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Reviewer: to pass or not?
Thread poster: Hani Hassaan

Hani Hassaan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 14:51
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Oct 6, 2007

what do you do if a review does not pass you in a test of translation?
if you apply for a project and the client asks you to do translation test and after spending days in completing the test, you are shocked when a unqualified reviewer does not pass you, surely you will tell the client about the weak points in the reviewer, but does the client believe him/her or you? the most important question is how can the translator be safe from the unqualified Reviewers in the translation industry?
thanks in advance


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 09:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The Rules of the Game Oct 6, 2007

Unfortunately, you have to put up with it.

Once you accept taking the test, you accept the rules of the game.




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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Defend yourself Oct 6, 2007

Hani Hassaan wrote:

what do you do if a review does not pass you in a test of translation?

thanks in advance


I was pretty shocked the other day with the abysmal quality of the person who reviewed my edit of a (quite amateurish) translation. However, whereas the translation was amateurish, the revision was performed by someone incredibly ignorant of basic EN grammar.

This "editor" made the most crass grammatical errors (eg, separating a subject or verb from a verb or complement by a comma, or correcting the use of whose for objects) not to mention the fact that they consitently failed to distinguish personal style issues (subjective) from genuine objective error.

(The actual error I overlooked was about the transcription of a place name, an error I never make - or check, after years of habit - because I overwrite --- but the translator I was editing obviously didn't overwrite and so fell into the trap of transcribing a name wrongly -- and out of my own habits, I never checked).

I informed the client and I documented my arguments:-) I was able to defend myself in all but one instance (the translator's transcription error).

The ball's in their court now, I don't care what they decide, as I know I made my point and provided irrefutable arguments:-)

I'm wondering how come, with such a complex QA system, they end up with worse QA people than even translators (assuming that a QAer is more experienced than a reviser and that a reviser is more experienced than a translator)...at least the translator knew his/her grammar!

On the subject of editing, one thing is what I was doing, editing a translation, correcting errors etc, and adapting it to the journalistic style that I had been told to reproduce .... therefore I have free range to make all the changes I see fit, objective and subjective.

Another issue entirely is a kind of quality control, which was my case and Hani's case. Here the reviser has to have solid arguments for choices, and objective evidence of correctness and incorrectness ... rather than just subjective opinions.

One thing is what's clearly right and wrong, another thing is style or vocabulary choices.




[Edited at 2007-10-06 22:23]


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Hani Hassaan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 14:51
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a reviewer who is wrong in his/ her evaluation Oct 6, 2007

Hi Walter,
I mean here a reviewer who is wrong in his/ her evaluation and thinks your translation is bad, whether the reviewer does it on purpose or purposeless.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 09:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The Rules of the Game II Oct 6, 2007

Hi Hani,

But how can you tell? How can you know his/her intentions? The reviewer might be wrong but honeslty believe he/she is right. Or he/she might be right and you wrong.

The client usually believes the reviewer in these cases. Remember you are unkown to him/her and probably the reviewer has already worked for him/her for some time .


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 14:51
French to Dutch
+ ...
Just one question Oct 6, 2007

Do you want to work for this client, under these circumstances? I don't. I see the whole translation process as a cooperation, not as a conflicting "I am right-you are wrong" situation.

Besides, 95% of my translations aren't proofread. There is just one agency who gives me the work of another translator, and the other translator proofreads my work. The result is that when I say A, the proofreader says B, and next time B is transformed in A. We don't know each other, the agency avoids to establish a contact (we could talk about prices!!), and it becomes really complicated when the end client says C.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:51
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Who should care? Oct 7, 2007

The text length should be within reason.
Imagine a car dealership offering test drives with their new models, and a customer wants to drive one of them for a whole week, otherwise s/he won't even consider the purchase.

If the agency is greedy (or maybe you are) and doesn't like your rates, failing your test is a polite way to turn you down.

There is also the issue of specialty. I can guarantee that I'll fail each and every translation test where medical texts are involved. On the other hand, I dare to translate human resources or organizational development material without access to dictionaries or the Internet, and deliver final copy.

The problem is the type of work (viz. subjects) the agency gets from its clients.

I did fail one translation agency test because I didn't bother to remove the double spaces the original writer had put at the end of every sentence. Each double-space left there was counted as one mistake, so I was ranked among the worst professionals in the trade. The agency was nice enough to send me back the text with all mistakes marked by tjhe reviewer.

The truth is that this reviewer actually missed the one typo I'd admit to, and that I'm used to remove double, triple, and more spaces at the DTP stage, not while translating.

But if they don't want me, I shouldn't care what's their reason for doing so. It's their right of choice, which is above and beyond any reason. Btw, we have the same right of choice too!


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
That happens often Oct 7, 2007

Hani Hassaan wrote:

what do you do if a review does not pass you in a test of translation?
if you apply for a project and the client asks you to do translation test and after spending days in completing the test, you are shocked when a unqualified reviewer does not pass you, surely you will tell the client about the weak points in the reviewer, but does the client believe him/her or you? the most important question is how can the translator be safe from the unqualified Reviewers in the translation industry?
thanks in advance


Dear Hani,

That happens often, unfortunately. In your place, I would solve the problem very easily: just give up to the client. If the client has such a bad reviewer, you don't need to work with him. If you did, you would have the same problem with bad reviews all the time. There is no way a translator can be safe from this kind of things

Giusi


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:51
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Translation Company processes Oct 7, 2007

Lia Fail wrote:

I'm wondering how come, with such a complex QA system, they end up with worse QA people than even translators (assuming that a QAer is more experienced than a reviser and that a reviser is more experienced than a translator)...at least the translator knew his/her grammar!

[Edited at 2007-10-06 22:23]


There used to be a large translation company (long since gone - gobbled up by a larger competitor) who used some seriously questionable QA procedures. For example, they tested all applicants for translation positions.

Those who passed the test worked for the translation company as translators; those who didn't, worked for them as editors.

To top it all, this same company also often used non-native speakers as proofreaders.


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:51
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The reviewer changed his mind... Oct 7, 2007

It happened to me only once, but I was completely shocked when this company told me I didn't pass the test, because not only did I knew quite well the subject, but also I was extremely careful about it, so I was very surprised.

My 1st reaction was to read again my translation and compare with the proofed version. Then I've written a short report explaining why I considered it to be a bad proofreading and definitely unfair. I stated in detail every point that was referred in the proofed version, giving my reasons for every translation option.

As a result, they did recognize they were wrong and accepted my opinions about it. They even said the reviewer accepted my suggestions and I passed the test.



[quote]Walter Landesman wrote:

Hi Hani,

But how can you tell? How can you know his/her intentions? The reviewer might be wrong but honeslty believe he/she is right. Or he/she might be right and you wrong.

The client usually believes the reviewer in these cases. Remember you are unkown to him/her and probably the reviewer has already worked for him/her for some time .


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Rui de Carvalho  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:51
English to Portuguese
+ ...
who knows how to translate, translates... Oct 7, 2007

This kind of stories is the result of the so-called standard for quality translation, ISO something, a standard devised by people who have no idea about translation work, where any young, unexperienced person normally revise and assesse the work of an experienced translator.
And as in every domain in life, it was quickly used to bring to translation the same rule of so many activities: who knows how to translate, simply translates. Those who never heard about translation, either review or teach translation.
It's the brave new world of translation.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:51
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Why take days? Oct 7, 2007

Hani Hassaan wrote:
...and after spending days in completing the test


It should not take you longer than 1 hour to do a test translation.


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
THAT's it Oct 7, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Hani Hassaan wrote:
...and after spending days in completing the test


It should not take you longer than 1 hour to do a test translation.


A test is usually not more than 200-300 words... If it took days to complete, maybe there is another problem there.

(Maybe you got something called "test" which was a real job. You did it, now you're not "accepted" so that you cannot complain anymore ... are you sure you want to work for that agency??)

Ruth @ MW


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Marius Reika  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Disagree Oct 7, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:
It should not take you longer than 1 hour to do a test translation.


IMO, a (good) test usually contains some hidden problems, rare terminology, instructions, which need to be followed, etc. In such a case even 200-300 words can take more than 2-3 hours, sometimes even a day (just think about finding and consulting specialists in the field).

M.


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Hani Hassaan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 14:51
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a new translator could be a future competitor for him/her Oct 7, 2007

Yes dear Marius, you are right, the client always gives you ambiguous test.
for Walter, I do not know their intentions but it is often the reviewer is working for the client and maybe he/she (reviewer) is a worried as there will be a new translator who can be competitor for him, I mean it applies on some reviewers not all.


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