Poll: Have you ever had to translate a text with parts already translated by the author?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:37
Jun 6, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever had to translate a text with parts already translated by the author?".

This poll was originally submitted by Natalia Papasteriadou, LL.M. View the poll results »


Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Think twice before accepting such job Jun 6, 2010

It would be a ticklish situation. Such "author-done" translations are most often very poor quality and translator has to balance between acceptable quality and offending the customer. I would consider accepting such job only if rate is really lucrative.


C. Mouton  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:37
Member (2007)
English to French
Not as such Jun 6, 2010

I would not consider it as "parts translated by the author".

However, if you use a CAT tool, you usually find that part of the text is already segmented and translated, and the client does not want to pay for any change in the 100%-match (pretranslated) parts.


Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:37
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Quite often Jun 6, 2010

Yes, I'm quite often asked to translate documents parts of which are already in some form of "English" - whether translated by the author or not I don't know. I'm sometimes tempted to correct the English of the already "translated" parts but, as I'm asked to deal only with the French or Spanish parts and the job is usually urgent, I generally leave the already "translated" parts. Should I also correct the "English"? I presumably wouldn't be paid any extra for doing so and - on whose toes might I be treading??


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:37
Member (2006)
German to English
Frequently Jun 6, 2010

and it usually costs a bit of time to explain why I have had to "enhance" certain parts of the previously translated text


Interlangue (X)
Local time: 02:37
English to French
+ ...
Often Jun 6, 2010

... and I correct (or the spellchecker does) gross mistakes (grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalisation). No more than that, and I do it free of charge - my way of doing marketing!


Reed James
Local time: 21:37
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree but... Jun 6, 2010

Sometimes there are tidbits in the author-translated text that help the translator: names of organizations, technical terms and other ideas. Also, poorly translated text can sometimes boost a translator's morale.icon_smile.gif


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 6, 2010

Once that I can remember. It was supposed to be a revision/proofing of a forestry article that was so badly written, with so many gaping differences and omissions between the original contect and the "translation", that I offered to retranslate it from scratch, although I only charged them the fee quoted for the revision/proofing.
It was a new client and they subsequently gave me more work after this display of goodwill.
Normally I'd be very reluctant to do so, as a bad translation really can take quite a bit longer to correct than a translation from scratch and the clients will not usually have budgeted for a translation fee. Nowadays, many people seem to think "We can just do it with Google translate and get it tidied up afterwards and save a few cents..." ... a cheapskate "solution" that I feel bodes ill for the profession.


Samantha Payn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:37
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, sort of Jun 6, 2010

I was contacted by a client who was fed up with having to correct the translated texts received from their translator. I offered to review a translated text partially corrected by my client and the original. I edited/corrected the text already corrected by my client and he was perfectly happy with this, and I then told him it was simpler for me to retranslate the rest of the text than revise the poor translation and check it back with the original. He was happy with that too :^).


United States
Local time: 20:37
French to English
Not by the author Jul 11, 2010

I've done jobs where parts were already translated by another translator. I'm not fond of doing that but have and would under certain circumstances and for certain clients.

I had an inquiry recently from a large company, to "edit" machine translations. I very nicely replied explaining why I generally do not do that type of work. I can only hope that everyone else to whom he sent an inquiry responded similarly!


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Poll: Have you ever had to translate a text with parts already translated by the author?

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