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What do I do after getting a review of my sample text back.
Thread poster: Geetha Ramapuram

Geetha Ramapuram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:14
Italian to English
+ ...
Jul 5, 2013

Hi,
I just got back a review of my sample text back. While I really am grateful to the agency for letting me know my errors, I am not sure how to proceed. Do I write back acknowledging my errors and apologizing for them or do I correct the sample text and resend it? I'm not sure about the latter. While it is something I would do for a job, should I do it for a sample text??


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:44
English to Polish
+ ...
No point Jul 5, 2013

There's no point trying to fix the sample, it was only for evaluation, and nothing to apologise for, either. You may want to defend your choices that you believe were not errors, and justify any errors that were caused by ambiguities, lack of information etc.

 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:44
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Apologising for the errors Jul 5, 2013

I agree with Lukasz that there is no point apologizing for the sample, but I would be very grateful if the agency let me know what were the errors-not many agencies do it. I would however, avoid a tug-of-war situation, just thank them for pointing them out; if there were "errors" you feel were not "errors", maybe justify why you used certain terms instead of others, as Lukasz said, but accept their overture-the choice of translator has been made, after all-so, no use making an enemy of this client. GL

 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Whatever you do won't make any difference Jul 5, 2013

I once got really annoyed when an agency sent me my sample back, only for me to notice that the reviewer had littered my text with errors and was clearly not a native English speaker. The agency had simply failed me on the basis of the number of changes and not on the basis of the quality of the changes. They hadn't even taken the time to identify whether the changes were style changes or translation changes. I sent a detailed response to which the agency responded that they trusted their reviewer and weren't in the habit of mediating between potential translator/reviewer.
This is fair enough and gave me some insight into how the agency operates but with hindsight it was a complete waste of my time.
My advice would therefore be to just say "thank you" and move on.


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:44
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Just say Thank you and move on Jul 5, 2013

I totally agree; no use crying over spilt milk, and you can only make a situation worse; unfortunately it is a case where the client is always right, so see if their comments are valid or not and move on. Sometimes, they do not even bother coming back with a response either. I say, leave them, don't chase them as it is worse

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Wait and see Jul 5, 2013

I have known agencies to send me tests, 'disappear' for months, and then suddenly surface again with a job.

Apparently many do not have a lot of work in my languages unless they specialise in them, but they like to have someone in their database. If deadlines are tight, they may not want to spend precious time recruiting a new translator.

Unless you feel you need to defend what you wrote, I would simply acknowledge with 'thank you for your feedback' and see what happens.

You may have found a good client who believes in two-way communications, and they are the best, but if the 'errors' are simply petty, don't accept a lot of hassle - you don't get paid for it. icon_frown.gif

Best of luck!


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Definitely! Jul 5, 2013

Josephine Cassar wrote:

I would however, avoid a tug-of-war situation...
... accept their overture-the choice of translator has been made, after all-so, no use making an enemy of this client. GL


If they don't want you for any reasonable or unreasonable motive, the client has the right to choose... even if it's only because your name reminds them of some girlfriend or boyfriend who dumped them in the distant past.

I had a case where whoever scored my 5-subjects test made it very obvious that s/he shouldn't get close enough to a technical translation to touch it with a barge pole. I said absolutely nothing, it was their choice, they were fully entitled to it.

If the translation market were "normal" (IMHO it often isn't), translators would not be entitled to argue with prospects for acceptance; conversely, clients would have no right to impose their rates. Anyone browsing these forums here, upon seeing the discussions about Proz banning job posters with despicable rates, will realize that our market is often upside down.


 

Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:44
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
It might prove a good idea to defend your translation. Jul 5, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

I sent a detailed response to which the agency responded that they trusted their reviewer and weren't in the habit of mediating between potential translator/reviewer.
This is fair enough and gave me some insight into how the agency operates but with hindsight it was a complete waste of my time.
My advice would therefore be to just say "thank you" and move on.


I had the opposite experience. Ca. 3 years ago, I failed a test in one of my specialisations. The reviewer had found 12 "errors" in a 300 word text. In each and every case the "corrections" were only introducing mistakes. I was also a little upset, because I could see the reviewer's name and it was a person I had helped quite often with technical terms through KudoZ. Luckily, in a technical text one can often bring arguments and examples to support one's choices.
So, I took the time and prepared a reply, with examples from bilingual websites etc. so that even the PMs who could not speak greek could understand my reasoning. After two days the agency responded "Sorry, you were right!" and they have been good clients since.


 

gad
United States
Local time: 02:44
Member
French to English
Something similar happened to me once Jul 5, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

I once got really annoyed when an agency sent me my sample back, only for me to notice that the reviewer had littered my text with errors and was clearly not a native English speaker.


I had something similar happen to me - the best part was that there were clearly simple SPELLING errors in the "corrections" the reviewer had made to my work.

And like you, I wrote back nicely, explaining to the agency that I disagreed with the edits. I gave detailed feedback, and got a pretty general non-response in return. Lesson learned, that taught me what that agency is all about, I'm certainly not in any hurry to work with an agency like that either, who likely would send such a final translation to an end client!


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:44
English to Polish
+ ...
Well.... Jul 5, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

If they don't want you for any reasonable or unreasonable motive, the client has the right to choose... even if it's only because your name reminds them of some girlfriend or boyfriend who dumped them in the distant past.


Oh no! You've just reminded me of the last could-have-been girlfriend who dumped for reminding her... erm, never mind.icon_razz.gif

I had a case where whoever scored my 5-subjects test made it very obvious that s/he shouldn't get close enough to a technical translation to touch it with a barge pole. I said absolutely nothing, it was their choice, they were fully entitled to it.


I always let them know. IMHO they have the right to know that someone takes a pay-cheque from their organisation without knowing what he's doing. It's up to them what they do with the knowledge, but they should be told.

If the translation market were "normal" (IMHO it often isn't), translators would not be entitled to argue with prospects for acceptance; conversely, clients would have no right to impose their rates. Anyone browsing these forums here, upon seeing the discussions about Proz banning job posters with despicable rates, will realize that our market is often upside down.


Yeah, kinda like servile jobs of 19th century.

gad wrote:

I had something similar happen to me - the best part was that there were clearly simple SPELLING errors in the "corrections" the reviewer had made to my work.


Happened to me as well with a top agency in these parts. Not only was my 'communal waste disposal ground' or whatever other highly specialised landfill changed to a simple 'landfill' without any adjectives, it was also made into a 'landifll' or something. That in addition to failing my (legal) sample without actually indicating any real errors, only playing around with sentence structure (for the worse) or similar. The recruitment manager still had full confidence in the grader after I told her. Their loss. But I really felt like alerting the newspapers because it was like complete and utter malpractice by one of the most established agencies in the country. Top three or so.

I've also had reviewers take jabs at my style while getting their tenses wrong.

This said, agencies are free to choose who they want to work with or not, just like any contractual party anywhere. They don't owe jobs to good translators or anything of the sort. (Unless they are government-funded.)

[Edited at 2013-07-05 14:58 GMT]


 

Anne Walseth  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:44
English to Norwegian
+ ...
The client changed their mind Jul 5, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

I once got really annoyed when an agency sent me my sample back, only for me to notice that the reviewer had littered my text with errors and was clearly not a native English speaker. The agency had simply failed me on the basis of the number of changes and not on the basis of the quality of the changes. They hadn't even taken the time to identify whether the changes were style changes or translation changes.


This happened to me, too. I did a test translation (in Word), and got it back with the reviewer's changes marked with "track changes". I sent the agency an answer, going through the majority of "errors", pointing out and explaining that they were for the most part preferential changes, or in fact introducing syntactical errors. It seemed to me that the proofreader wanted to justify his/her existence by changing as many things as possible, regardless of whether they were actual errors or not. (I did not say this to the client!). I also acknowledged the one thing that was in fact an error on my part. The response was good, the PM saw my point of view and told me that they were willing to reconsider and enter me into their database after all.

This just goes to show that there are agencies that are reasonable and willing to listen to reason, and that it can be worth while to defend you choices and you work you think the reviewer is wrong.
But of course, you never know beforehand which clients those are.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:44
English to Polish
+ ...
I actually would have Jul 5, 2013

Anne Walseth wrote:

This happened to me, too. I did a test translation (in Word), and got it back with the reviewer's changes marked with "track changes". I sent the agency an answer, going through the majority of "errors", pointing out and explaining that they were for the most part preferential changes, or in fact introducing syntactical errors. It seemed to me that the proofreader wanted to justify his/her existence by changing as many things as possible, regardless of whether they were actual errors or not. (I did not say this to the client!). I also acknowledged the one thing that was in fact an error on my part. The response was good, the PM saw my point of view and told me that they were willing to reconsider and enter me into their database after all.

This just goes to show that there are agencies that are reasonable and willing to listen to reason, and that it can be worth while to defend you choices and you work you think the reviewer is wrong.
But of course, you never know beforehand which clients those are.


(At least in most cases.)


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:44
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Sample translations feedback Jul 5, 2013

Well, I never had the errors pointed out to me; I was just told, that's all. Sometimes, I think in reality it is a ploy to get some "free" work done, as they choose me, not I submit a quote. Sometimes, when I get no feedback, I always think it is a good sign, contrary to what i used to think before, as now I have got used to outsourcers not giving back feedback if everything is ok. And even when they put you on their list, they never get back to you. But, still, whatever, you have to keep professional and put your point of view in a way that does not offend. I only had one bad case where the outsourcer said I had not put down the footnotes properly and they had to redo them. I sent them pictures of how I had sent them from my PCs, but still they insisted they had to redo them. I use footnotes frequently for my assignments, so should know how to put them, and I had followed the way they had put them too. I had decreased the font size, italicised names of books, etc, used superscript,so I could not understand what I had done wrong. I just insisted on this, made it clear this would be the end of the discussion, but was still polite, firm but professional, but still unconvinced what I had done wrong

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:44
English to German
+ ...
What the prospective client expects from you Jul 5, 2013

Geetha Ramapuram wrote:

Hi,
I just got back a review of my sample text back. While I really am grateful to the agency for letting me know my errors, I am not sure how to proceed. Do I write back acknowledging my errors and apologizing for them or do I correct the sample text and resend it? I'm not sure about the latter. While it is something I would do for a job, should I do it for a sample text??


They want you to check the edits and they want your feedback regarding which edits you accept and which ones you don't accept (in this case you have to provide a reason). That's the regular process with every good outsourcer. The translator has the last word. Never forget: outsourcers want to test their proofreaders as well. A proofreader who builds in typos or other errors by accident or makes unnecessary edits based on personal preferences is not acceptable.


 

Geetha Ramapuram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:14
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks!! Jul 6, 2013

Thanks everyone, it was a really insightful and interesting discussion. I just wanted to know the protocol the agency expected since they sent back the corrected sample. Most of the other companies just don't reply one way or another so i was just taken a little aback by thisicon_eek.gif

 
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