Poll: Do you work on projects that are divided among multiple translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:24
SITE STAFF
Sep 8, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work on projects that are divided among multiple translators?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:24
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Sep 8, 2014

Sometimes, but only with two former colleagues whose work I trust.

PS I have worked also on split projects for TWF.


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Rudolf Frans Maulany  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:24
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Sep 8, 2014

Yes, sometimes. Especially if it is a big translation project like translating a medical dictionary/dictionary/medical textbook, etc. or a multilingual projects of a multinational company translated for several countries or in several languages(for example when I was working with the UN).

[Edited at 2014-09-08 10:29 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 8, 2014

I occasionally have to put an ad hoc team together for larger jobs, but very rarely. I tend not to accept work if it involves working with too many cooks. The wry English phrase "designed by a committee" to describe anything clunky springs to mind.

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:24
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
sometimes Sep 8, 2014

It's been a while though. I have done large projects divided among 2 or 3 translators. It's ok if it's organized and well coordinated. In one case, it wasn't. the PM was disorganized and unprofessional, one of the translators jumped ship and I had to find another one, and the end client was also a disorganized mess. I never worked with that agency again! but I won't rule out a group project as long as it's not more than 2 people.

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Texte Style
Local time: 00:24
French to English
how do you know? Sep 8, 2014

Sometimes you don't even know that you only have part of the project, when it's been split up judiciously

I know, I sometimes had to split projects when I was a PM and since the boss was paranoid there was no question of letting translators talk amongst themselves to ensure termino was consistent, so yours truly had to check on that while proofreading the lot.


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Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:24
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 8, 2014

Had a very long one (55,000 for me and 30,000 each for three other translators) not long ago.

I tend to like to turn in a project-specific glossary with the most important terms so that the poor proofreader/editor at least know what terms I'm using.

Sometimes I'll send in the "glossary so far" about half-way through, in case the client prefers other terminology.

However, I generally refuse proofreading/editing jobs for multi-translator projects. I don't think there's a rate high enough to convince me to do it.

I feel that as long as my work is of top quality, the final quality of the overall text is my client's responsibilty, not mine, so I have no qualms in accepting this kind of project if I find it interesting (either financially or intellectually).


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Mariel Azoubel  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:24
English
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Sep 8, 2014

Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales wrote:

I tend to like to turn in a project-specific glossary with the most important terms so that the poor proofreader/editor at least know what terms I'm using.

Sometimes I'll send in the "glossary so far" about half-way through, in case the client prefers other terminology.



Because most of my clients are translation agencies I end up working multi-translator projects half the time, and I found doing that (sending in a glossary of most important terms - if those terms aren't already in a client glossary that needs to be followed that is) is really helpful for all parties involved


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:24
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes. sometimes Sep 9, 2014

And, this is becoming more frequent with my main customer.

With the last project, that lasted close on 2 months, I used Trados and had to access the TM which was in my customer's server 200 kms away from my computer. There was no problem with computer speed in terms of accessing and searches, etc., however, it contained translations that had not been finally approved by the client or were still in the process of being changed. As a result, I had to spend an disproportionate amount of time just sifting through similar translations to find the most frequently used variant instead of focusing more on my own translation, which the client - fortunate for me - opted to use as the benchmark.
In all, from what I could see, the project involved close on 30 (!) translators and reviewers. As you can imagine, this is a huge recipe for inconsistency. Put just 2 chefs in a kitchen with the same ingredients and, if you're lucky, you'll get the same meal but prepared and cooked differently. Now think what'll happen when the translation is dished out among 12 to 15 translators. BTW, we were all given a style guide to follow that outlined various conventions, numbering rules, do's 'n don't's, etc. to provide a certain level of consistency throughout the manual, for a major automobile manufacturer. And the termbase that was supplied to us all from the outset was updated several times during the course of the project.

In Conclusion
Though this was by far not the perfect way of translating, it was the ONLY way under the circumstances to get the project finished and done on time. Ideally, my customer should have given the entire project to, ahem, yours truly. However, I figured out that if the other translators were translating just as much as I was, then it would have taken me close on 2 whole years to finish the project, by which time the product I was translating would have become obsolete.


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