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Poll: Have you ever translated the same sentence the same way for two different clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:54
SITE STAFF
May 28

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever translated the same sentence the same way for two different clients?".

View the poll results »



 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:54
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 28

As I’ve been around for quite a while, let’s say that it’s quite possible, though I can't remember specifically what it was. One case I remember vividly is when some 20 years ago I got the same paid test translation from two different agencies for a tender. I delivered a slightly different version to both of them (thanks goodness for synonyms).

P.S. I don’t work with TMs and in general my work is not repetitive, but I just remembered one exception: when some years ago I used to work as sworn translator many texts were extremely repetitive (birth certificates, driving licences, passports, identity cards…) and I had a few ready-made templates for those.

[Edited at 2018-05-28 10:48 GMT]


 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:54
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Yes May 28

Yes, that's what TMs were made for!

 

Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:54
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
I haven't the faintest idea! May 28

If I ever have done, it was quite unintentional - though I wouldn't necessary avoid doing so as a point of principle.
I very rarely work with TMs...


 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 01:54
French to English
+ ...
Probably May 28

There are several scenarios where this can happen:

1) Most of my TMs are organised by customer but I do have a few that are organised by subject. If one of these pops up a 100% match, I wouldn't necessarily know which customer I did the original translation for.

2) If the text quotes some regulation or other text that has an "official" translation then I would use that translation. EU regulations and food nutrition labels are obvious examples.

3) If two customers, by chance, use the *exact* same sentence then, in all probability, it will be a fairly simple one and there will only realistically be one good translation for it. I probably wouldn't know that I had used the exact same translation but it could happen.

4) The customer could have copied all or part of a document from another customer's document. Once again, I probably wouldn't know that I had used the exact same translation but it could happen.

I'm sure there are others but these are the ones that spring to mind.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:54
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Precisely May 28

Angus Stewart wrote:

Yes, that's what TMs were made for!



It happens regularly, especially in legal texts.

I have also used my TMs to translate similar sentences differently for the same client!
This was a specific instruction with information about an annual trade fair. The client had tried to vary the source text from year to year, and not allow it to become a fixed ritual, even though a lot of it was similar from year to year.


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:54
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes May 28

If the exact same source sentence comes up in my source files, it is often as part of a template, so the exact same translation is required.
If the exact same source sentence comes up outside a template, I may vary a little or use the same translation, depending on the rest of the document.


 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 02:54
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Of course! May 28

There's no point in avoiding that, unless you're working on certain types of marketing texts. But then again, it wouldn't be your fault if two clients are using the same pitch.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:54
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 28

There's very little repetition in my work, but I have seen that I will translate my own work exactly the same way even with years in between.

 

Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:54
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
OMG, yes. For 20 different clients. May 28

If you do Legal ... the same language comes up, over and over. Boilerplate sentences. I know them by heart.

[Edited at 2018-05-28 15:20 GMT]


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:54
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes May 28

Not exactly the same but similar sentences. Over the years, I have developed my own writing style and editorial rules, which can be applied to most of the work I do for the majority of my clients.
As a technical translator/writer, it's my job to write clear, simple and easy-to-understand English that can be understood by non-native speakers of English around the world. So, my answer is 'Yes' although the exact same sentences hardly every crop up but are variations on a 'theme' like the preamble/product liability and troubleshooting sections of manuals, for example.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oops! May 28

I misread the question as "Have you ever translated the same sentence in two different ways for the same clients?" ... but the answer would still be probably, yes.

 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:54
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes May 28

Not least in these GDPR days.

 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 17:54
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Standard phrases May 28

It's like Justin says, over time, especially in legal work, you develop your own standard translations for certain phrases or sentences. For some types of documents I have developed templates, where all I have to do is fill in the new information.

 

Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:54
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
In witness whereof... May 28

Tina Vonhof wrote:

It's like Justin says, over time, especially in legal work, you develop your own standard translations for certain phrases or sentences. For some types of documents I have developed templates, where all I have to do is fill in the new information.



I never thought I'd write "In witness whereof..." in 100 different documents. icon_smile.gif


 
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