Off topic: Perfect! Everything's PERFECT!
Thread poster: Anthony Baldwin

Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:54
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Mar 11, 2014

What is it lately, with all the abuse of the words "perfect" and "perfection"?

I receive daily dozens of e-mails from potential providers who claim that everything they do is 100% perfect.

Translator with Perfect Translation Skilz!
Perfekt DPT services!
My englesh is perfict!


And now, job postings demanding these perfect skills!

I don't think I can compete, any more.
I'm from the generation when people were human, after all.
I'm confident that I'm darned good at what I do.
I've been doing it a while now, and I went to school for a long time before that to learn how to do it.
But I will never claim that everything I do is 100% perfect.
I do occasionally make an error.
Even the best of us err from time to time.

When I receive these letters from folks claiming to be perfect, I can not take them seriously.
I can only assume they are either ignorant of the meaning of the word "perfect", or they are very arrogant, indeed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Perfection Mar 11, 2014

We can never truly reach it, we just try to get closer and closer every time.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:54
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Nothing is Perfect Mar 11, 2014

Those e-mails are called SPAM for the lack of a better word. All I know about spam is that we should not spend any time on them. If we do spend any time on a particular spam, we would then be serving the people who create that spam.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Manuela Ribecai  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:54
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
Perfection is like intelligence Mar 11, 2014

Only the one who's not intelligent can think that he's.
Intelligent people always see the problems and lacks.

If you think (like me) that you're not perfect, I think you're maybe most perfect that those who think they are.

As my english is really not perfect, I'm not sure to be clear

Manuela


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:54
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I know how you feel Anthony Mar 11, 2014

And clients seem to expect perfection as well.

I worked with a team of translators on a huge 200,000 word project. I worked from early morning until after midnight on part of this job for over two weeks. I was exhausted. I spent hours and hours researching terminology and typing until I had almost worn the paint off the keyboard letters. The source document was full of spelling and grammatical errors (at least five on each page) and the language was difficult to understand (colloquial and non-standard).

In the time frame we were allotted, I think we pulled off yet another amazing feat (that shall forever go unrewarded) and that by all rights should have been impossible. Unfortunately, there was a very minor typo in the document that even the editor did not catch. It was obviously a typo and not a mistranslation (one of those things your brain just doesn't see because you are working so closely on the MEANING of the text), did not impede understanding, was easily corrected and the document was for internal use only.

The client was furious and sent a long letter about how disappointed they were (even though we translated 200,000 words in less than a month and never mind that it took them over a year to write the original document that was not perfect). They complained that they could not trust the accuracy of the rest of the translation. They called us incompetent and demanded that the entire document be reviewed again at no charge for quality control. They even went so far as to threaten non-payment. Never mind the hundreds of hours we put in getting every other detail correct, they focused on the one small blemish. They expected perfection. They had no idea of how much work it took to get the translation to be as good as it was. By doing a good job, we had made the translation look easy, even though it most certainly was not.

And did the agency back us up? No, they claimed that there was "nothing they could do" and that the "client is always right".

It's days like that one that make me want to throw in the towel and leave translation to the wolves and vultures and let them devour one another. Après moi, le déluge!



[Edited at 2014-03-11 18:51 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 09:54
Japanese to English
+ ...
... Mar 11, 2014

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

And clients seem to expect perfection as well.

I worked with a team of translators on a huge 200,000 word project. I worked from early morning until after midnight on part of this job for over two weeks. I was exhausted. I spent hours and hours researching terminology and typing until I had almost worn the paint off the keyboard letters. The source document was full of spelling and grammatical errors (at least five on each page) and the language was difficult to understand (colloquial and non-standard).

In the time frame we were allotted, I think we pulled off yet another amazing feat (that shall forever go unrewarded) and that by all rights should have been impossible. Unfortunately, there was a very minor typo in the document that even the editor did not catch. It was obviously a typo and not a mistranslation (one of those things your brain just doesn't see because you are working so closely on the MEANING of the text), did not impede understanding, was easily corrected and the document was for internal use only.

The client was furious and sent a long letter about how disappointed they were (even though we translated 200,000 words in less than a month and never mind that it took them over a year to write the original document that was not perfect). They complained that they could not trust the accuracy of the rest of the translation. They called us incompetent and demanded that the entire document be reviewed again at no charge for quality control. They even went so far as to threaten non-payment. Never mind the hundreds of hours we put in getting every other detail correct, they focused on the one small blemish. They expected perfection. They had no idea of how much work it took to get the translation to be as good as it was. By doing a good job, we had made the translation look easy, even though it most certainly was not.

And did the agency back us up? No, they claimed that there was "nothing they could do" and that the "client is always right".

It's days like that one that make me want to throw in the towel and leave translation to the wolves and vultures and let them devour one another. Après moi, le déluge!



[Edited at 2014-03-11 18:51 GMT]


It is this same thankless attitude that lately has me translating less and less, instead doing other types of work that is almost always much more appreciated by the customer. We aren't slaves, and when I start to feel that I am perceived as such it just kind of takes all the fun out of this job.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:54
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
On feedback and "prefection" Mar 12, 2014

I recently bought an item on ebay and got a feedback saying "whats prefect ebayer!" I laughed and then thought it's good that it's not my customer's feedback. Would you imagine "whats prefect tarnslater!" among your WWA records?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 02:54
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Perfectly idiotic... Mar 12, 2014

Everything in Danish seems to be 'unik' at the moment, which is just about the same thing.

According to the dictionary it should mean unique, one of a kind...

In practice describing something as 'unik' these days means it may be anything from outstanding or excellent to 'I like it and I am too lazy to think of another word'.

Last year one of my clients used it as a slogan, and in the end I had to remonstrate - I refused to write 'unique' in every line about their good quality standard products... It simply went over the top.

At first they sulked, but then they obviously thought better of it, and we worked out a principle for when we would use the slogan and when we would go for other adjectives. This year's slogan is more realistic and we are still friends!

With luck the craze will pass, but who knows what unfortunate word will be the next to lose all meaning?


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

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

Perfect! Everything's PERFECT!

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



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