Poll: Have you ever missed a deadline due to text difficulty?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:10
SITE STAFF
Sep 8, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever missed a deadline due to text difficulty?".

This poll was originally submitted by Katrien De Clercq

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Sandra Petch
Local time: 18:10
French to English
+ ...
Miss a deadline no but extra hours yes! Sep 8, 2008

A large part of the translations I do are press releases, corporate presentations or texts for magazines or catalogues in one or two areas. Any difficulties I encounter aren't so much to do with technical terms or understanding the subject but finding exactly the right tone. What at first glance appeared fairly straightforward can turn out to be a nightmare to translate and it has happened that I've spent longer than anticipated on a text, forcing me to work extra hours to get back on track with my schedule. So far though, I can't remember ever missing a deadline (just sleep!).

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xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 18:10
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Yes Sep 8, 2008

I got the text in the very last moment,so I was sure that I would miss the deadline,which was originally valid for one of my colleagues,who has not been able to finish the task on time.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
Italian to English
+ ...
No Sep 8, 2008

But I have asked for (and received) an extension, on a revision of an extremely long and complex course programme in the field of veterinary sciences.

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Sanmar
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:10
English to Dutch
+ ...
No Sep 8, 2008

If I think a text is going to be that difficult I either ask for an extension to the deadline or refuse the job in the first place.

[Edited at 2008-09-08 16:17]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 18:10
English to German
+ ...
yes I did a few times Sep 8, 2008

Hi!Q does it make me a bad professional! Few lose words here and there sometimes, when there is no guarantie that the pay also comes, and all the moderators manage piling due to good or not so good work, but I had done my work as far as as I can go. These days no one officially demands that the project be finished single handedly, er.... atleast in the PO. I did and almost died to save a client`s request some times, but the way things are going, I must now look after maself. BR Brandis. p.s all that sounds like a pond full of fish with no exit!!!

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Extensions, yes - never missed an urgent deadline Sep 8, 2008

The translations I do are usually quite long. Sometimes I miscalculate how long they are going to take me, but if I see I'm running behind, I ask for an extension well ahead of time.

The number one factor that slows me down is poorly written source text. If it's ungrammatical, I can waste a lot of time trying to figure it out. Now that I have a 22" monitor, I keep the source text open on the left. When it's that close, I can refer to it more reasily. The other factor is taking on subject matter that I'm not familiar with - such as economics. Technical issues in my working fields don't slow me down.

I've been translating for over 30 years. I remember once getting stuck on a job that was well-written, but I simply couldn't get my head around the author's style. I've noticed that even when the subject matter is the same (e.g., country reports on health conditions), the author's style can make a huge difference in my progress.


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lillkakan
Local time: 18:10
English to Swedish
Miss = ask for extension Sep 9, 2008

As always there will be a skewing of the results because people perceive "to miss" a deadline differently. I answered 'yes' because there have been occasions where I've had to ask for an extension (well before deadline was due), and I consider that as "missed the original deadline".

These few occasions were not so much due to terminology problems as a poorly written source text, as others mentioned as well. I had one just recently where the original author was extremly circumlocutious, repetitive and in general just disorganised. What looked normal on the surface was a veritable cobweb that it took many more hours to negotiate than I had ever imagined.

The client was very understanding though and appreciated my comments regarding the original source, so it all worked out fine in the end but it's that kind of jobs that makes you wonder if it's not more sane to charge by hour worked rather than based on number of words...


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
No, but... Sep 9, 2008

I never missed a deadline due to text difficulty.

But once I spent twice the expected time to set the correct format of an extremely badly formatted Word (with returns to cut lines at the end of pages, spaces to indent texts, even more spaces to make "tables", titles formatted with or without styles..... a 192-page nigtmare to format and forget forever!!!!). I almost missed that one. And, to be honest, the (currently ex-) customer was not better than that.

Ruth @ MW


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xanthippe  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:10
Italian to French
+ ...
no... Sep 9, 2008

never missed a deadline... never.

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Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 11:10
English to Dutch
+ ...
editing Sep 9, 2008

megane_wang wrote:


But once I spent twice the expected time to set the correct format of an extremely badly formatted Word (with returns to cut lines at the end of pages, spaces to indent texts, even more spaces to make "tables", titles formatted with or without styles..... a 192-page nigtmare to format and forget forever!!!!).





I hope you charged extra for the formatting. We're translators, not editors. If the customers doesn't want to pay, he can always do the editing himself.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 18:10
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
missed Sep 13, 2008

Three times as a freelancer.
One of my last jobs was about Pedigree Pal's new dog toothbrush. (?) As I never had a dog/pet, first I told I refuse the job LV-HU because of lack of dictionary in this pair. I spent long hours searching the names of different teeth of the dog, and studying the forms of gingivitis, finally the translation office cut the bill 20% off and said the text was not so-o-o difficult.
Never again.


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