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How about to establish a kind of arbitration for translation quality?
Thread poster: Angie Garbarino

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Sep 1, 2008

Dear all

I know that most of us have sometimes big problems because of malicious or incompetent proofreaders,

for example it happened to me 4 months ago, I did a job within my speciality and into my mother tongue, one month after the delivery I received the job proofread full of grammar mistakes for example for those who understand Italian, I found "La management, eventuale violazione possono, in considerazione che; verivicarel’identità di chiunque che richiede informazioni su"

I contested but no reply, no payment, I also posted in the BB but nothing.

IMHO if there was an arbitration we could solve this kind of problems, I also noticed (by reading many other posts of colleagues), that there is a sort of trend to contest jobs well done just as excuse for avoiding payments.

Of course I am not suggesting a free service, it should be paid.

What you think dear colleagues?

What you think Mr. Henry? What you think Mr. Jared?

Have a nice day!

Angio

[Edited at 2008-09-01 10:09]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:33
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Not needed, not enforceable Sep 1, 2008

That's what local laws and courts are for. Anyone working outside of countries where they have reasonable legal recourse has to assume the corresponding risk.

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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not enforceable but useful Sep 1, 2008

At least for knowing what are the agencies using this as excuse for non payments.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:33
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not enforceable, but maybe workable Sep 1, 2008

Just brainstorning (as I translate about the brainstorming process very often)...

Proz could have a new checkbox on the job posting page: In case of a dispute, outsourcer agrees to arbitration based on peer reviews. This would "add value" to jobs, i.e. more serious translators would be willing to bid for it.

It would be some corollary to the translator's "Professional Guidelines".

So let's assume that an outsourcer checked that box, and was unhappy about the work delivered. The translator may then invite some duly qualified Prozian(s?) in that language pair (requirements/qualifications TBA - won't delve into that now) to sign an e-NDA, get access to source and translated files, and give their expert appraisal online. The outsourcer may do the same.

If both appraisals agree, viz. it's either good or bad, the case may be closed right there, and let the "wrong" party bite the bullet. If they disagree, more appraisals may be needed.

Of course, these experts must be receive compensation for their work. The party requesting the e-testimony would have to cover that in cash, Kudoz, Brownies, whatever, subject to reimbursement in case the other party is "wrong".

If the condemned party still refuses to pay, they may undergo sanctions from Proz (after all, they agreed to that arbitration beforehand), and the expert testimonies may be used in any court of law as "evidence".


This is just the seed of an idea. Everyone is welcome to build on it.



[Edited at 2008-09-01 12:46]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Perfect José, yes workeable and shorter than courts Sep 1, 2008

This is exactly what I meantof course it can be improved, but yes, this is what I meant.

Thank you for explaining that.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
not needed Sep 1, 2008

A client who would agree to such an arbitration would also agree to debate the questionable parts until a consensus had been reached.
It is normal that any translator produces errors, as most of the proofreaders do, too. The points to debate are:
- What is actually wrong?
- What is merely a client's or proofreader's preference or improvement?
- How many errors of this kind may be considered as tolerable?
- Who is responsible for how much of this mess?

As soon as the different views are debated they will become clear even without any neutral arbitrator.
BTW, you don't need to go to court, you only need to contact a lawyer.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 18:33
SITE FOUNDER
Good idea, in my opinion Sep 1, 2008

Angioletta Garbarino wrote:

I know that most of us have sometimes big problems because of malicious or incompetent proofreaders,

for example it happened to me 4 months ago, I did a job within my speciality and into my mother tongue, one month after the delivery I received the job proofread full of grammar mistakes for example for those who understand Italian, I found "La management, eventuale violazione possono, in considerazione che; verivicarel’identità di chiunque che richiede informazioni su"

I contested but no reply, no payment, I also posted in the BB but nothing.

IMHO if there was an arbitration we could solve this kind of problems, I also noticed (by reading many other posts of colleagues), that there is a sort of trend to contest jobs well done just as excuse for avoiding payments.

Of course I am not suggesting a free service, it should be paid.

What you think dear colleagues?

What you think Mr. Henry? What you think Mr. Jared?

I think it is an excellent idea. I like José's post, too.

What do others think?


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lawier yes of course I know Sep 1, 2008

Harry Bornemann wrote:
BTW, you don't need to go to court, you only need to contact a lawyer.


But then, if a letter of a lawier does not suffice, lawier has to proceed with injuction (filled at the court) and.. in case of opposition, (at leats here in Italy) you have to wait years before seing a decision.

I think that an arbitration could solve some issues.

PS. Thank you Henry for your reply.


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:33
German to Spanish
+ ...
Very good idea Sep 1, 2008

Henry D wrote:

Angioletta Garbarino wrote:

I know that most of us have sometimes big problems because of malicious or incompetent proofreaders,

for example it happened to me 4 months ago, I did a job within my speciality and into my mother tongue, one month after the delivery I received the job proofread full of grammar mistakes for example for those who understand Italian, I found "La management, eventuale violazione possono, in considerazione che; verivicarel’identità di chiunque che richiede informazioni su"

I contested but no reply, no payment, I also posted in the BB but nothing.

IMHO if there was an arbitration we could solve this kind of problems, I also noticed (by reading many other posts of colleagues), that there is a sort of trend to contest jobs well done just as excuse for avoiding payments.

Of course I am not suggesting a free service, it should be paid.

What you think dear colleagues?

What you think Mr. Henry? What you think Mr. Jared?

I think it is an excellent idea. I like José's post, too.

What do others think?


How choose the arbitrators?
Suggestion:
-Proz leaders in language and field, of course, if they agree.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 01:33
Turkish to English
+ ...
Good idea Sep 1, 2008

Surely most, if not all, jurisdictions permit the parties in a dispute to agree to submit to independent arbitration. This is a far cheaper and more practical way of solving such disputes than through expensive and drawn-out court action.
In my opinion, the fairest approach would be for whichever party was found to be in the wrong to bear the costs. Both parties could be required to post the amount of the fee in advance; the winning party would have this amount reimbursed.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:33
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Enrollment/selection process Sep 1, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
How choose the arbitrators?
Suggestion:
-Proz leaders in language and field, of course, if they agree.


First, limit it to verified members as it's easy for either party to ghost-register as user, and then become expert witnesses on their own evidence. Maybe it would be adequate to require that they have been members for at least one year, after all the amount involved may be several times Proz's one-year membership.

Next, let these qualified members enroll, if they are willing to do it, by checking a box. Some adequate compensation system will have to be developed.

So all the "plaintiff" will have to do is to select the language pair and subject area to select from a list of available qualified arbitrators, like the one used to contact Proz moderators, and contact one of them.

The rest is system design and programming. The outcome will be an appraisal by the expert witness on that job.


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:33
German to Spanish
+ ...
The system exists already, I think Sep 1, 2008

Is there not such a system managed by Translator associations?
Am I wrong?
Maybe a ProZ system could be more:
-viable,
-realistic,
-flexible,
-quick
-cheap
-reliable
-.........

(nothing against translator associations, of course)


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:33
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Arbitration Sep 1, 2008

Given voluntary participation by parties with honest intentions I suppose this may be workable. It wouldn't do much to deal with the real cheats, however.

I've been involved on a number of occasions with such "expert opinions", usually at the request of agencies who have clients refusing to pay for a job, once as a volunteer effort for a fellow translator who wasn't sure whether certain complaints were justified. Some of these efforts have been rather bothersome, expensive affairs, but usually the situation and necessary action become clear after an hour or two of carefully documented work.

You might consider a fee escrow system with various options (shared fee in all cases or "loser" pays or one party assumes costs regardless of the resolution). Limit the time investment for the initial analysis to 1-2 hours (may vary at the option of the parties depending on the scope of the job). Have strictly defined criteria for reporting/categorizing any deficiencies ascertained. Carefully vet/certify all referees, of course.

I suppose this might be a possible mechanism for clearing unjustified Blue Board reports, too. In any case, I think anonymity is an important part of any process involved here. If I review a text, I don't care who the outsourcer is, and I don't want to know who the translator is. All I want is a simple list of questions or issues to address.


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
What a terrible idea Sep 1, 2008

I don't think I have read anything so scary for ages. At best, it is a crazy idea. The blind leading the blind comes to mind; the result would lack authority. However it is true that if the monitorium process fails, pursing any monies owed through the courts would probably turn out to be very expensive indeed.

I think it is much better for Proz to remain as a pressure group, as it were.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:33
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, I like the idea very much Sep 1, 2008

The way José envisages it also sounds practical to achieve.

I could have made use of such a system myself in the fairly recent past (this year). There is no doubt that there are cases where such a system could put an end to one or two malpractices on the part of a type of agencies which are in the minority, but do use such ploys to evade payment. If we had a system of this kind in place, fairness could be assured.

However, I also have to say that - even in a case where the translator was inexperienced and the agency did not receive the translation they were hoping for - they ought to pay anyway, since they took the business risk of appointing the translator in question. They do not need to work with him or her again after that.

Astrid


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