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Thread poster: Michelle Kusuda

Michelle Kusuda  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 10, 2013

and my response:

The ultimate victim in all this is not only the hard working translator but the client! Clients trust a translation agency sometimes more than they trust an individual when, in reality, the opposite would serve them better.

There are some very ethical translation agencies (translation intermediaries) out there. Unfortunately, the bulk of them are good at marketing and have great legal advisors who are compensated handsomely. In order to afford their sales representatives, staff and legal counsel these agencies do not raise the rates to the client but squeeze it from the translator with some smart people out there going to google translate, fixing it and submitting it as a translation no matter how awful the result is!

It would be very easy to say the client gets what they deserve, but I do not think that is true. I think some clients are misled by the promises made by these “translation farms”.

Whether a CAT tool is used and what discounts are applied should be up to the translator, and while a CAT tool might be useful in providing you a two column document grid to ensure you do not forget to translate any sentences, those who are forced to accept discounts for “fuzzy matches” (sentences with a few similar words in them but not accurate or complete) eventually start caring less about quality and submit quite a mechanized translation. It might be okay into English where it is alright to use the same term over and over, but it does not work too well into Romance Languages as they require the use of more synonyms in order to avoid redundant repetitions of the same term.

Some of our colleagues are forced to work for very low rates or risk not having any work at all, they are not “zombie translators” but “exploited translators”. Let’s not victimize the victims any further.

All translators should devote some time to develop direct clients and enlightening them about the “Art of translation”.


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