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Poll: Would you turn down a job offer because it is poorly written (grammar/spelling errors)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:31
SITE STAFF
May 1, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you turn down a job offer because it is poorly written (grammar/spelling errors)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Hege Jakobsen Lepri. View the poll results »



 

Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:31
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I have replied yes but... May 1, 2012

If it is about an editing job, that is actually your job, ain't it?

Regards to all.

Natalia


 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 14:31
English to French
+ ...
No May 1, 2012

Such a challenge is part of the fun! I may make (a few) notes thoughicon_smile.gif

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:31
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends May 1, 2012

Whether or not I would turn down a poorly written document depends on who has sent it and on the subject. If it's an interesting subject and both the price and the deadline are okay, I will accept it. Such a challenge is half the fun.icon_biggrin.gif

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes May 1, 2012

Maybe not proofing/revising, but a translation job, definitely, yes.
I generally have a good opinion of the quality of my work, and expect a similar degree of diligence from my clients.
I also quite enjoy the schadenfreude of pointing out poorly drafted texts, especially to certain "professionals" who I sometimes think need reminding of their condition as mere mortals. Like one yesterday who couldn't distinguish (in his own language) between a page trailer and the kind you hitch to a tractor ...


 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
Member
German to English
+ ...
No May 1, 2012

Providing it was understandable, I'd happily take it on.

The ones I struggle with are those which are deliberately incorrect grammar. For example, I once translated a document without a single capital letter in it. I could not bring myself to recreate that in English and (with my agency client's approval) submitted a gramattically correct version. I figured it would be easy enough to get rid of the capitals if they really didn't want them there, but putting them in is far more difficult!


 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 14:31
French to English
+ ...
What's "it" May 1, 2012

I read the question as if "it" referred to the offer, not the job itself. Most of the posters here seem to have read it the other way.

I answered "other" meaning that if the offer was badly spelt, I wouldn't automatically reject the job but I would look a lot closer at the agency before accepting it.

If "it" refers to the source document, I think I would still have answered "other" as it would depend on just how bad it was. As long as it was comprehensible, I would probably accept it.


 

Ditte Duclert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:31
Member (2011)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes May 1, 2012

I'm too busy to mind read, and I have received some source documents that required just that... It depends on how bad it is, though.

 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
negotiating with the client May 1, 2012

should explain most essential thing, then I would either accept the job and charge extra for guessing and/or correcting or just say goodbye--it depends on the client's attitude and willingness to work together.

 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:31
Turkish to English
+ ...
No ... but ... May 1, 2012

No, but in an ideal world we should be able to charge more for such work.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:31
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No May 1, 2012

Vagueness and ambiguity are intrinsic parts of the Japanese language:

generally no subject, objects left out, can't tell whether an assumed object is subject or plural, etc., etc.

A lot of guesswork is involved.

Which means that, in the majority of cases, you can't tell who's doing what to whom. Even in a semiconductor functional specifications manual where everything is supposed to be crystal clear! icon_eek.gif

I translate mainly tech stuff.
As the joke over here goes, most engineers choose sciences and engineering because they're useless at Japanese language and grammar. And these are the people writing manuals in the first place! icon_rolleyes.gif

Unhappy translating! icon_frown.gif


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:31
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
So true May 1, 2012

Julian Holmes wrote:

As the joke over here goes, most engineers choose sciences and engineering because they're useless at Japanese language and grammar. And these are the people writing manuals in the first place! icon_rolleyes.gif


I am afraid this is an almost universal truth in most technical fields and elsewhere.

I usually tell my clients at first, but they tend to ignore my warnings, keep sending updates in the same "style", and give me the impression that if I insist pointing out their flaws will risk loosing my source of income.

The worst case is when they also mix my translation with their own target language "in-house translations" consistent with their style, and then send the results back as "reference materials" or TM for the next update...

icon_mad.gif


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:31
English to German
+ ...
Depends. May 1, 2012

I like going on adventures with long-term and trustworthy clients. This weekend my favorite agency and I managed the translation and typesetting of three brochures because some new client guy spontaneously had to go to Europe to meet with a potential customer.
The source text wasn't even ready when I made the deal with my long-term agency. We got our adrenaline going. The source text was only a draft, was crawling with typos, sucked, no time to proofread. The translation was cool, the editor was fast, the PM did one heck of a typesetting job, I did the final check - and we sent this guy off to Europe to meet his hopefully new friend somewhere in Berlin. With three gorgeous brochures.

I love my profession.


 

Patricia Prevost  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
I did it last month May 1, 2012

It was a very short text and I didn't really reject the translation but asked the "author" to correct it so that I could translate it. There was no problem, he undestood and sent me a decent text to translate.

 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:31
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
International Agency websites May 1, 2012

It depends!
I am a bit wary of agencies whose websites are in poor English, or translatese.

What are their proofreaders going to do to my English texts?

Any experience?


 
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Poll: Would you turn down a job offer because it is poorly written (grammar/spelling errors)?

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