Poll: Have you ever needed to hire a third party for quality assessment?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:39
SITE STAFF
Jan 30, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever needed to hire a third party for quality assessment?".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:39
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other ... Jan 30, 2013

In fact, "No".

I have asked a friend or colleague to look over something I've done to get their (hopefully unbiased) opinion. Since I "paid for their services" by buying them a few beers technically speaking I have never actually "hired" them.


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never Jan 30, 2013

I never would either, even if I was working directly for an end client. If I had a doubt I would post it here. In any case, I usually work for agencies and it is their job to check my translation.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:39
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends on what is meant here by a third party... Jan 30, 2013

My golden rule for quality assurance is that all my work is proofread by another freelance translator (the only exceptions being very short texts = less than one page). I have an arrangement with an ex-colleague where we provide each other with mutual assistance and cooperation. Some work (medicine) is first revised by an expert (medical doctor) and then proofread.

I wonder though if what is meant here is the need to hire a third party to solve disputes between translators and clients... and in that case my answer is NEVER!

[Edited at 2013-01-30 10:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-01-30 10:02 GMT]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 18:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
For my peace of mind Jan 30, 2013

As a freelancer working with agencies, quality assessment is normally in the hands of the agency's proofreaders and editors. I get a varying degree of feedback.

The only time I have hired a third party directly was when an agency suggested that my translation was unacceptable. I was given a chance to respond to one short text's corrections, which made it patently obvious that the assessor had a shaky command of the English language. Even so, for my peace of mind and to check that I hadn't gone (completely) crazy all of a sudden, I went to the trouble of hiring (and paying for) an independent assessor. Fortunately my opinion was confirmed. I lost out on all the work I had done - a largish project - and lost the client of course, plus got a lot of flak from the client, but at least I haven't lost my self-confidence. Worth it.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 30, 2013

If the question means "do you get someone else to proofread your work", then the answer is "sometimes".

"Quality assessment" sounds to me like management-speak lip-service. An often empty vessel.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes - if it means . . . Jan 30, 2013

hiring someone to make sure I haven't made a mistake.

I've been seeing more and more material related to genetics in my medical translations, and I pay a friend who is a geneticist and knows Spanish to check my translations.


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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:39
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
Perhaps the anonymous pollster could clarify what they meant. Jan 30, 2013

To me, it's not clear whether we're talking about:

- bringing someone in to resolve a quality dispute regarding your own work
- bringing someone in to resolve a quality dispute regarding work that you had subcontracted
- having your own work revised or proofread on a specific job
- proactively approaching a peer or subject-matter expert for feedback as part of your general CPD.

I've done #4.


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:39
German to English
+ ...
No Jan 30, 2013

I am assuming the question is referring to arbitration in cases of quality disputes. No, never.

I did have written into a contract on a very large job once that in the event of there being a dispute as to the correctness of the translation of anything in my work that a mutually agreed and suitably qualified person would be appointed at the publisher's expense to give an opinion on the matter.

As it happened, there were no disputes, but it that clause would have been a useful backstop if required. Queries were dealt with in the normal course of the English (target text) revision.


I have, on one or two occasions, been sent very short texts (less than 200 words) for translation where it turned out my translation (paid for) was used to see whether someone else's translation was up to scratch (but I did not have sight of the other person's translation). I would be interested to know if this has happened to others, and whether such a method ever does help to resolve a quality issue.



Edited for formatting error. PC thought it an was HMTL tag.

[Edited at 2013-01-30 14:39 GMT]


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:39
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Proactive QA Jan 30, 2013

Oliver Lawrence wrote:

- proactively approaching a peer or subject-matter expert for feedback as part of your general CPD.

I've done #4.


Nice. As a fellow proponent of continuing professional development - it doesn't stop, does it - I'm in complete agreement with Oliver here.
I do this occasionally. After all, a second pair of eyes always comes in useful.

However, for regular work, my customers know what to expect of me, so I don't employ the services of a hired hand to proof my work before it is delivered to the customer. Is this what this (yet another!) anonymous pollster was asking?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I've twice asked for proofreading (if that's what's meant here) Jan 30, 2013

Twice I've been cajoled by regular clients to go outside my comfort zone and do a 'one-off' to help them out in times of crisis. On each occasion, although they were agencies and so responsible for proofreading, I didn't want to harm my reputation by turning in sub-standard work. Of course, by the time I sent the text for proofreading, I'd researched just about every word, and I was reassured by the verdict, but it was stress I could do without: there won't be a third time!

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