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Puzzled by proofreader's notes
Thread poster: Jenny Forbes

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:10
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Mar 31, 2012

Three days ago, I returned a translation to a newish client, well before the deadline, having overtyped copies of the source files as requested.
Yesterday (Friday) at about 6:00 pm, I received a proofread version of my work from a different PM asking me to "make corrections and return a clean file".
On looking at the proofread version, I found that the proofreader had in several instances highlighted a word or phrase in yellow. When I pointed the mouse at the yellow passages, a note appeared saying "Property change" followed by the proofreader's first name. Nothing else. No indication of what was allegedly wrong. I referred back to the source files but couldn't find anything wrong with the way I had translated the word or phrase.
Further on, another proofreader's yellow note said something had been omitted. Again, I referred back to the source file but couldn't find any missing words or phrases.
I'm baffled by this. I emailed the PM who had sent me the proofread version saying I couldn't understand the proofreader's notes and requesting an explanation but, by that time, of course it was after 7:00 pm and presumably they'd all gone home for the weekend.
Could any Prozian enlighten me about what this yellow "Property change" note could mean?
Thanks in advance,

Puzzled of Penzance


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 15:10
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Cases in EN>TH pair Mar 31, 2012

Your matter is quite common for EN>TH language pair; we have many new [unqualified] translators, proofreaders, editors and agencies. I need to give lecture to them on daily basis since I run translation jobs since 1970s.

In particular, English > Thai jobs are surprising coming from where no native Thais are working. Tedious ways of speaking are needed to convince about what is what even etiquette of proofreaders.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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F Scott Ophof  Identity Verified
Belize
Local time: 02:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
Assuming MS Word and listing the obvious Mar 31, 2012

Jenny, can we assume that:
- 'Track changes' is ON.
- The highlighted stuff is not a slightly different font or size.
- It's not a matter of bold/italics/underline.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:10
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Listing a bit more obvious Mar 31, 2012

Are there any comment references in the text, like [PR1]? If so, click on them and see what they say. To add comments of your own, open the Review toolbar.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:10
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still puzzled ... Mar 31, 2012

Gentlemen,
Thank you for your replies. Yes, the files are in MS Word. Yes, "track changes" is on. Yes, these notes highlighted in yellow are numbered, but when I click on them all I see is the proofreader's first name, the date and the words "Property change". Nothing else. No, there doesn't seem to be any change of font or font size. I overtyped the source files, so the fonts and font sizes are the same as in the original document. Thus, I remain puzzled.
I suppose that when the client returns to work on Monday I'll receive some explanation of what is required, by which time it will be well after the deadline. Perhaps, as Soonthon suggests, the proofreader doesn't know how to proofread properly? Hasta entonces ...
Jenny

[Edited at 2012-03-31 07:50 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:10
French to German
+ ...
What always puzzles me... Mar 31, 2012

What always puzzles me... is the fact that clients systematically get back to the translator when they do not understand the proofreader's work.

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F Scott Ophof  Identity Verified
Belize
Local time: 02:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
You have already sent them your invoice, yes? Mar 31, 2012

If not, I would suggest sending it ASAP, well before the deadline, mentioning that the request for correction (time/date received) is unclear, that you received no timely reply from them (mention names & other identifying data), so you cannot accept it as a reason to possibly defer payment.
Include that you're forwarding to the original PM your request for clarification.
I suggest sending this email to PM number 2 and CC-ing it to your original PM.
It's then up to them to suggest/offer/discuss a deadline-extension.

I may be overly suspicious, and I hope I'm wrong, but...
Especially since, as you said, this is a newish client.

A proofreader who doesn't know his job is the client's problem to solve. Not yours if it affects the deadline.

Have you checked the client's record on ProZ's Blue Board?


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F Scott Ophof  Identity Verified
Belize
Local time: 02:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
But not the case here Mar 31, 2012

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
What always puzzles me... is the fact that clients systematically get back to the translator when they do not understand the proofreader's work.

Isn't that a good thing? at least the translator gets a chance at defence.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:10
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
My thoughts Mar 31, 2012

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

What always puzzles me... is the fact that clients systematically get back to the translator when they do not understand the proofreader's work.


You are speaking my mind, Laurent. Apparently the outsourcers never seem to question the proofreader's qualification but always the translator's. This can be a little tricky when the proofreader is not a native speaker of the target language.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:10
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh dear ... Mar 31, 2012

F Scott Ophof wrote:

If not, I would suggest sending it ASAP, well before the deadline, mentioning that the request for correction (time/date received) is unclear, that you received no timely reply from them (mention names & other identifying data), so you cannot accept it as a reason to possibly defer payment.
Include that you're forwarding to the original PM your request for clarification.
I suggest sending this email to PM number 2 and CC-ing it to your original PM.
It's then up to them to suggest/offer/discuss a deadline-extension.

I may be overly suspicious, and I hope I'm wrong, but...
Especially since, as you said, this is a newish client.

A proofreader who doesn't know his job is the client's problem to solve. Not yours if it affects the deadline.

Have you checked the client's record on ProZ's Blue Board?


Hello F Scott,
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I sent the invoice with the work - I always do and it's the end of the month, anyway, and the accounts department acknowledged receipt. Good idea to send the request for clarification to the original PM - will do.
I did check the agency's Blue Board record, which is good, before accepting work from them, but you're right - maybe it's an excuse to delay payment. However, PM Nº 2 didn't say anything about the deadline or about delaying payment.
Naturally, I'll keep an eye on it and will report any outcome here.
Jenny


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F Scott Ophof  Identity Verified
Belize
Local time: 02:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
Main hurdle taken, but... Mar 31, 2012

Would you expect them to say anything about the deadline or about delaying payment?

No doubt we'll all be here, holding our collective breaths...

[Edited at 2012-03-31 08:47 GMT]


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:10
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Formatting change due to different Word settings? Mar 31, 2012

I don't think I have ever seen this "Property Change" in Word but I suspect it might have to do with settings in Word. Ie. the reviewer receives the Word document with "Track Changes" enabled and opens it in her/his version of Word where the settings are slightly different from your settings. (Which is hard to avoid as it seems that no two users will ever have exactly the same settings.) The reviewer then saves the document and Word sees that the settings are now different and tracks them as "changes".

This is a very annoying part of the otherwise very useful Track Changes feature.

When I am the one making the changes, I try to avoid this by first opening the document and disabling the Track Changes feature for a moment. I then click through the document or select all text for a moment until the document "gets used to" my Word settings before turn Track Changes back on. (Not a very scientific approach but it seems to work.)

As I said I don't know this as "property change" but only as "style change" or "formatting change" (very often happens when the language setting, for instance, is different; it might say "language changed from English to German" or "Formatting: French" or something similar - often with a couple of languages in between if a project manager with different language settings opened the document along the way).

If this is indeed the case and there are no other real changes then I would simply get back to the client with a clean file (accept all changes) and say that you are pleased that the reviewer didn't make any changes to your translation.


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Texte Style
Local time: 09:10
French to English
* Apr 1, 2012

F Scott Ophof wrote:

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
What always puzzles me... is the fact that clients systematically get back to the translator when they do not understand the proofreader's work.

Isn't that a good thing? at least the translator gets a chance at defence.


No the client doesn't systematically get back to the translator. Sometimes they just go ahead and make the changes - for better or for worse!

If they do contact the translator I think that's great, it's a chance to work things out. No one's perfect, we all make mistakes. So the translator can explain why they used the terms they chose, the agency or client can make other suggestions, you can reach an agreement, disaster can be avoided.

To get back on topic,
Jenny did they make any general remarks? A few weeks ago I got feedback from a client where they made one general remark in their e-mail, then highlighted the instances of this in yellow

(they all proved to be unfounded remarks thank goodness).


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:10
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No, no remarks Apr 1, 2012

Thomas, thanks for your suggestions. Yes, I suspect the mystery yellow notes have something to do with the way the source file was formatted. I'm reluctant to accept or reject anything at this stage because I don't know what I'd be accepting or rejecting.
Texte Style, no, PM Nº 2 didn't make any general remarks, just asked me "to make the corrections and send a clean file".
Thanks again, everyone, for your interest. Monday looms and I suppose the client will get back to me with an explanation of what is wanted.
I'll keep you posted - I know that F. Scott for one is holding his breath ... ☺
Best wishes,
Jenny


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F Scott Ophof  Identity Verified
Belize
Local time: 02:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
I cheated, Jenny Apr 1, 2012

Jenny Forbes wrote:
I'll keep you posted - I know that F. Scott for one is holding his breath ... ☺


I breathed into a bag, taped it shut, and am holding *that*... ;->


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