Should I pay or not?
Thread poster: accents_ie
accents_ie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
English
+ ...
Jan 27, 2008

Translator submitted translation (it was quite expensive translator between other offers who applied for this job via Proz.com) which was expected to be of a good/high quality.
Translator also wrote that this translation was checked by somebody else too and all comments were implemented.

I myself do not know this language.
I passed this translation to my customer.
In a few hours later my customer refused this translation as incorrect: wrong translation, added extra expressions, etc.

I gave this to check to a two other translators (native of this language) - both were agree this translation is not correct and sounds (in their native language) some kind strange.
We did not check the complete translation, it quite big, we checked just a few first pages. But impression from the first pages was enough!

Translation was given to another translator then, as requested by my customer.

NOW: first translator demand payment for this.
Should I pay (if myself will not paid for this) to the translator?

Thank you for the advice.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:06
English to German
+ ...
Substantiate criticism - negotiate a reduction Jan 27, 2008

Hi "accents",
This highlights the risks of outsourcing jobs without having the proper resources in place - how did you select the translator? More importantly, how did you conduct your own quality assurance?


I myself do not know this language.
I passed this translation to my customer.
In a few hours later my customer refused this translation as incorrect: wrong translation, added extra expressions, etc.

Did you communicate the issues to the translator you commissioned?
Did you ask him/her to comment?


NOW: first translator demand payment for this.
Should I pay (if myself will not paid for this) to the translator?

I don't know what the situation is under Irish law; in Germany, you cannot simply withhold payment, but must give the translator the opportunity to rectify the defects (which, given deadlines, is hardly practicable). If (and only if) you communicated the problems straight away, you should try to negotiate a discount.

My two cents'.

Best regards,
Ralf


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accents_ie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Payment Jan 27, 2008

Yes, I replied/communicate to the translator immediately but translator never explained anything about

Yes, this was a "quality" control issue but I asked for a proof-reading before this translation was given also, and was assured it will be proof-read, and I trusted translator made it proof-read by second person, as translator wrote.

I also prepared to pay but when I asked for a possible discount translator gave me one (@ 10%) -
so as a result I will make a loss anyway.

Anyway I prepare to pay, but should I really pay for that?

Generally we demand money back for goods we bought and finding later they are not working at all.


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:06
English to Norwegian
> Generally we demand money back for goods we bought and finding later they are not working at all. Jan 27, 2008

Yes, but how can you know if it is the translator or your customer who is wrong.

It is your quality assurance that is at fault. If it is a small amount, you should just pay off; if it is a large amount you could get a second qualified opinion to tell if the translation really was bad, or if it is the customer who is unreasonably. In my experience, both these things can happen.



[Edited at 2008-01-27 14:42]


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Beatriz Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 07:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Pay less and explain why. Jan 27, 2008

Since you chose the translator, it is your responsibility, I would pay less but the fact that his/her translation is poor does not mean he/she should not be paid.

Since the translation has been read by two other translators who agree it is poor, then
chances are it is.

You lose today, but you will not lose again, next time hire another translator.

That's what I would do


[Edited at 2008-01-27 13:17]

[Edited at 2008-01-27 13:22]


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Denis HAY  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:06
English to French
Pay, then learn the lesson Jan 27, 2008

Hi "accents",

The most professional attitude I have seen with one of my clients I was proofreading for was the following: he sent me for proofreading a translation which showed that the translator has obviously no actual experience of the subject matter and copied/pasted IT lingo but without understanding it.

The resulting "work" was a patchwork of IT terms, but certainly not a decent (let alone good translation).

Following the review, the client told me that he will pay the translator and would never hire him again and that he learned his lesson and would test his future freelancers before sending them large projects.

You can't just outsource, not check anything and pretend that you're offering any kind of added value to your client. You need to build your own address book of good translators by testing them. Just send them small projects in the beginning, have them proofread, and you will quite rapidly see which ones suit your service level.

As for the "Generally we demand money back for goods we bought and finding later they are not working at all. " part... may I remind you that you're buying services, not goods? You just can't "return" a service.

It's bad that you had such an experience with an inappropriate translator, but you should take the cost of this project as a lesson and progress from there. Now you definitely know that you *have to* carefully select your freelancers.

Kind regards,
Denis Hay


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ivo abdman
Indonesia
Local time: 17:06
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Send Reason and Judgment Jan 27, 2008

Dear accents,

I don't know about your history, I just utter my opinion. Judge quality only from the rate ? is there any better way to check the quality ?

Complicated Steps Could be Helpfull

1. Ask the second translator or proofreader about the wrong reason (detail comparation).
2. Analyze and give judgment about discount according the wrong reason and percentage
3. Send them to interest of tranlator and ask his/her confirmation
4. If OK, then you pay
5. If no OK ask the reason
6. etc.
7. etc.
8. Until you both agree then pay or no


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accents_ie  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pay Jan 27, 2008

OK Thank you very much to everybody.

I am paying, but I really think that translator who provided translation should understand it too...

I have one more lesson.

In the future will pro9bably to write a contract with a point, if translation is not good, and it is proved, it will be not paid at full rate (say minus cost of corrections) or not at all.

But in this case customer requested to change translator, so there was no correction but completely a new translation by absolutely new translator from scratch.

Thank you


P.S. Please do not send me personal e-mails, if anything you wish to tell, please do posting in the forum. Thank you!


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Milton Guo  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:06
English to Chinese
+ ...
Careful selection Jan 27, 2008

You can not rely on the translator himself for quality assurance, you need someone else who understands the language and is hired by you to check the translation for you...

I think you can just pay off and never cooperate with that translator again...Keep the lesson in mind in the future.


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:06
Spanish to English
I agree with Denis and Milton Jan 27, 2008

Denis HAY wrote:

You can't just outsource, not check anything and pretend that you're offering any kind of added value to your client. You need to build your own address book of good translators by testing them. Just send them small projects in the beginning, have them proofread, and you will quite rapidly see which ones suit your service level.



I totally agree with Denis, it is only sensible for an agency to only offer new translators short translation jobs until they are sure of the quality of their work. That way, if there is a problem, it can be quickly remedied and no serious sum of money is wasted.

I also agree with Milton that it was irresponsible of you to ask an unknown translator to also take charge of the proofreading.

As a translator I am more than happy for an agency to take its cut, as long as it is doing its job, which is not just going into the Proz database and picking a name out.

[Edited at 2008-01-27 17:12]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:06
English to French
+ ...
Please, don't do this again Jan 27, 2008

accents_ie wrote:

Yes, this was a "quality" control issue but I asked for a proof-reading before this translation was given also, and was assured it will be proof-read, and I trusted translator made it proof-read by second person, as translator wrote.



This was a bad idea. Especially if you have never worked with a particular translator before, get your own editor to edit the translation. The problems would have been detected much sooner and you would not have sent a mediocre translation to your client either. And your translator would have cost you a bit less money (less of a risk) because you would only have paid him for translation and not for editing.

In any case, I would AT LEAST refuse to pay for the editing part. If this was really edited by a qualified person, then I don't see why three other people find the text crappy. I suspect that the text was not edited at all. Of course, don't just tell the translator his work is not of the quality you were paying for - give him examples of errors he made and give him a summary of the number of errors of each type that were found in the few pages you had someone look at.

I am sincerely hoping this is not a case of "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys"...

[Edited at 2008-01-27 18:11]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 12:06
English to German
+ ...
visible claim period ... Jan 27, 2008

accents_ie wrote:

OK Thank you very much to everybody.

I am paying, but I really think that translator who provided translation should understand it too...

I have one more lesson.

In the future will pro9bably to write a contract with a point, if translation is not good, and it is proved, it will be not paid at full rate (say minus cost of corrections) or not at all.

But in this case customer requested to change translator, so there was no correction but completely a new translation by absolutely new translator from scratch.

Thank you


P.S. Please do not send me personal e-mails, if anything you wish to tell, please do posting in the forum. Thank you!
Set clear cut claim period both with your customer and supplier, this is only the second step, but inform yourself of the supplier and also the customer prior hand. Else the situation can get mighty risky for you. Brandis


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:06
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Editing is a separate job Jan 28, 2008

I often do proof-reading for other translators. They are professionals but nevertheless I find spelling mistakes, some expressions which I would change etc.
4 eyes are always watching more than 2 eyes and this procedures ensures that the customer won't reject the work.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Swedish to English
+ ...
Post box or translation agency? Jan 28, 2008

accents_ie wrote:

I myself do not know this language.
I passed this translation to my customer.
In a few hours later my customer refused this translation as incorrect: wrong translation, added extra expressions, etc.



As an agency (or outsourcer of any other kind), it's your responsibility to ensure that whatever you pass on to an end client is of a certain standard. This means proofreading the document yourself, or having it proofed by an in-house or out-sourced proofreader (particularily essential if you're using a new freelancer).

This process is a vital part of the service a translation agency should offer a client, in addition to managing multiple languages. Managing this whole process is were you can actually add value.

By just "passing" translations from translators to end clients you're merely acting as a post box.


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