Poll: What do you do when you find errors in a translation after delivering it?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:16
SITE STAFF
Dec 31, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do when you find errors in a translation after delivering it?".

This poll was originally submitted by Konbaz . View the poll results »



 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I inform the client if it's not too late Dec 31, 2017

Once a translation is out the door, I rarely look at it again. Time to move on!

That said, sometimes I have received good answers to my KudoZ questions post-delivery that I have passed on to my clients: better solutions, more information - not to correct a flagrant error.

I'm not aware that I have delivered a translation containing a flagrant error, but there may be typos. The text can always be improved, and sometimes the improvements are important enough to "stop the presses" before it's too late.

[Edited at 2017-12-31 08:54 GMT]


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:16
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I tell the client. Dec 31, 2017

I only ever accept staggered deliveries if I'm allowed to still make changes in what I've delivered up to the final delivery.

I rarely look at translations after delivery, unless I'm looking for a previously translated term, and by then it's far too late to do anything about any mistakes I might have made.

If I were to discover a mistake just a day or two later, I would contact the client and offer a discount.


[Edited at 2017-12-31 09:32 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Dec 31, 2017

Usually, I will inform the client if possible, and if I think it is important. However, it depends on how significant the "error" is, and whether or not the client is likely to consider it important. For example, when modifying, updating or rehashing earlier documents, such as instruction manuals or user guides, my clients often lift sections from previous documents which may lead to inaccuracies, for example recently one such text I had to translate mentioned something like "see section 4.1", although the current document did not have a section 4. Obviously I notify the client of this kind of inconsistency.
Likewise, if I use one translation of a term, when other options are possible, I usually comment on this to the client. For example, in IT translations, the three terms "complement/add-on/plugin" are often used to all intents and purposes as synonymous, although there may be differences among them, and their usage and meaning can vary depending on the type of computer language or software, etc. in question. I usually ask the client which term they want me to use in that type of scenario. In fact, EDI, networking and computing are plagued with little grey areas like this, so I find I'm often double and triple checking.
With other clients, for example in market research, there is usually less of this type of thing.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:16
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Dec 31, 2017

I haven’t found any errors for a long time. I’m extremely careful, I always take enough time to revise and all my work is proofread several times, the last one aloud (I must say that in my case it has been the most effective method for error-spotting). It has happened once or twice that I’ve found a better wording immediately after delivering a text after agonizing over a turn of phrase and I’ve always informed the client. Quite often, if I have to go back to a translation for whatever reason, I do ask myself if I should have translated differently. Then I quickly put aside that idea and just go ahead with the work in progress...

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends on the worst possible consequences Dec 31, 2017

When I find a mistake after delivery, my first step is to consider what would be the worst thing that could happen, if any of these mistakes ever became the focus of attention.

If it's serious, I'll apologize and advise the client immediately. If there are no consequences, I'll let it go.


 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Inform client Dec 31, 2017

Informing a client that you've made a mistake and would like to change something in a translation you've already delivered is embarrassing but necessary.
This often happens to me when I'm asked to make partial deliveries of a large document or series of related documents. As I go through them, I become aware of more information that can make me change my mind about how to translate a particular term. It's why I advise clients against partial deliveries and loathe them.


 

Martha Schwan
Brazil
Local time: 13:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Inform my client if It is not too late Dec 31, 2017

It happened to me indeed and when I still have time, I send another file to my client

 

Elena and David Dickens
Italy
Local time: 18:16
Member (2016)
English to Italian
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Inform the client if it's not too late Dec 31, 2017

I also cannot stand partial deliveries and I always tell the customer that the translations might require small amendments before the last part is delivered.
I also inform the customer of mistakes as long as I know they can still be implemented. It doesn't happen often that I find one but it has happened.

Nikki Graham wrote:

Informing a client that you've made a mistake and would like to change something in a translation you've already delivered is embarrassing but necessary.
This often happens to me when I'm asked to make partial deliveries of a large document or series of related documents. As I go through them, I become aware of more information that can make me change my mind about how to translate a particular term. It's why I advise clients against partial deliveries and loathe them.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:16
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
It depends Dec 31, 2017

If it's a typo, I always rely on the corrector's job and I say nothing.
If it's a major mistake, I tell the client and send a new file. In most cases, the client is happy to know that the translator is professional enough to admit his/her own mistakes.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:16
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Inform the client Dec 31, 2017

After having translated a website and it was up, I went back to read it and found an error. I immediately informed my client and they corrected it, thanking me for my professionalism (their word). This was the only time it ever happened. Since it was a good experience, I will continue to inform clients of any errors.

Didn't we have a similar poll a little while back?


 

Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 18:16
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
It's never happened to me Dec 31, 2017

I don't look at my translations once they are delivered. I let go and move on.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:16
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends Jan 1

If I find it shorly after delivery (up to 24 hours), I'll inform the client and send a corrected document.
Many times, I'm translating a series of documents, and the clients asks for partial deliveries. So, after delivering a couple of files, I find a better translation for a term that was in the files delivered earlier. In that case, I also inform the client and send a revised file.
Other than that, I pretend I didn't see it. Informing it too late and trying to correct it is a lot worse than ignoring it, I'm sure.


 


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