How to deal with questions during a translation project

This discussion belongs to Translation news » "How to deal with questions during a translation project".
You can see the translation news page and participate in this discussion from there.

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:28
French to English
No qualms about it Aug 31, 2016

If I believe that I have really exploited all potential sources which I might reasonably be expected to use, then if it is necessary, then I will not have any qualms about asking a question. However, I rarely, if ever, work with agencies. When I ask a question, it is therefore generally by mail and/or with questions in the "comment" bubble in the margin. Sometimes the client will call, preferring to discuss the problem.

If the client cannot deal with the matter, I will simply do he best I can and explain doubts in a covering mail when I send the work through.

Direct link Reply with quote
Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 07:28
German to English
+ ...
the intro, and the process Aug 31, 2016

The intro starts this way:
It is never easy to ask questions. As professionals, we might fear that people reading our questions think we should have known, or found, the answer ourselves.

I cannot imagine a professional "fearing" what the writer says, unless perhaps she is talking about novices in the field. Asking questions is the professional thing to do, and that's pretty standard. Maybe it's just me, but I find this kind of introduction quite off-putting.
Many of us have also experienced translation project managers (TPMs) or clients ignoring the questions we asked, or at least not paying attention to all of them.

Atm I can't remember this happening, and it sounds both unprofessional and inefficient. If this happens, then the company should have a hard look at their practices, workload etc. and this goes outside the issue of asking questions.
Much of the rest of the article talks about a formatting of questions within some kind of form which must be what that particular company uses in-house. I'm glad never to have encountered such a form, and I would not impose such a thing on my customers. It seems to make a simple thing needlessly complicated. When you have a question, you formulate it in such a way as to make sense to the person being asked, at a level that person will understand, and containing whatever is necessary and pertinent.
One thing the article does not go into is timing and process. Questions should be asked above all before beginning a project, and even before deciding to take on a project. A few questions might arise during the process, but most of them would have been gotten out of the way before even starting. And both parties definitely have to make time for them (still thinking about these unresponsive overworked PMs in the article).

Direct link Reply with quote

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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

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

How to deal with questions during a translation project

Advanced search
You’re a freelance translator? helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search