A task force devoted to finding and reporting bad web sites localization (R)
Thread poster: Francesco Barbuto

Francesco Barbuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Aug 25, 2003

Valued all,

While reading an article on Time weekly news magazine about the ever growing practice of western Corporations big and smalls to outsource highly skilled jobs offshore, to developing countries' firms, I
had kind of an embrional idea to, in some way, protect our skills and training as mother tongue translators.

I thought about setting up, at Proz, a Task Force devoted to finding and reporting bad web sites localization and bad web published documents' translation quality.

We all have been amused by the occasional report, by some of our fellow translators, of translation's gross errors and blunders; but, everything has went up and out only with the usual giggle.

Why do not we take this stuff professionally and seriously?
For instance, Proz could set up a TEAM of STAFF MEMBERs or MODERATORS whose task would be to look for and expose poorly translated documents on the Web and report the quality faults to the related publishers, detailing to those same publishers why and where the material they published on the Internet is of a bad,worse or worst quality, according to the case.
The task force could also suggest the publishers ways to amend and improve the linguistic quality of their documents and provide a guidance and guidilenes as to get better translation.

Proz could also devote some space on the site to guest bad translations and the suggested correction, as far as the copyright laws and regulations permit this last point.


My I suggest an acronym for this Team?

PTF: Proz's Task Force

Please, let me know!

Regards to all,

FFB

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-02 20:48]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 14:55
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I think it is against the rules, Aug 25, 2003

as it would imply mentioning names, whish is not allowed by ProZ policy. E.g., one in Europe fairly widespread Agency recently opened a branch in Latvia, with homepage and all. Promising exceptional quality, sporting ISO certificate and grave spelling mistakes on their homepage in all available languages. And what? I cannot mention the name, I can only tell you about the fact. In such a situation where the Task Force fits in?

Uldis



[Edited at 2003-08-26 12:48]


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Francesco Barbuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
With the customers Aug 25, 2003

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

as it would imply mentioning names, whish is not allowed by ProZ policy. E.g., one in Europe fairly widespread Agency recently opened a branch in Latvia, with homepage and all. Promising exceptional quality, sporting ISO certificate and grave spelling mistakes on their homepages in all available languages. And what? I cannot mention the name, I can only tell you about the fact. In such a situation where the Task Force fits in?

Uldis



1) You stumble upon a bad localized web site
or document published on the Net;

2) You contact the OWNER of the badly
translated documents and express him
your opinion as a professional
translator: where the errors lay, why
the errors have been made in the first place, how to correct those errors and get a good quality translation.

No need to name anybody.


FFB

[Edited at 2003-08-25 21:29]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Interesting idea Francesco Aug 25, 2003

First I also understood that such a list would be published somewhere.

In fact you mean that it would be a private data bank of the team in charge of collecting this information and contacting the owners of the sites.

I think it's interesting, because when one of us writes to a site owner, thre's always the feeling that you want to take the proofreading or translation work yourself. Whereas if it's a group, or ProZ, maybe giving the name of the translator who noticed that and suggested somme changes, it would have a heavier weight.

Let's wait for more opinions.


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Geir Vikan  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 13:55
German to Norwegian
+ ...
Problems ... Aug 26, 2003

You open up for beeing sued etc.
Also, a lot of proz.com members find the freedom of the web useful for getting into this business. A team of petty bureocrats wiht a self-defined standard of quality is exatly the kind of thing we do not need.
Freedom is also the freedom to do mistakes and having a bad website ....


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
English to Polish
+ ...
charity Aug 26, 2003

Francesco Barbuto wrote:

2) You contact the OWNER of the badly
translated documents and express him
your opinion as a professional
translator: where the errors lay, why
the errors have been made in the first place, how to correct those errors and get a good quality translation.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you just corrected somebody's botched job for free? If the owner is anything less than honest, he'll listen to you, do the corrections and you'll never hear from him again.

What you can (or should) do, is to tell them: "With all due respect, I believe your [product] contains mistakes which should be fixed." Then you say: "I'll fix them for you. Let's sign a contract." If they're reasonable, and if you prove that the mistakes are worth fixing, they'll give you that job, and maybe more afterwards.

Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
a reasonable idea IMHO Aug 26, 2003

Web-site managers cannot be expected to judge the quality of translations into a multitude of languages. The Ikobo site someone called attention to today is a perfect example of a site with pages in 5 or 6 languages. The manager of that site needs needs "assistance" if he or she has been victimized by an unscrupulous "translator," or she or he needs educating if a machine translation was chosen. It would be unimaginable that this manager would object to being informed about the quality of the Spanish-language page.

I think a team makes good sense because: (1)As an individual, it feels awkward to seek work by sending an solicited critique. (2)How much credibility would I, as a lone voice, have in critiquing a web site? (3)I only work in one language pair and would be limited to that, and I don't have time to surf for poorly translated sites.

It would be much more convincing for ProZ to put together a "team" that would send a formal statement, noting a few defects, and suggesting that the web site manager consider shopping for a new translation--using ProZ as a source.

I don't see how such a letter could open ProZ up to a law suit. We are not talking about "nit-picking" -- only those cases that are egregious. IKobo is the perfect example: The site's Spanish page is ... well, beyond belief!

I don't know if people want to undertake this work, but I think it is a reasonable idea. The payoff might include additional jobs for members, a heightened profile for ProZ, and a better-educated clientele.
Thanks for listening...


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Francesco Barbuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Patricia... Aug 27, 2003

Patricia Rosas wrote:

Web-site managers cannot be expected to judge the quality of translations into a multitude of languages. The Ikobo site someone called attention to today is a perfect example of a site with pages in 5 or 6 languages. The manager of that site needs needs "assistance" if he or she has been victimized by an unscrupulous "translator," or she or he needs educating if a machine translation was chosen. It would be unimaginable that this manager would object to being informed about the quality of the Spanish-language page.

I think a team makes good sense because: (1)As an individual, it feels awkward to seek work by sending an solicited critique. (2)How much credibility would I, as a lone voice, have in critiquing a web site? (3)I only work in one language pair and would be limited to that, and I don't have time to surf for poorly translated sites.

It would be much more convincing for ProZ to put together a "team" that would send a formal statement, noting a few defects, and suggesting that the web site manager consider shopping for a new translation--using ProZ as a source.

I don't see how such a letter could open ProZ up to a law suit. We are not talking about "nit-picking" -- only those cases that are egregious. IKobo is the perfect example: The site's Spanish page is ... well, beyond belief!

I don't know if people want to undertake this work, but I think it is a reasonable idea. The payoff might include additional jobs for members, a heightened profile for ProZ, and a better-educated clientele.
Thanks for listening...



Your point is correctly on the mark!

I meant just what you so clearly and purposefully expressed.
My proposal, as a matter of fact, was in the Outsorcers Education direction, so to speak.

Someone got it wrong and plainly off the mark, suggesting I proposed kind of a charity to dole the agencies and the likes!
Anybody can understand anything the way the like best, provided they take responsability for whatever opinion they have to express and strictly and carefully avoid to put their own views and opinions on someone else's mouth.

FFB

[Edited at 2003-08-27 15:27]

[Edited at 2003-08-27 15:28]


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Francesco Barbuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
OFF THE MARK Aug 27, 2003

PAS wrote:

Francesco Barbuto wrote:

2) You contact the OWNER of the badly
translated documents and express him
your opinion as a professional
translator: where the errors lay, why
the errors have been made in the first place, how to correct those errors and get a good quality translation.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you just corrected somebody's botched job for free? If the owner is anything less than honest, he'll listen to you, do the corrections and you'll never hear from him again.

What you can (or should) do, is to tell them: "With all due respect, I believe your [product] contains mistakes which should be fixed." Then you say: "I'll fix them for you. Let's sign a contract." If they're reasonable, and if you prove that the mistakes are worth fixing, they'll give you that job, and maybe more afterwards.

Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski



You got it all OFF THE MARK, plainly!


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