Poll: Have you ever happened to get the same text for translation twice?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:07
Dec 3, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever happened to get the same text for translation twice?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maciej Andrzejczak

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A document from an embassy Dec 3, 2005

In the Dutch Embassy of Peru, they are used to handling a paper, when visas are rejected, to people explaining the cause of the rejction. It's a document of about 15 lines, stating that your visa has been rejected because there are no guarantees that somebody can support you when being there, or other things. The curious thing is that this paper they give to Spanish-speaking people, completely written in Dutch. So people have these big question marks and they really want to know the causes. I first translated the document together with my husband, and was surprised when some months later I got again the same paper some couple times more for different individuals. I used the same model and only had to change the name, cause the text was identical. I haven't got more customers asking for the translation of such paper; perhaps they realised at the Embassy their inconvenience (though convenient for me) and now are handling the paper in Spanish?


chopra_2002  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:37
English to Hindi
+ ...
No, but I got Dec 3, 2005

the same text for back translation which I had translated earlier for another agency.


Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:07
German to English
+ ...
Well, almost the same ... Dec 3, 2005

I voted yes, although the texts were not completely the same.

But I have had almost identical texts from different sources on a couple of occasions:

One author wrote about the same building in two different books for different publishers, and I got to translate them both. The texts were about 60% identical, if I remember rightly.

One property development company changed from one agency to another for the English version of its annual statement, and about half of the text was identical. And guess who both of these agencies sent the texts to!

Both examples are many years ago. No recent examples.


marie-christine périé  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:07
English to French
+ ...
Twice! Dec 3, 2005

Yes, it happened to me twice. Both were films that I subtitled for DVDs and I think it has something to see with the different zones and codes, although I don't know much about it.
Anyway, the 1st time I was very honest and told the co I had already translated this film and what should I do? They said I could look at my previous translation but not copy it as it belonged to the company I had translated it for the 1st time - which made sense. The 2nd time I did the same without bothering to ask.

I get very low fees for subtitling (there's no way I can live on it) but I still do some because I love it. So both times this happened to me, I actually felt I deserved to make some money with it at last!


Ines Garcia Botana  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
Three times or more Dec 3, 2005

They came from the same agency. I informed them about it, they said it was not "my problem" (sic). I insisted as it was the same translation for the same client.(One pharmaceutical, another one "watches", "cosmetics", etc.)
It was a complete waste of time. I did them again, or copied my old translation.




Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:07
German to English
+ ...
How much does the customer need to know? Dec 3, 2005

Actually, this happens to me regularly. I translate medical reports from German-English for an agency in the Arab world. Hardly any of the customers understand German and very few of them understand English either, so they don't really know what they are having translated and it often happens that after a few weeks or months, I get the same reports again. As soon as I realize this, I inform the agency, as I think it it better to be upfront about this.
Once however, I received a long contract for a car dealership. It didn't take long to realize that it was EXACTLY the same as a contract that I had done earlier for a different manufacturer.
I contacted the agency, and it was for a different customer, so I got paid twice.icon_smile.gif) Nice, because I hate contracts.


avantix  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:07
German to Dutch
+ ...
Back and forth Dec 4, 2005

It only happened to me once, approx. 15 years ago, and I found it both stupid and hilarious. From an newspaper I received an interview to translate from English into Dutch. The interview was recorded on tape. A few days after the interview had been published without further editing, apart from a few non-essential sentences left out, the client asked me to translate the published article into English. When I pointed out that they already had the entire original text and only had to type it out, they replied: "No, our staff are not too familiar with English and they might a) make typos and b) not quite understand what parts were left out. Just do it please, and we pay you the full rate." So they did.

[Edited at 2005-12-04 03:00]


Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:07
English to German
Not quite, but... Dec 4, 2005

I once received a text which I quoted for and the client (not the agency that sent it to me) said it was too expensive. A couple of days later I was approached by a different agency with the same text. I quoted again - same price - and got the job.

I also regularly get texts that contain passages from previously translated texts. I always inform the client, but they treat it as different jobs, so I get paid twice.

[Edited at 2005-12-04 08:17]


Nicole Xia  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Chinese to English
+ ...
lucky one Dec 4, 2005

i voted no, those who got must be very lucky.


Ma. Fernanda Blesa  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
voted no but... Dec 16, 2005

may_xia wrote:

i voted no, those who got must be very lucky.

yes, indeed! My original answer was "no", but then this week I received a text to translate from portuguese into english... which I translated last november from english into spanish! I cleared the situation with my original contractor naturally and they said go ahead use it, so I guess I can't complain about Santa's presents this Xmasicon_biggrin.gif


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