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Poll: An urgent, rapidly-done translation = a poor-quality translation
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:30
SITE STAFF
Jun 8, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "An urgent, rapidly-done translation = a poor-quality translation".

This poll was originally submitted by John Cutler. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 8, 2010

Yes, but no. I think it depends on the individual method and style of the translator. People have different working ways and preferences.
Obviously something planned and with plenty of time in hand will be more relaxedly done, increasing the chances of a decent final quality, but I hesitate to agree with an out-and-out "poor quality" as I often get "urgent" last minute things to do and I for one am not in the business of doing "cowboy"... in fact the other day, one client asked me to "quickly" do a "rough" translation which "didn't have to be "very good" and I was glad to be out of slapping reach...!
Sometimes the pressure can be an incentive - I know my own productivity goes up when under pressure to some extent.


 

Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:30
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Maybe Jun 8, 2010

It depends, of course.
It is mainly true, but this is not a rule.


 

xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 17:30
English to French
+ ...
Other Jun 8, 2010

Not necessarily, but the risk is greater.

 

Lizette Britz  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:30
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
not necessarily Jun 8, 2010

I think is more urgent, rapidly-done translation-cheap = poor-quality translation.

Liz


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:30
Member (2008)
English to Italian
agree Jun 8, 2010

Interlangue wrote:

Not necessarily, but the risk is greater.


I agree, and that's why I accept very urgent translations only when the field is not only suitable, but the most suitable for me.


 

Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:30
English to Russian
+ ...
Partially yes Jun 8, 2010

A true professional will not do a poor quality work anyway, but if being deadline pressed he or she may save on proofreading, looking for better terms, verifying them on the Internet, etc.

 

Paula González Fernández  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Indeed Jun 8, 2010

Interlangue wrote:

Not necessarily, but the risk is greater.



Totally agree here.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:30
Member (2006)
German to English
here too Jun 8, 2010

Interlangue wrote:

Not necessarily, but the risk is greater.


 

casey
United States
Local time: 11:30
Member
Japanese to English
Depends on how long it is Jun 8, 2010

If you've got 6000 words to do in one day and you have to stay up all night to get it finished, of course. If it's 200 words and you have to do it in an hour, it will probably be OK.

 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:30
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
It really depends (other) Jun 8, 2010

Quality may not be poor (in the case of a good translator), but the specific risks are, no revision time (the four-eyes principle), and take-it-as-is (where improvements are possible). In the case of staggered jobs, the lack of an overall perspective (which is one of the benefits of being able to detach from a job with sufficient time to return for retouching). The latter is particularly frustrating in relation to protracted jobs, in which terminology may vary with context shifts.

 

Valeria Lagos Gordon Downie
Spain
Local time: 17:30
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
exactly my view (and my vote) Jun 8, 2010

Interlangue wrote:

Not necessarily, but the risk is greater.


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:30
English
+ ...
Ditto. Jun 8, 2010

Interlangue wrote:

Not necessarily, but the risk is greater.


 

Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:30
Portuguese to English
+ ...
ditto Jun 8, 2010

Like others here, I have to agree that it entirely depends on various circumstances, and is not necessarily so.
There are some types of documents I have translated, literally, thousands of times.
I suppose I could be considered an expert in such matters.
For such documents, I can work rather quickly.
I'm sure I'm not alone.
This would especially apply, say, for instance, with a specific client for whom I've done numerous translations of the same nature.

So, as others have indicated, it depends on volume/time, nature/complexity of the material, and the provider's experience, among other factors.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:30
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Preparation is crucial Jun 8, 2010

Sometimes a regular client asks me to reserve time for an urgent job, and gives me an idea of what it will involve. I can look over earlier, related jobs.

I can find related terminology or check that I can easily look it up. If they are routine jobs, I may find help in my TMs and so on.
I can prepare mentally, settle down calmly with coffee on hand, or tell my husband he has to make his own supper and answer the phone etc. He is a great support like that!

I do prefer to have plenty of time to polish the final version, but it is not always possible. It is not always necessary either. If the source text consists of internal e-mails and drafts, then they can be translated at the same level.

After all, it is a little like the situation an interpreter faces. Interpreters have to prepare the theme and then do the best they can on the spot. They may not literally cross the t´s and dot the i´s, but the best interpreters can really produce quality. It should certainly be possible for a translator.

Of course, I tell clients that they will not get my most creative marketing slogans in a rush, and especially when I am not warned, I make my reservations, but I can usually turn out a reasonable translation at short notice in an area I am familiar with.

It is partly a matter of attitude!


[Edited at 2010-06-08 14:44 GMT]


 
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