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Outsourced translation - bad quality
Thread poster: Elvira Schmid

Elvira Schmid  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:18
English to German
+ ...
Apr 11, 2010

Hi,
I outsourced one of my translations and got delivered very bad quality. The "translator" however keeps to insist his translation is "good" even though he says he accepts the changes that were made by the proofreader (about 3 mistakes in every line - wrong grammar, wrong tenses, etc.).
I now asked him to resend me the translation in a quality that I can accept and send to the client after a few changes. Unfortunately only now I found out the so-called "translator" is really cabin crew and did 90 hours translation course and now says there is now way his translations could be of low quality because he is "a certified translator".
Even after the first mail in which I asked him to correct and review the translation (which he says is offending!) he is telling me that he will take legal steps if I will not pay within 4 days(!!!).

Sorry, but this is just out of my understanding. Why do I have to pay for something that I can literally throw into the bin and why is he not responsible for his work? Why can wanna-be translators advertise themselves on proz, deliver nothing and take our money anyway??


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 15:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Your fault Apr 11, 2010

I am sorry, Elvira, but it is your fault.

I don`t intend to be rude, but it is you who made the wrong selection. You failed in choosing a good translator. His/her task was to make and deliver a job, which he/she did. Now it is your duty and responsability to pay for that job.

The reasons you state for not wanting to do do it, remind me of what many so-called agencies say when cheating translators.


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Elvira Schmid  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:18
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
To Walter Apr 11, 2010

I know it was my fault that I chose the wrong person for the translation. But if somebody offers to do a job he should really also be "able" to do the job. The reason is not that I do not want to pay, but that I have to re-do the whole translation which will of course lead to more costs for me. Unfortunately there are translators that do deliver bad quality and I would not say that anybody is "cheating" translators when they complain about something that can't be used.
If you build a house you also expect to have a proper job done and would not be willing to pay full price for a roof that is only half done.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Unfortunately I agree with Walter Apr 11, 2010

First I think you shouldn't have outsourced the job. If it was impossible for you to do it, it would have been a lot better to reject it and let the customer deal with a bad translator. You would be, so to say, clean from it.

As for finding out about someone who calls him/herself a translator but is not, there are many people out there who are not very realistic about their capabilities (or perhaps not very aware of what a professional translator is about) and write all sorts of odd things in their CVs. The only way you can be 100% sure about someone is sending a quick translation test to find out about their responsiveness and quality. It was irresponsible to outsource without a test...


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 15:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Selection Apr 11, 2010

I am really sorry about what happened to you, Elvira. I understand and share your concern.

But you know there are good and bad translators, serious and experienced ones and people who claim they can translate, but are not professional translators.

How did you come to select this person? Did you posted a job in Proz.com? Checked profile, references, knew him/her from Kudoz, samples, certified credentials, certified Pro, other? If the outcome is so bad that you have to re-do the translation, something wasn`t right in the process of selection.


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Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 21:18
English to Russian
+ ...
two separate proofreaders' assessment needed Apr 11, 2010

I also don't understand why pay for garbage. Here we have a situation where Elvira is a client who orders translation services. She has an absolute freedom not to pay for substandard job.

Elvira, to fully safeguard yourself find another independent proofreader who can confirm first proofreader's opinion. Don't be afraid of legal steps from the translator. How can he support his claims if his qualifications are nothing but a 90-day language course?

_______

I now see this was an outsourced job. I thought you had ordered translation as a client. I must agree with the colleagues.

[Edited at 2010-04-11 18:38 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:18
English to Croatian
+ ...
Samples Apr 11, 2010

Elvira Schmid wrote:
Why can wanna-be translators advertise themselves on proz, deliver nothing and take our money anyway??


Next time you need to outsource work, ask for translation or writing samples. This will help you get a view on how verbally skilled this person is (providing he or she translates into their native tongue).

Although, to a trained linguist, it should be enough to have one or two emails exchanged with a person to know where they are standing in terms of verbal skills. It can be scanned very quickly, providing you have been trained.

[Edited at 2010-04-11 18:34 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:18
English to German
+ ...
Question Apr 11, 2010

Elvira Schmid wrote:
I now asked him to resend me the translation in a quality that I can accept
and send to the client after a few changes
.


I don't quite understand this one: That the translator has to revise his / her translation, is logical and he / she is required to do so. But: After the quality is acceptable, you still want to make some changes first, before you send it to your client? Now you might be dealing with a very miffed translator who thinks "If she is poking around in my text anyway, why do I have to redo it in the first place?"

Please correct me if I misunderstood this sentence, but "three mistakes per line" and "a few changes" are a contradiction. You are leaving the translator with the impression that whatever he / she does, it will never be to your satisfaction.


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Elvira Schmid  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:18
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Nicole Apr 11, 2010

After seeing the quality this so-called translator delivers I thought that he might at least be able to do better than this if he reviews the text, but I do not expect him to send me a faultless translation at this point (now I know he's not able to do so). So what I meant is that I could at least expect a better text back and then have the proofreader going over the text and that only a few changes might be necessary instead of having to change the whole text around.

@all the others
I do outsource translations on a regular basis and never had such a bad experience before. I am fully aware that I should have checked this person better prior to giving him the translation and that I should have asked for a sample. This will definitely be a lesson for the future:-)


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Elvira and the darkness of outsorcerers) Apr 11, 2010

Hi Elvira, not gonna repeat the stuff above (why did you choose that very cabin boy etc) for now you have to cope with it.

1. Your subcontractor delivered you his job.
2. If you don't accept its quality.

So, who can prove at least one of you is wrong?
Of course, if there's no contract or additional papers then find an arbitrator.
If it's an international case then it would be more complicated: pay some 1/3 - 1/2 and wait till the case is settled. Anyway, if I were you I wouldn't pay anything until the findings.

The real problem is your Client doesn't care much about your 'misfortune', so get ready to provide a much better quality)

Cheers.


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Aradai Pardo Martínez  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:18
Swedish to Spanish
+ ...
Just a question... Apr 11, 2010

and not a recrimination: why did you choose this translator? Which factors led you to pick him?

I am really curious about it since there's been so much talk about chea translators delivering bad quality and so on, and I wonder if this was the case.


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Elvira Schmid  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:18
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Aradai Apr 11, 2010

in part it was my mistake because I was under time pressure, in part his application was very impressive and I quote ***100% bilingual and bachelor’s degree in Communication (Università degli XXX) and specialized as freelancer translator and interpreter for English-Italian-English***.

@ everyone.
Just to undermine that I am not trying to cheat this translator I'd like to paste part of the translation here....unfortunately the entire translation is like this and sometimes worse
******* SOURCE
La manifestazione, promossa da XXX e in programma all’Arsenale dal X al X aprile 2010, punta a favorire l’incontro tra domanda e offerta di immobili a destinazione turistica e gestori di servizi di filiera. Non una fiera tradizionale, quindi, ma quattro giorni di confronto e relazione, di incontri e business relation con i protagonisti internazionali di uno dei pochi settori dell’economia non toccato dalla crisi e certamente tra quelli che potranno dare nuovo impulso alla ripresa.

******TRANSLATION
The event, promoted by XXX at Arsenal 15th-18th April 2010, is addressed to promote meeting between needs and offers of tourist destination estates and managers of chain services. It is not a traditional exhibition, but it counts of four days of confrontation and interaction, meeting and business relations with international protagonists of one of those few sectors untouched by world crisis and definitely between those able to generate new impulse to restart.
***

Only a few things that I critise, but the entire paragraph seems quiet unclear...(try to read only the English and to understand)

meeting between needs and offers ....should be supply and demand
it counts of four days.....(whats that supposed to mean really?)
between those......amongst those
to restart.....for recovery

******
interesting that there are cheat translators around...I did not hear about that.....better watch out in future:-)
Thanks for all your comments


[Bearbeitet am 2010-04-11 20:43 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:18
English to Croatian
+ ...
Itaenglish Apr 11, 2010

Did he or she address you with the same kind of English when you first negotiated the deal? If yes - you are fully responsible for taking this person to do the job. This is just too obvious not to notice, and the errors are cardinal.

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Elvira Schmid  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:18
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Unfortunately not. I would not have chosen him in this case. Apr 11, 2010

Lingua 5B wrote:


Did he or she address you with the same kind of English when you first negotiated the deal? If yes - you are fully responsible for taking this person to do the job. This is just too obvious not to notice, and the errors are cardinal.


*****
Just another example...the more I read of this the more ridiculous it gets...and I am wasting hours now trying to fix this....
***

Una giornata dedicata alle tematiche legate alla realizzazione, gestione e a nuove forme di finanziamento di progetti in ambito turistico oltre che all’incisività dell’elemento architettura sulla performance economica di investimenti turistici

A dedicated day for those issues related to realization, managing and new project financing ways of tourism and residential tourism world besides the importance of the architectural element for the economic performance of touristic investments.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:18
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
He used machine translation Apr 11, 2010

Looks to me like he just used machine translation:

Google translate gives:
A day dedicated to issues related to implementation, management and funding of new projects in tourism as well as all'incisività architectural element on the economic performance of tourism investment


[Edited at 2010-04-11 20:57 GMT]


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