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Poll: Have you ever been 'reprimanded' by a PM or client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Oct 26, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been 'reprimanded' by a PM or client?".

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Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
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But have I ever "reprimanded" a PM? Oct 26, 2014

Particularly those who flag every email, no matter how routine, as important...

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2009)
English to German
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Others Oct 26, 2014

Reprimanded for what? Timely delivery of an accurate translation? For pointing out mistakes even in the source text? For immediately asking when something is unclear in the source text?

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
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«Reprimanded»? No! Oct 26, 2014

My teenage years are long gone! In 30 years of professional practice, I have received a total of 5 negative feedbacks. It turns out that 4 of them weren’t valid at all. Sometimes what at first seems a negative feedback is a matter of mere preference and I look at these as constructive…

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Reprimanded???? Certainly not! Oct 26, 2014

Taking the dictionary definition of reprimand as

to tell somebody officially that you do not approve of them or their actions
(Oxford Advanced Learner's)

or
To tell someone officially that something they have done is very wrong
(Longman Dictionary of contemporary English)

Then I would be seriously worried about the large percentage who answer yes.

There should be no justification for a reprimand from a client to a translator - it amounts to an accusation of doing something unethical or unprofessional. I would simply never work for that client again. (Probably they would not want to work with any translator they felt it necessary to reprimand either.)

If a 'reprimand' is understood as a ticking off, as one might give to a naughty schoolchild, then I have had enough of those at school, and learnt to respond like an adult or ignore them if I felt they were unjustified. But I would still never accept that kind of thing from clients. I make sure that it would be totally unjustifiable.

Of course, over the years I have had clients who were less than satisifed with what I delivered, sometimes due to a mistake on my part, or due to a misunderstanding. We have always reached an agreement. I have rarely lost a client as a result.


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:11
English to Russian
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Yes Oct 26, 2014

I don't think it is appropriate here to agrue about the exact meaning of the word "reprimand". And I don't think those who replied "no" were honest.

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Samantha Payn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
Member (2008)
Russian to English
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No Oct 26, 2014

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

I don't think it is appropriate here to argue about the exact meaning of the word "reprimand". And I don't think those who replied "no" were honest.


Alexander, everyone always argues about the exact meaning of the poll question and how it could have been phrased better - that's part of the "joy" of this particular discussion thread

However, I do take issue with your statement accusing those who replied "no" of dishonesty. For most English speakers "reprimand" is a stronger expression than "remark", "comment" or even "criticism". More like "выговор" than "замечание", perhaps, although I'm willing for you to correct me on that

[Edited at 2014-10-26 13:11 GMT]


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:11
English to Russian
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Well, of course there can be exceptions... Oct 26, 2014

Samantha Payn wrote:

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

I don't think it is appropriate here to argue about the exact meaning of the word "reprimand". And I don't think those who replied "no" were honest.


Alexander, everyone always argues about the exact meaning of the poll question and how it could have been phrased better - that's part of the "joy" of this particular discussion thread

However, I do take issue with your statement accusing those who replied "no" of dishonesty. For most English speakers "reprimand" is a stronger expression than "remark", "comment" or even "criticism". More like "выговор" than "замечание", perhaps, although I'm willing for you to correct me on that

[Edited at 2014-10-26 13:11 GMT]


Again, let's stop splitting hairs about the meaning.
Also, reprimand can be rightful or wrongful. I often met very rude and ignorant clients and bosses. But since the question is asked as it is asked, I'm firmly convinced that however high your self-esteem, it is most probably incorrect to reply "no". After all, even God has been reprimanded)


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:11
Danish to English
+ ...
No, and that's the honest truth Oct 26, 2014

Reprimands can only come from superiors or someone who has a right to correct our behaviour; no client of mine has that position or right.

Have I had clients who have wanted to discuss my translations? Yes, one or two, once or twice, but that is part of the job. Translation is not an exact science, and there should be room for flexibililty and corrections. It all just helps us improve...


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:11
English to Russian
+ ...
strange replies Oct 26, 2014

We are not in a courtroom, and I do not have a degree in law, but I believe one can be reprimanded not only be a person in authority, but by a broader scope of entities, including, say, family members, and, of course, clients. When my client calls and tells me about a mistake in my translation I perceive it as a reprimand regardless of how polite it was put, because I feel guilty as a professionals and I do not seek to find an excuse hiding in legal terms.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:11
Russian to English
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Yes, I don't think the term applies to freelance translators. Oct 26, 2014

Teresa Borges wrote:

My teenage years are long gone! In 30 years of professional practice, I have received a total of 5 negative feedbacks. It turns out that 4 of them weren’t valid at all. Sometimes what at first seems a negative feedback is a matter of mere preference and I look at these as constructive…

You can question the quality of their work, or complain about their work, but you cannot reprimand them, or spank them.

[Edited at 2014-10-26 16:28 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It sort of... Oct 26, 2014

LilianNekipelov wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

My teenage years are long gone! In 30 years of professional practice, I have received a total of 5 negative feedbacks. It turns out that 4 of them weren’t valid at all. Sometimes what at first seems a negative feedback is a matter of mere preference and I look at these as constructive…

You can question the quality of their work, or complain about their work, but you cannot reprimand them, or spank them.

[Edited at 2014-10-26 16:28 GMT]


... reminds me of my boarding school years where anyone who dared to misbehave would be reprimanded by the sisters.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A reprimand is a very serious matter Oct 26, 2014

I agree that there are two kinds of people in the world:
those who are human and make mistakes,
and those who do not admit to making mistakes.

I admit to making mistakes, but a reprimand is not just a complaint about an error or misundertanding. As I understand the word, I have never, as a translator, been reprimanded: that amounts to an accusation of serious misconduct.

Obviously, not everyone understands the word in the same way.

It just goes to show how tricky language is, and how careful you have to be about what words really mean.


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:11
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Proz is formal and "reprimand" = severe Oct 26, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

I agree that there are two kinds of people in the world:
those who are human and make mistakes,
and those who do not admit to making mistakes.

I admit to making mistakes, but a reprimand is not just a complaint about an error or misunderstanding. As I understand the word, I have never, as a translator, been reprimanded: that amounts to an accusation of serious misconduct.

Obviously, not everyone understands the word in the same way.

It just goes to show how tricky language is, and how careful you have to be about what words really mean.


The word "reprimand" would suggest that there has been a breach of the agreed service conditions between translator and customer, which is something I have never knowingly been guilty of. For example, delivery of a translation after deadline without communicating with the agency, which would merit a reprimand.

On the other hand, if my translation isn't good enough or I make too many mistakes (even though no-one ever admits they do) then fair enough, this would merit action on the part of the agency/end customer, but certainly not a reprimand.

[Edited at 2014-10-26 17:50 GMT]


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Samantha Payn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
This ... Oct 26, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

I agree that there are two kinds of people in the world:
those who are human and make mistakes,
and those who do not admit to making mistakes.

I admit to making mistakes, but a reprimand is not just a complaint about an error or misunderstanding. As I understand the word, I have never, as a translator, been reprimanded: that amounts to an accusation of serious misconduct.

Obviously, not everyone understands the word in the same way.

It just goes to show how tricky language is, and how careful you have to be about what words really mean.


I agree with Christine wholeheartedly. I have certainly received criticism of my translation work which I have discussed and resolved with the client, but never a reprimand.


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