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Poll: Have you ever received complaints about the quality of your work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:42
SITE STAFF
Feb 11, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever received complaints about the quality of your work?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Maybe once or twice? Feb 11, 2014

Not from my own clients, as far as I recall. One time, one non-regular client via an agency complained about my use of synonymy in a financial text, insisting on using the same term every time it appeared, which was in almost every line of the text. I gave up doing financial texts after that experience.

However, I'm sure I must have handed in work on other occasions that could have been better if I'd been allowed more time.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 16:42
Turkish to English
+ ...
No, never Feb 11, 2014

Never.

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:42
English to Polish
Once Feb 11, 2014

It was a manual and almost half of it was patched up from other manuals (100% segment matches) by the agency. The end client complained that the style was horrible and hard to read and I was not surprised, because the translated segments were of poor quality and clearly work of at least 3 different people. The file was returned to me for full correction and then went to a reviewer who agreed with my changes to translated by other segments, and marked as unnecessary the changes I made to my own translations (I assumed the client could not like my style, so I tried to rephrase as much as I could).

The reviewer's assessment was a kind of proof it was not my poor translation that caused the complain, but the agency's greed, but I was the one blamed for the final disaster.

It was a lesson to always include a disclaimer that I take responsibility for quality of only my own segments when delivering the file, in case another agency is greedy and wants to save by reusing old translations.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:42
Member (2006)
German to English
Once or twice Feb 11, 2014

As the direct customers are not native and have had a week holiday in London and have to prove that their limited knowldege of technical texts is really null.
They changed the text, sent it back to me completey wrong. I just told them that it is at their respinsibility if they want to pront the text with such changes and I do not work withthem nay more.

I must admit that I cannot believe that after working so many years in translation that a translator has not had any complaints about their work, justified or not justified as there are always customer that "can do it better"!
It is the same as driving fast on the German motorway, it does not matter how fast you drive, there is always someone driving faster!

[Edited at 2014-02-11 14:30 GMT]


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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:42
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Once Feb 11, 2014

An end client complained to my client about the quality of the translation. The client sent it to a different linguist for review and dismissed the complaint.
I suspect it had something to do with my not following the TM in instances where the TM contained a bad translation, but I was not told of the exact cause and busy at the time so after dismissal of the complaint I did not pursue it.


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Elina Sellgren  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 16:42
Member (2013)
Finnish to English
+ ...
A couple times Feb 11, 2014

Once the source text was absolutely terrible and I was having a hard time turning it into good target language within the agreed schedule. I simply would have needed more time, but I learned my lesson to ask to see the source before committing to the job and time frame.

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Alexandranow  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 16:42
Romanian to English
+ ...
never from clients Feb 11, 2014

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever received complaints about the quality of your work?".

View the poll results »



Never from any clients but yes from agencies....guess was in order to offer me a lower rate.( must mention agencies were not happy with tests quality....not with my work)

[Edited at 2014-02-11 09:39 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 11, 2014

Once, but the client was way off-base and I never took his complaint as a reflection of the quality of my work. It was a technical article in the field of linguistics, which happens to be my graduate area of concentration. Not only do I know the field, but his (distorted) theory was based on the work of my own mentor, which he had entirely misunderstood. On top of that, his style was nuts. I couldn't figure out what he was trying to say. He got angry at me and told me I was "incompetent."

I have also been told a couple of times about small omissions or mistakes that I made (usually transcribing from PDFs that I couldn't read), but I would call that "feedback" rather than a true complaint.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
All the time Feb 11, 2014

They never stop complaining really. Your work's too good, you deliver too quickly, your prices are too low, and so on and on and on. It's becoming unbearable.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, once! Feb 11, 2014

That's why I took the decision some 20 years ago of using the services of a professional proofreader... It really was the best decision I ever made!

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:42
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
once or twice Feb 11, 2014

The most recent was a revision job that I did. Apparently the 'end client' was not happy but the translation was of such poor quality that anything I did was an improvement. The agency used a completely incompetent translator who had no experience in the area of expertise and I had to basically turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. I didn't really take it personally, but I was not happy with this agency and resolved never to work with them again because they were so amateurish and disorganized.

Another time, a translator didn't like my translation which was also a really poorly written document and worse, she was trying to be creative. It was really the end clients who apparently thought I 'didn't get' the sense of their translation. They seemed to think they were great writers and I simply didn't get their greatness. The agency, however admitted she was a difficult client.

But in all these years, one or two complaints is a pretty good average.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 08:42
German to English
+ ...
two odd ones Feb 11, 2014

1. It turned out that this particular client's department liked to see "20 January 2004" and not "January 20, 2004". Both are acceptable - my choices was seen as "incorrect".

2. In translating a German document, proper names remain the same, which means if there is an Umlaut (2 dots over a vowel), that stays. Somewhere along the way, somebody's version of Word was a very old one, and the Umlauts got changed into weird symbols. The end client then said "Obviously this translator doesn't know German. She can't even transcribe proper names in German. She doesn't know what an Umlaut is!"


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TranslateThis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Poor thing! Feb 11, 2014

Chris S wrote:

They never stop complaining really. Your work's too good, you deliver too quickly, your prices are too low, and so on and on and on. It's becoming unbearable.




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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:42
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Dates Feb 12, 2014

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

1. It turned out that this particular client's department liked to see "20 January 2004" and not "January 20, 2004". Both are acceptable - my choices was seen as "incorrect".

2. In translating a German document, proper names remain the same, which means if there is an Umlaut (2 dots over a vowel), that stays. Somewhere along the way, somebody's version of Word was a very old one, and the Umlauts got changed into weird symbols. The end client then said "Obviously this translator doesn't know German. She can't even transcribe proper names in German. She doesn't know what an Umlaut is!"



Bad luck about the umlauts, but I think the client was right about the dates (possibly, unless they were American). Your second version would not be acceptable in the UK.


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