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Poll: Have you ever received compliments from your clients regarding the quality of your translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:53
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Jun 22, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever received compliments from your clients regarding the quality of your translations?".

This poll was originally submitted by Monika Jakacka. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:53
Member
German to English
+ ...
I said often ... Jun 22, 2012

because, over the years, I have received many compliments, but positive feedback is always a relative rarity and something you might receive for only a very small percentage of the jobs you hand in. A few positive words are always good for the soul though and compliments always brighten up my day.

I work on the theory that the best feedback a customer can give you is offering you another job. And on that basis, I'm guessing that most customers are happy with the quality of my work.


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:53
English to French
+ ...
yes Jun 22, 2012

Mary Worby wrote:

because, over the years, I have received many compliments, but positive feedback is always a relative rarity and something you might receive for only a very small percentage of the jobs you hand in. A few positive words are always good for the soul though and compliments always brighten up my day.

I work on the theory that the best feedback a customer can give you is offering you another job. And on that basis, I'm guessing that most customers are happy with the quality of my work.


+1

exactly my thoughts too


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, often Jun 22, 2012

Mary Worby wrote:

because, over the years, I have received many compliments, but positive feedback is always a relative rarity and something you might receive for only a very small percentage of the jobs you hand in. A few positive words are always good for the soul though and compliments always brighten up my day.

I work on the theory that the best feedback a customer can give you is offering you another job. And on that basis, I'm guessing that most customers are happy with the quality of my work.


The last time early this week. In almost 30 years I received just one negative feedback...


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Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:53
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
So have I Jun 22, 2012

In 5 years I have received only 1 negative comment, although few positive ones.

I agree the best feedback is reverting back to you with more work.

Happy translating and editing!

Natalie


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Same here Jun 22, 2012

I didn't vote often, because that is not how I feel it, but over the years I have had quite a lot of compliments. There are not manythings I do particularly well, so I am pleased with myself when I it happens.

And trusty clients who come back for more are the best kind of positive feedback.

Compliments should be given often enough and when deserved, but still not too often - it makes my day, or even my week when someone says more than the usual thanks and I know they mean it.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:53
Hebrew to English
It's quite a thankless profession...... Jun 22, 2012

So actual compliments are few and far between, although I received a handful in the past year.

With most agencies, no news is good news and if they aren't coming back to you with negative feedback, then they are usually happy with the quality, although it's rare for them to go out their way to come back to you and say how fantastic a job you've done.

Of course it's an ego boost if they do.

I don't particularly care if I get a pat on the back or not, actions speak louder than words and if they keep coming back for more then that is a compliment in itself.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:53
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
It's often difficult (or impossible) for clients to assess quality Jun 22, 2012

More often than not, my clients don't have a high enough standard of English in order to properly assess the quality of my actual translation work, so most compliments relate to professionalism in a broader sense.

It's been nice on the rare occasions I have done translations for native English-speakers who also have an appreciation for good writing and/or for the craft of translation; their feedback can be highly nourishing!


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:53
English to German
+ ...
Yes. Jun 22, 2012

It happens once in a while.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
A few times Jun 22, 2012

Most of my clients are Spanish speakers so few of them really have a sufficiently high level of English to know one way or the other, but yes, it sometimes happens, usually when a translated text is accepted for publication or praised by an editor or reviewer who had previously rejected works by the same authors.

The last compliment I recall like that was last month, regarding an article I translated which subsequently had to be amended and revised due to content issues beyond my remit (i.e. not language); here's the email:
"Message flagged Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 10:33
"Hola Neil, ha sido aceptado el artículo que revisaste. Muy buen trabajo en la traducción." (= The article you revised has been accepted. Very good work on the translation.)

Maybe it's silly, but this kind of acknowledgement means a lot to me. I think it's nice to be appreciated and reaffirmed, especially if you usually work alone and get little direct feedback.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:53
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
yes a few Jun 22, 2012

usually at the beginning of a collaboration. Otherwise, i find that silence, or no feedback at all is a 'compliment'. Usually feedback indicates a problem or some dissatisfaction on the part of the client. That has happened occasionally, with a 'difficult' client, for example, who said that i didn't 'get it' (she was trying to be creative).

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Amandine Added  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:53
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
As often as not ... Jun 22, 2012

Well, this week was a happy one, I received 3 goods comments and an award from an agency for Quality so Yippee !!!!!
But generally, silence is already proof that your translation was well received. I've noticed that generally you only hear from client in case of problems. So I'm happy as generally I do not hear back except for next assignment.. which in itself could be analyzed as a reward
However, coming from a legal background (10 years within various legal firms in France) I received more compliments from my clients in the last couple of years than in 10 years of legal practice.
I think, that generally, all professions are thankless but sometimes you find a nice human being and it's rewarding)))


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Like Mary and others Jun 22, 2012

I didn't vote "often," because it's certainly not an everyday occurrence, but I have had many compliments on my work over the years.

I consider it a compliment when the same client comes back to me time after time. I have many clients who call on me over and over again, though I know they have the option of using other colleagues. That's the kind of compliment I can take to the bank.


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Texte Style
Local time: 09:53
French to English
Often of course! Jun 22, 2012

In the beginning, being insecure about my talents, I felt aggrieved that I didn't get more feedback.

However, since then I have come to realise that no news is indeed good news. We're supposed to be invisible, so if nobody makes any comment on the translation, it can only be good.

Funnily enough, compliments often come from unexpected quarters: for projects I found dull or obscure, or even really easy stuff that didn't actually stretch me in any way. When I was working in-house and didn't have much choice as to choice of subject matter, I once got some truly fulsome praise for a repetitive software manual. The client was a perfectionist and was over the moon simply because questions I asked usually brought to light a badly worded source sentence, which he then reworked on the basis of what I had come up with in English. The praise was such that I actually asked him to send it again but copying to the boss, which he promptly did, adding a couple more compliments to boot!

An extract from the compliment I am most proud of, in response to a request for a reference:
"Cette curiosité lui permet de proposer les mots justes, des options fines, rendant les textes traduits aussi subtils que les originaux"
I often wonder how I would translate "options fines"


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:53
German to English
+ ...
I have said often Jun 22, 2012

Although I said often, perhaps I should have chosen "sometimes".

There must be a rash of niceness going around at the moment. Either that, or a rash of really good translations. I too have received three unsolicited compliments this week.

The bulk of my work for agencies passes by rapidly without comment. Nevertheless, I feel validated because requests to do more work keep coming.

We would not be human if we did not receive the occasional complaint too. I have had one of those this year, which was quickly resolved.

I can identify with Marlene Blanshay on the creativity issue. A client felt that a translation of promotional material (which full of dead-boring clichés) should have been more "dynamic". The agency in question defended my work to the client, and only told me about it afterwards. I have since done two more - incredibly dynamic! - translations for the same client.

Poetry in Promotion is my new motto.


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