his own tool as long as the deliverables meet specifications. ... The only time the use of a specific tool would be contractually binding is if it is needed as part of a "collaboration deliverable" (my invented term)...


Well, I have had experience of slight incompatibilities which seemed negligible to the translator but turned out to be crucial to me. One silly example is MS Excel versus OOo Calc. They are 99% compatible, but sometimes that 1% is crucial, and it may be too much trouble explaining to the translator everthing that could go wrong if he doesn't use the tool specified in the PO.



Hi Kevin,
just a brief comment. You can translate a TTX in MemoQ or numerous other tools and the client (agency) will never know. The TTX you deliver translated will be 100% compatible (even though TTX is not even 100% compatible with Trados).


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

Late delivery of project - translator's invoice exceeds PO

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



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