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Poll: Would you accommodate a client who asks you to insert errors into your work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:53
SITE STAFF
Dec 5, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you accommodate a client who asks you to insert errors into your work?".

This poll was originally submitted by Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons). View the poll results »



 

Igor Moshkin
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:53
English to Russian
+ ...
It really depends Dec 5, 2017

Sometimes (though, rarely) errors (in original) can be purposeful. I believe they should be inserted into translation.

[Edited at 2017-12-05 08:17 GMT]


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:53
Member (2008)
English to Italian
? Dec 5, 2017

why should someone ask to insert errors in my work?

 

Edwige Thomas  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:53
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
Why? Dec 5, 2017

Please explain why a client would do that.

 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:53
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
with explanation Dec 5, 2017

If the client insisted on a particular term, I would insert it, but accompanied by a clear explanation of why I think it would be wrong, and what solution/translation I would recommend.

 

Maria Simmen
Germany
Local time: 00:53
English to German
+ ...
I did the other day Dec 5, 2017

I was asked to translate a newspaper article that had been written by a "robot journalist", an algorithm, without any human input. Naturally, it wasn't flawless, so I made sure to produce a suitably wonky target text, of course. I did warn my client, though, and they were happy about it.

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:53
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I have Dec 5, 2017

I have on occasion had to use terminology that I know is wrong, but the client insists because "it's in the glossary". I always make sure the client knows that it's wrong, and what they should put instead.

The woman who asked us to add a zero to the amount her father was supposed to have left her, though, was told very sharply to get lost. (yes, that really happened!)


 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:53
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Unfortunately, such situations are not rare Dec 5, 2017

An employee with a few years of high-school English or (less frequently) French who starts "correcting" my work. I always throw fits and call native speakers to support me. Or people who simply do not know the spelling and/or grammar of their mother tongue, which is also common.

 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
I explain Dec 5, 2017

Yes, as a colleague said, these situations are not rare, unfortunately. Some clients are not convinced that certain expressions can be wrong in a certain language and when you correct them (I was the editor), then they come up saying that those are not errors, that they are acceptable, etc. In those cases, after explaining my reasons, I do not insist anymore. After all, it's their text, not mineicon_wink.gif

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Dec 5, 2017

I've never been asked to insert errors into my work...

Of course, over the years I have discussed several translation issues with clients, but after explaining my choice the client has ended up accepting it. Some 15 years ago one of my long-standing customers (a Japanese company) picked a Spanish proofreader for the texts I translate (I translate exclusively into European Portuguese) and it took some time and a LOT of emails back and forth for him to understand that Spanish and Portuguese, though related, are quite different… I also remember an issue with an American multinational conglomerate corporation who insisted that I should write in Portuguese “exite” instead of “hesite”…

[Edited at 2017-12-05 13:09 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-12-05 16:22 GMT]


 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:53
Member
German to English
+ ...
Quite frequently Dec 5, 2017

You can argue with some clients or non-native proofreaders about grammar, expressions, ambiguities or specific words until you are blue in the face, yet they are right as they know your native language better than you do as non-native speakers. I also have some agencies which will not change existing mistakes from previous translators since they will lose face with their client.

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:53
Member (2006)
German to English
If the text Dec 5, 2017

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

Yes, as a colleague said, these situations are not rare, unfortunately. Some clients are not convinced that certain expressions can be wrong in a certain language and when you correct them (I was the editor), then they come up saying that those are not errors, that they are acceptable, etc. In those cases, after explaining my reasons, I do not insist anymore. After all, it's their text, not mineicon_wink.gif


already exists and is a part of their terminology then that is life, and it does not have to be wrong in their world / trade.

I have experienced this with several customers and they do that on purpose to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Normally when I do review work, I always have instructions and a TM. If it is in the TM then I may ask, but will keep it as hey want.

Your question is a bit misleading in this context!


 

Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:53
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
I just can't bring myself to do it Dec 5, 2017

Aha. Yes, I have received this request a few times. No, personally, I refuse to deliver something with mistakes because "the client is used to it" or "they say it that way" or "they're not used to that word." I just can´t bring myself to do it.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends Dec 5, 2017

"The customer is always right".... etc.
"Grytpype­Thynne made a strange request today...."


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Dec 5, 2017

I've done a work for hire. If the client wants to change something, he/she is free to do so, but I can't see any reason why they should expect me to insert an error.

 
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