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Poll: Have you ever translated a document that was strikingly similar for two different clients?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 01:12
May 15, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever translated a document that was strikingly similar for two different clients?".

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Andrew Rink  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:12
German to English
Yes, in a way May 15, 2009

I mostly work for agencies. Once one of my own texts (done a couple of months earlier for a different agency, but apparently for the same end customer) was sent to me as a reference document. Needless to say, that really made my day.


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes May 15, 2009

Happens now and again, normally with tender documents in my case.


Sandra Petch
Local time: 10:12
French to English
+ ...
Never... May 15, 2009

...although I have had people in different departments of the same firm send me the same document to translate, sometimes at several months' interval. They're always delighted when I send back the document, already translated, telling them there will be "no charge"icon_wink.gif


Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:12
Russian to English
+ ...
Vice versa: I run into strikingly opposite positions/thoughts on same issues in different doc's... May 15, 2009

... and I STAND ON MY HEAD (sometimes tilting, depending on clients) and I translate, trying to FORGET the previous ALREADY TRANSLATED document(s) on the same issue/event/law/quote/prescription etc.

Especially os international trade and the WTO, human rights, transparency, even health and medicine, but usually wherever a bit of politics is involved.

A good exercise! For instance, when such things happen, the SAME WORDS/PHRASES can well have DIFFERENT, sometimes even opposite meanings in "related" documents etc.icon_smile.gif

And in such situations those CATs, especially TRADOS, become highly harmful as toooo inflexible.

[Edited at 2009-05-15 09:51 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-05-15 09:53 GMT]


Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:12
French to English
Two different regular clients vying for the same contract May 15, 2009

There were certain obvious elements to include in the package being presented to the decider. Those elements were never the less expressed and presented in slightly differing ways.
It was quite exciting to await the outcome of the "winner". (I had made a personal bet). In either case, I would get the work that followed, were either of these two clients to win. One did, so I had the contract that followed - and it was the client I had thought stood out for the job in question.


Carole Paquis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:12
Member (2007)
English to French
Management training documents May 15, 2009

Translating management training ppt presentations presenting the same management theory.
A fair amount of the text had in both cases been directly lifted from the websites/books related to this management theory.... I could have picked out what was "their own work"...




Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:42
German to English
Once May 15, 2009

A court judgement - from two diffferent agencies located in different cities, after a gap of about a year!

I had non disclosure agreements with both these agencies. I could not therefore tell the second one that I had worked on the case before. What would my colleagues have done in my position?


Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:12
German to English
+ ...
The same document May 15, 2009

I've been asked to translate the very same text, both by a publishing house which happens to be a customer and for an agency. The text was about the publishing house itself and formed part of a collection of short texts about successful companies in Germany.

The translation had clearly been commissioned twice, somehow. I couldn't let either customer know without compromising confidentiality. So I charged them both!icon_smile.gif But it was only a couple of hundred words long anyway.


Alice Bootman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:12
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, for local direct clients May 15, 2009

I have translated several Bolivian birth certificates and various immigration documents for direct local clients here. I love those, because I just change the name, dates, etc., and I only did the DTP once.icon_smile.gif
Then another time, I had two sets of documentation from two agencies with two different end clients, who were in some sort of marketing battle, and we were translating all of their marketing materials for the same products, in the same country, in the same time period. That was interesting.


United States
Local time: 04:12
French to English
A test translation May 15, 2009

Just once I did a test translation for an agency that is a long-standing client, and just before I submitted it to the agency, I got from a new agency the same exact test. I told the new agency that it wasn't my area of expertise, which was believable enough since it's not my main area of specialization anyway. It was obvious that both agencies were hoping to win a contract for the same end client. I had to go with the agency who'd been a long-standing client of mine, of course, and I think I turned down the other agency tactfully enough.


Mariam Osmann
Local time: 10:12
English to Arabic
+ ...
Contract amendment in two different languages May 15, 2009

I was working on an English into Arabic projet for several months then my client from USA told me that when 'his' client will be on site, he may need to make some changes. That what happend 3 or 4 pages needed to be added to the contract.
Then while working I received an amendment to a contract to be translated from French into Arabic from one of my client from France, the job was also rush as the end client is actually on-site 'there' and need the annex to be translated and delivered by the same deadline.
The technical details of the contract and site names were about the same.

I also received once my own document to be a reference during my translation of the another part of the same project with another client.

That's was a lot of fun!


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, but (and this is a little off topic)... May 15, 2009

...I did once, when teaching while doing my doctorate, have a student turn in an essay which I had given in to the faculty member teacher of that subject a few years previously. I commented to the student that I thought it was indeed a good piece of work, but that it was strangely familiar...


Miles Crew  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:12
Chinese to English
Not exactly May 15, 2009

No, but I did find out, in the course of looking into the ethical issues involved in translating someone's doctoral thesis for them, that they had simply purchased the thesis off the internet (I love Google). Ethical problem solved!


Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:12
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
documents only May 16, 2009

As the office specialized in documents, often. But this is the reason why we have to extremely careful, for exaple, with the date of birthicon_wink.gif

In longer texts - mainly in tender documentations or in CVs.

Only once - exactly the same text from two different customers in two months.

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Poll: Have you ever translated a document that was strikingly similar for two different clients?

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