Russian into English - only for Russian and Ukrainian translators!
Thread poster: Libero_Lang_Lab

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jan 26, 2010

Just saw a job posting requesting a literary translation from Russian INTO English, and yet the job poster will ONLY consider translators from Russia or Ukraine.


Presumably the restriction is based on his desire to pay low rates, and not because he thinks that a Russian or Ukrainian will deliver a better literary translation than an English native speaker.

In any case it is, in professional terms, absurd is it not?


The job poster writes:

"Просьба обращаться только переводчикам из России или Украины. Прошу переводчиков из других стран не беспокоить."

ie: "Only translators from Russia and Ukraine are requested to apply. Translators from other countries are asked not to bother."

Apart from the fact that this breaks a cardinal principle of professional translation, it also strikes me as discriminatory.

[Edited at 2010-01-26 10:31 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-01-26 14:57 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Volodymyr Kukharenko
Ukraine
Local time: 01:28
Member (2009)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
the subject of the job is definitely for a native speaker Jan 26, 2010

It is definitely not quality-aimed approach, and most probably it is caused by budget restrictions.

Translating fairy tales for childred is a kind of task that requires profound knowledge of the target language culture and living inside it. I would never take such job because I never was a child who grew up in UK or USA, and I have no idea what the kids from these countries will like or not...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kristina Radziulyte  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 01:28
Member (2006)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...

MODERATOR
The rate offered says it all Jan 26, 2010

I don't see discrimination here. The rate offered is 135.00 RUB / page, which is 3.15 EUR (three euros 15 cents). Would anyone from the EU apply for this job even if it wasn't restricted? I don't think so.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
who benefits? Jan 26, 2010

Vladimir Kukharenko wrote:

It is definitely not quality-aimed approach, and most probably it is caused by budget restrictions.

Translating fairy tales for childred is a kind of task that requires profound knowledge of the target language culture and living inside it. I would never take such job because I never was a child who grew up in UK or USA, and I have no idea what the kids from these countries will like or not...




if they are producing a translation targetted at English-speaking markets, as one assumes they are, they are onto a guaranteed loser.

Whoever has commissioned this job, be it the publisher or the author, will end up with a bad translation.

It will receive bad reviews.

It will register poor sales.

It will reflect badly on the reputation of the publisher, who will then blame the translator/translation agency.

All for the sake of saving some money in the first instance.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Volodymyr Kukharenko
Ukraine
Local time: 01:28
Member (2009)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
the customer might be unaware of that untill it is too late Jan 26, 2010

Dan Brennan wrote:

Vladimir Kukharenko wrote:

It is definitely not quality-aimed approach, and most probably it is caused by budget restrictions.

Translating fairy tales for childred is a kind of task that requires profound knowledge of the target language culture and living inside it. I would never take such job because I never was a child who grew up in UK or USA, and I have no idea what the kids from these countries will like or not...




if they are producing a translation targetted at English-speaking markets, as one assumes they are, they are onto a guaranteed loser.

Whoever has commissioned this job, be it the publisher or the author, will end up with a bad translation.

It will receive bad reviews.

It will register poor sales.

It will reflect badly on the reputation of the publisher, who will then blame the translator/translation agency.

All for the sake of saving some money in the first instance.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!!


That's all true, but sometimes the customers think they know better, and won't listen even to reasonable objections. Moreover, it is not a direct customer...

It is just this way: the publisher or author ordered the translation from some local translation company, the translation company told they can do it for "reasonable price and good quality". The publisher won't be able to check the quality anyway unless they contact native speaker for that, but they have no such contacts without translation company. So most probably "everyone will be happy" untill they discover low sales of the translated book. But the traslation company will have dozens of beforehand-made seemingly reasonable explanations for that, so the losses will be irrecoverable. And nothing can be done with it unless the author/publisher reads this thread and understands the situation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
discrimination Jan 26, 2010

Kristina Radziulyte wrote:

I don't see discrimination here. The rate offered is 135.00 RUB / page, which is 3.15 EUR (three euros 15 cents). Would anyone from the EU apply for this job even if it wasn't restricted? I don't think so.


Perhaps you are seeing what you want to see. To stipulate, pre-emptively, that translators from outside Ukraine and Russia need not apply, IS discrimination. De facto, you are, of course, right that no self-respecting professional translator would accept those rates (though maybe a native English-speaking translation student might, and they would probably produce a more fluent translation). The issue of the derisory rates is secondary to the point of actively seeking a non-native speaker from within certain countries. Any agency which does that has zero credibility in my book.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Simon Geoghegan  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2005)
Russian to English
You're absolutely right Dan Jan 26, 2010

Yes, this caught my eye as well. Good for you for raising the issue. Even for the Russian-English language pair - this job posting was pretty extraordinary!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:28
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I could think of a reason Jan 26, 2010

If the translation is meant as a raw translation and a good author (who hardly would understand Russian) will transform the tales into English (or other languages). Then it does not matter if the translator is no native.
But this is hardly the case here, I'm afraid.
As far as I know there are extremely good translators into English living in Russia. In any case every book will or at least should be reviewed by a native English editor, even if written by native English authors.
Regards
Heinrich


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:28
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It has been done before Jan 26, 2010

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If the translation is meant as a raw translation and a good author (who hardly would understand Russian) will transform the tales into English (or other languages). Then it does not matter if the translator is no native.
But this is hardly the case here, I'm afraid.
As far as I know there are extremely good translators into English living in Russia. In any case every book will or at least should be reviewed by a native English editor, even if written by native English authors.
Regards
Heinrich


This in fact how the English version of Dag Hammarskjold´s Markings was written. It was translated almost word for word, and then rewritten by W H Auden, who did not understand Swedish, in consultation with the translator. I am ashamed to say I forget the name of the translator.

But I am sure it was not a money-saving exercise.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
poet's day Jan 26, 2010

Christine Andersen wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If the translation is meant as a raw translation and a good author (who hardly would understand Russian) will transform the tales into English (or other languages). Then it does not matter if the translator is no native.
But this is hardly the case here, I'm afraid.
As far as I know there are extremely good translators into English living in Russia. In any case every book will or at least should be reviewed by a native English editor, even if written by native English authors.
Regards
Heinrich


This in fact how the English version of Dag Hammarskjold´s Markings was written. It was translated almost word for word, and then rewritten by W H Auden, who did not understand Swedish, in consultation with the translator. I am ashamed to say I forget the name of the translator.

But I am sure it was not a money-saving exercise.



So you think that the job poster may in fact be looking to get it done by a Russian native speaker in the first instance, before whisking in Seamus Heaney from the wings to brush up the translation and apply a bit of literary finesse? Nice hypothesis... but possibly fanciful on this occasion.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alistair Gainey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2009)
Russian to English
My thoughts on this issue Jan 26, 2010

As far as I know there are extremely good translators into English living in Russia.


Few of them work for 135 rubles a page though. Having looked at the company's website, I'll hazard a guess that what might have happened is that the client is the author (or his/her agent or publisher), who is interested in bringing the stories to an anglophone market. Therefore, this translation could be a "pitch" to potential publishers, with the aim being for a decent translation to be made if and when the manuscript is accepted. Such a plan would, of course, be quite barmy, but I can't really think of any other explanation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dmitriy Shtefan  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:28
English to Russian
+ ...
I didn't mean to offend anybody. I respect all translators. Jan 26, 2010

Mr. Dan Brennan have sent me a link to this forum topic some time earlier today, and as I can see, my job posting became a point for a hot discussion amoung translators from different countries.

First of all I'd like to point out that I didn't want to offend translators from other countries. I indicated in my job posting, that I'd like to receive quotes only from Russian and Ukrainian translators, because I think that translators from Europe, USA and other countries wouldn't be willing to perform translation at a rate of 135 roubles per page.

The author of tales is not in a position to pay much money for performing translation of his collection of tales. This is a reason, why I can't offer a higher rate.

It is much easier and much cheaper for me to transfer payment within Russia and Ukraine, than to transfer payment abroad.

I hope, I've clarified most of the questions regarding my job posting. I would like to say one more time, that I didn't mean to offend or discriminate translators from other countries.

With kind regards to all of you, Dmitriy Shtefan.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 00:28
English to Croatian
+ ...
Poor kids? Jan 26, 2010

So, what do they plan to do? Possibilities:

1. Torture the target children with distorted English.

2. Hire a cheap ( but good!) editor to fix the mess? It will obviously require a good editor or a complete rewriting, but are the good ones really cheap?

3. Just translate it in bad English without any distribution, for the sake of having an English copy.

In case of the No.1, I feel sorry for the kids.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Russian into English - only for Russian and Ukrainian translators!

Advanced search






PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search