Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: What do you do if you find an already existing translation of the text you are working on?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:06
SITE STAFF
Jan 15, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do if you find an already existing translation of the text you are working on?".

View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 15, 2016

It depends on the client and to some extent on the text. Working for big business or official institutions is not always perceived the same way as when working with a small company or an individual. In some cases, I would definitely inform the client, whereas in others I might be less likely to do so, for example if I know the client well and expect them to say never mind, go ahead and translate it anyway... And my version might be an improvement on the original translation. For example, if it is a long-standing client and I have a version of the text in my translation memories, I usually mention the fact to them, but they invariably say never mind, go ahead and translate it anyway. Which is niceicon_smile.gif

I remember once a colleague of mine was asked by a Department of the local town Hall to translate an EU document into French. While researching some terms in the document, my friend found that the text in question had already been translated into several EU languages, and was actually on file and available to the public in the office next door to the one that had ordered the translation. When she asked me for advice, my opinion was that if the people in the office next door were so ignorant of their own surroundings, and the EU matters they were supposed to be aware of, that it probably wouldn't make any difference to them one way or the other. So, she went ahead and did the translation anyway, using the already translated version as a basis, but making several improvements along the way. I don't think she did anything terribly wrong, although some might differ.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don’t know, it has never happened to me! Jan 15, 2016

I can’t remember ever finding the whole translation, but I do find quite often various paragraphs or segments of the text (mostly EU documents) and I’ll invoice it as I see fit…

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:06
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
like Neilmac Jan 15, 2016

I found myself in a very similar situation as your colleague, Neilmac.

I was asked to translate a document about some new EU directive related to the client's business. I did a draft, and it was rather painful because legal is not really my cup of tea. I only accepted the job because it was not too long and the client was really really nice and I knew I could bug her with tons of questions if necessary.

Once I had got through my draft I started doing research and found the original on Internet. The text had been modified, with various omissions and additions (mostly examples of what the client thought might apply for their clients) but all the tricky termino was right there.

Given that I had already done a fair bit of work on the document and that I did have to go through very carefully making sure to handle the omissions and additions properly, I decided to bill as normal. I had only a short while previously done some extra work at no charge for this client and figured that this evened things out somewhat.

On another very similar occasion the client said that they knew very well that the text was out there, but they were afraid of tweaking the text themselves in English and thought that the hassle of comparing their text and the original directive made it well worth their while to have me do it. I then asked them to simply tell me about the original from the outset so that I would be sure of using the right terms.


 

Georgia Morgan  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:06
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
better to use the "original" Jan 15, 2016

I was recently translating a court document (from Portuguese to English )which contained parts of the Hague Convention (in Portuguese). I thought the correct thing to do was to find the original version of the Hague Convention, in English, and use that, rather than making up my own. I did not feel it necessary to inform the client of what I had done.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
More often than not Jan 15, 2016

I either laugh or cry

 

Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:06
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 15, 2016

This has happened to me on several occasions, I always spend time searching the web for texts that can help me during my translation, if I find the complete text -or a main part of it- already translated, I use it, although reviewing it and making all the necessary changes. I do not inform my client because as others have said, they should be able to find these translated versions on-line. Let's face it, there are no secrets on the Internet, these days, are there?

Have a good day,
Nigel.


 

Odile Stuart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
I use the translation and inform the client Jan 15, 2016

I didn't find the answer that applied to me so chose the nearest (3rd I think).
I always go for honesty as anyway it can be found out later. Though I will not act on the PO. Unless the client really finds this unfair I will not change the amount agreed.
Translations are to be shared in my view, I don't think I have the privilege of translating over others, we all have our styles.
Furthermore, if I use a translation out there, available on the net, I will more often than not, edit it and adapt it to the rest of the translation.
All in all it is a work in progress.
The ultimate result is that it fits in the client's request or PO.

[Edited at 2016-01-15 10:35 GMT]


 

Louise Péron  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to French
It's always best to talk about it with the client Jan 15, 2016

I think it would be important to talk about it with the client, not to offer a discount as suggested in the poll, but to check whether or not they want to reuse the material that's already been translated.
I offer copywriting services besides translation and have on some occasions been asked to rewrite the client's content to refresh it. Sometimes client don't give many directives so it's best to ask about it.
They might also be employing a new translator because they were not happy with the previous translation, which could seem like a good translation to you but that doesn't meet their expectations for whatever reason.


 

Bora Taşdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:06
Member (2012)
English to Turkish
+ ...
It depends... Jan 15, 2016

I have found the translation of the source text once or twice... But not of the whole text though! In these situations, I just check the translation and make required amendments, then determine the final form of the translated text. Directly copying would not be a professional approach. In some cases of course the client should be informed, but who would inform an unrespectful, not-paying-on-time clinet? If you know what I meanicon_wink.gif

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Inform the client Jan 15, 2016

More than once I've been asked to translate a document that I know already exists in English. I always inform the client. Once it was a translation I had done myself. The client told me to use it and paid me anyway.

This is quite different from a quotation that that is a translation of a target language original. I don't bother to tell the client because I often take longer to find it than it would have taken me to translate it from scratch. That's just part of my job.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:06
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Good question Jan 15, 2016

On the occasions when I remember it has happened to me, the text was on the client's own website or somewhere like that.

There are two scenarios. One is that they have forgotten, or they want it updated, and then I do tell them and ask whether they want me to proofread and revise it, or whether they want it translated from scratch, and we take it from there.
I usually check clients' websites for terminology, general style and whatever else I can make use of, so if they already have a version, I want to know what to change and what to leave well alone!

The other, more frequent case is that they have put up a temporary version translated by their sales department with the help of Google Translate, and they want me to do a proper version ASAP.
In the latter case I ignore the earlier version, or only use terminology, and of course give them my best work at full price.


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
Italian to English
Two situations Jan 15, 2016

This has happened to me a few times.
In a few cases, an agency has forgotten that I have translated the text for them before (or not realised it was the same). In that case I tell them, unless it is just certain sentences / paragraphs in a longer text.
In other instances, the previous translations were really not good enough; I have used them for reference but they didn't save me very much time in the long run, so I charged my full rate, without mentioning it to the client.


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:06
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends... Jan 15, 2016

If it is a complete text, I would tell the client, even if it means losing the job.

If the translated text surfaces from the TM, I may give the client a discount.

If it is a question of quotes or paragraphs, i.e. not so much a case of stumbling upon a translation as knowing that a translation must exist and therefore spending (sometimes considerable) time searching for the existing translation - which can often take much longer than simply translating the text from scratch - I will charge the client my full rate. There won't be any need to tell the client about this; it would more be a question of them expecting me to know that a translation exists and that I will do the necessary research.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
inform Jan 15, 2016

(Un)fortunately, most translators are rather poor businessmen and most clients are rather poor in dealing with heaps of information too. No prob here.

As a rule I do inform my clients about available translations (especially if the quality seems ok) yet they ALWAYS ask me to do 'a different' translation--no discounts or whatever. Perhaps, it has to do with the quality or possible copyright issues.

Several times they asked me to translate very similar 'updated' docs and I gave no discounts.
Life gives no discounts either)


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: What do you do if you find an already existing translation of the text you are working on?

Advanced search






CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search