Pedantic editor
Thread poster: Heidee (X)

Heidee (X)
Local time: 11:20
English to Italian
+ ...
Aug 23, 2011

Hello everybody,
I did a test translation for an agency and the customer sent me my translation back with the editor’s remarks. The overall evaluation was very good and I got the job, but I noticed the editor made a correction that was grammatically wrong and some remarks on my style that were actually rather irrelevant. I really feel like replying and defending my translation choices, but I should send my reply to my customer and not to the unknown editor. Any advice? Shall I keep my mouth shut and grab the job or struggle to defend the quality of my work at the risk of irritating my customer?


 

Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Member (2007)
Russian to English
+ ...
* Aug 23, 2011

Francesca Di Concetto wrote:

Hello everybody,
I did a test translation for an agency and the customer sent me my translation back with the editor’s remarks. The overall evaluation was very good and I got the job, but I noticed the editor made a correction that was grammatically wrong and some remarks on my style that were actually rather irrelevant. I really feel like replying and defending my translation choices, but I should send my reply to my customer and not to the unknown editor. Any advice? Shall I keep my mouth shut and grab the job or struggle to defend the quality of my work at the risk of irritating my customer?


Don't trouble the trouble, until the trouble troubles you.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends Aug 23, 2011

... on how badly you need the work.

You can either put up and shut up, which is probably the most sensible option, or make a point of arguing with someone who probably isn't approachable in any real sense of the word. Sometimes these editors" follow the credo "I am an editor, therefore I edit"... whether the text needs tweaking or not .

Nowadays, for example, if I find someone has changed "nevertheless" to "however", or vice versa, I usually console myself with a sardonic "the customer is always right" and move on to the next, more pressing item on the agenda.


 

Alma Ramirez  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:20
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
grammatically wrong Aug 23, 2011

I will suggest to informing your customer about the specific correction that was grammatically wrong, supported with the explanation of the correct grammar and references if possible. You can do it before or after you finish the job. Your customer should know about the mistakes the proofreader made.

 

Maya Fourioti  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 12:20
Member (2010)
English to Greek
+ ...
I lost the job when I complained... Aug 23, 2011

If you need the job forget about it.
A while ago I was notified they had to stop my translations in the middle of a project not because they were inaccurate but because of my writing style. It was the appropriate language though. They said they had had conflicting comments and did not know what to do. The model style they expected me to follow was a badly written text in my mother tongue and I refused to reproduce this. ''To keep the customer happy'' they had to get rid of me and have someone else finish the job.
It is the first time in 30 years this has ever happened to me.
All editors have to justify the money they get paid don't they?


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Hi Francesca Aug 23, 2011

Francesca Di Concetto wrote:

Hello everybody,
I did a test translation for an agency and the customer sent me my translation back with the editor’s remarks. The overall evaluation was very good and I got the job, but I noticed the editor made a correction that was grammatically wrong and some remarks on my style that were actually rather irrelevant. I really feel like replying and defending my translation choices, but I should send my reply to my customer and not to the unknown editor. Any advice? Shall I keep my mouth shut and grab the job or struggle to defend the quality of my work at the risk of irritating my customer?


Perhaps you can just inform about the grammatically wrong correction, BTW is it possible to see an example of the grammar mistake? (Just to give you an appropriate opinion).

Good luck!


 

Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:20
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Tell us more about the grammar mistake Aug 23, 2011

Hi Francesca,
please tell us more about the grammar mistake. It could be an editor's glitch, it could be a regional influence (we all tend to think the Italian we use is THE Italian, while sometimes there are regional influences we are not aware of) etc.

Let me understand: is the test you passed part of the job you are supposed to do? Or are 2 different things? If it's part of the job you need to mention the wrong correction in a polite way (and with references, if needed) when you deliver the project. If the test has nothing to do with the job, just let it go.

Laura


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Compliance with style guide Aug 23, 2011

Maya Fourioti wrote:
A while ago I was notified they had to stop my translations in the middle of a project not because they were inaccurate but because of my writing style. ... The model style they expected me to follow was a badly written text in my mother tongue and I refused to reproduce this. ''To keep the customer happy'' they had to get rid of me and have someone else finish the job.


Well, if you don't follow the style guide, and you can't convince the client that the style guide is wrong, then you end up making life more difficult for editors further down the line who will judge your translation against the style guide, thinking that you can't properly follow it.

If a style guide was present in the original poster's situation, it may be that the grammar error was an error that the editor introduced because of the style guide and not because of the editor's own personal views.

If a test translation comes back, and you have *passed* it, then my response would be to not comment on the editor's comments at all, or to comment only on the things that are really, really, really errors. The client is happy with your work, so don't cause further trouble.


 

Heidee (X)
Local time: 11:20
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Aug 23, 2011

Dear colleagues,
Thank you very much to all of you for your wise advice. Since the test was a part of the job I've been assigned, I suppose I'll have to mention the wrong correction before going on with the translation… but I'll just shut up about the rest (that is somewhat subjective) and not "trouble the trouble"icon_smile.gif
Since not everybody here speaks Italian I'll write to Angie and Laura in private about the Italian grammar mistake.
Thanks again!


 

Maya Fourioti  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 12:20
Member (2010)
English to Greek
+ ...
Guess what! Aug 23, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

Maya Fourioti wrote:
A while ago I was notified they had to stop my translations in the middle of a project not because they were inaccurate but because of my writing style. ... The model style they expected me to follow was a badly written text in my mother tongue and I refused to reproduce this. ''To keep the customer happy'' they had to get rid of me and have someone else finish the job.


Well, if you don't follow the style guide, and you can't convince the client that the style guide is wrong, then you end up making life more difficult for editors further down the line who will judge your translation against the style guide, thinking that you can't properly follow it.

If a style guide was present in the original poster's situation, it may be that the grammar error was an error that the editor introduced because of the style guide and not because of the editor's own personal views.

If a test translation comes back, and you have *passed* it, then my response would be to not comment on the editor's comments at all, or to comment only on the things that are really, really, really errors. The client is happy with your work, so don't cause further trouble.


Two hours ago, I got another message quoting the end customer this time, which confirms my objections and stating that the translated texts we were given were translated by volunteers and they might contain inaccuracies and mistakes. It was those texts I was reprimanded for not following!!!! I should also mention that no prrofread document of my work was returned so as to see what the problem was with style. I am just put off. Thank you for your comment.


 


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