Client requires proofreading. The agency declines to arrange our talk
Thread poster: Andrei Yefimov

Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:58
English to Russian
+ ...
Jun 6, 2008

Hi dear colleagues!
3 months ago I translated large manuals about Executive

Management for widely known corporation. Later today I've

received an e-mail from my project manager where he says the

client is extremely angry about my translation. He says

translation was made by the translator who have no idea of

proper business Russian. Assuming the client is native Russian

I've contacted my PM to ask him to arrange our phone

conversation for me to know exactly what the client is not

satisfied with. PM has refused to do so saying the client is very

upset and I need to proofread it anyway because I was payed

for this. Yes, I was but I am confident of my translation and

simply do not know what to do. I've said to PM that the whole

process is "end client-agency-translatior" cooperation and I

should know exactly what he is unsatisfied with not to hear

tomorrow the client is not satisfied again. PM keeps saying the

client is very upset and bla..bla..bla. Very strange the client

can not talk to me. Can anyone help me or give any advice?

Thank you in advance!

P.S. I was payed for this translation already. Also, PM asks me

to pass translation to business professional, not necessarily a

translator, to proofread it. I assume I'll incur costs and not

low. However, the contract does not states so. To tell the truth

the contract only states that in the event of bad quality the

translator needs to proofread it ASAP. But who determines this

quality? I am confident of my translation. How to explain this to the client?

Best regards,
Andrei

[Edited at 2008-06-06 10:34]


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Andrea Brumma
Spain
Local time: 22:58
English to German
+ ...
Translation received by client = your translation? Jun 6, 2008

Hi Andrei,

First of all you should make sure that the translation that the client received is the one you delivered. The agency might have hired an unprofessional proofreader or even somebody in the company could have made changes to your translation. It once happened to me that an agency had hired a non-native proofreader claiming to be bilingual who introduced loads of errors in my translation, and it took me several hours to prove that the translation I had delivered was correct.
I think that the agency just wants to avoid a direct contact between you and the client. Explain to the agency why it is so important that they give you examples of the "errors". You need to know if they complain about the terminology, the style ... The client could send a list of errors to the agency and the agency could forward it to you (without contact details).
If you are still convinced that your translation is correct, you could hire a translator specialized in business or a business expert for a quick assessment, maybe half an hour or an hour. This will be less expensive than checking the whole document, but will give you the view of a third person and expert. If the assessment is favorable, have it given to you in writing. If it is not, you might have to pay for the proofreading. In my opinion professional agencies should have quality assurance steps like proofreading before delivering a translation to the client, but I know that reality often is different. Did the agency mention whether your translation was proofread?
Do you know whether the agency was paid? Maybe it's a trick from the client to avoid payment to the agency?

Good luck
Andrea


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 17:58
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Thread moved... Jun 6, 2008

... to Translation Project / Vendor Management forum

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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Have them send you the mistakes Jun 6, 2008

Another option instead of talking directly with the end-client is to have them send the original file with notes on mistakes, with tracked changes or any other way where you can see your document and "your mistakes".

The agency can ask the client for it and that way you don't have to contact them directly.

Good luck!


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Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:58
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ouch Jun 6, 2008

Andrea Brumma wrote:

Hi Andrei,

First of all you should make sure that the translation that the client received is the one you delivered. The agency might have hired an unprofessional proofreader or even somebody in the company could have made changes to your translation. It once happened to me that an agency had hired a non-native proofreader claiming to be bilingual who introduced loads of errors in my translation, and it took me several hours to prove that the translation I had delivered was correct.
I think that the agency just wants to avoid a direct contact between you and the client. Explain to the agency why it is so important that they give you examples of the "errors". You need to know if they complain about the terminology, the style ... The client could send a list of errors to the agency and the agency could forward it to you (without contact details).
If you are still convinced that your translation is correct, you could hire a translator specialized in business or a business expert for a quick assessment, maybe half an hour or an hour. This will be less expensive than checking the whole document, but will give you the view of a third person and expert. If the assessment is favorable, have it given to you in writing. If it is not, you might have to pay for the proofreading. In my opinion professional agencies should have quality assurance steps like proofreading before delivering a translation to the client, but I know that reality often is different. Did the agency mention whether your translation was proofread?
Do you know whether the agency was paid? Maybe it's a trick from the client to avoid payment to the agency?

Good luck
Andrea


It turned out they'd sent wrong files to the client. Thanks God, you've mentioned this and I've double-checked them!
Thanks so much Andrea!!!
P.S. As I understood my translation was not proofread at all. They sent it to the client as is. Can agencies be held liable for not proofreading translation?
Yours,
Andrei


[Edited at 2008-06-06 13:22]


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Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:58
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's exactly what I asked for in the first place but.. Jun 6, 2008

Penelope Ausejo wrote:

Another option instead of talking directly with the end-client is to have them send the original file with notes on mistakes, with tracked changes or any other way where you can see your document and "your mistakes".

The agency can ask the client for it and that way you don't have to contact them directly.

Good luck!


Not only do they decline to arrange our conversation, they refuse to contact the end client at all too:( Needless to say the client is not going to compile a list of mistakes or something alike. To all my queries PM replies he can not contact the client, he is uposet and so on and so forth...
Thanks for you help, Penelope!
Best regards,
Andrei


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:58
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Total unprofessionalism Jun 6, 2008


It turned out they'd sent wrong files to the client. Thanks God, you've mentioned this and I've double-checked them!


They owe you profuse apologies.


P.S. As I understood my translation was not proofread at all. They sent it to the client as is. Can agencies be held liable for not proofreading translation?


Now they should try to explain that. If they don't have any internal quality assurance, then they are just one of the many boxshifters / kitchen-table agencies. You should seriously reconsider any further cooperation with them.

Attila


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 21:58
relationship chain Jun 14, 2008

To all my queries PM replies he can not contact the client, he is uposet and so on and so forth...

[/quote]

He cannot contact the client? Is he scared of them? A key point of being a PM is to be the contact person for the client, to go between them and the translator.
Generally, agencies don't like their clients and translators to be in direct contact with each other, in case the client decides to hire you directly and they lose out.


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xxxGloria-123
English to Chinese
what will it be? Jun 17, 2008

So what will it be if you don't proofread it or give it the second time pretending you have proofread it?

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
That would be... Jul 9, 2008

Gloria-123 wrote:

So what will it be if you don't proofread it or give it the second time pretending you have proofread it?


Pretending???
What would it be?
That would be very unprofessional, in my opinion.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Of course they block you from the client Jul 9, 2008

Andrew Yefimov wrote:

Not only do they decline to arrange our conversation, they refuse to contact the end client at all too:(


Of course, they act like this.
It is all clear now:
The agency sent the wrong files to the client, the client got upset.
You pointed out to the agency that they messed up, they sent the wrong files to the client.
Next, they sent the correct files to the client, saying that they instructed the translator (or get another person) to proofread it, or said nothing, but the client assumed thats what happened. The agency of course did not mention their intsy-wintsy mistake in the process, and left the blame on you. It is also possible that the agency gave a discount to the client. (Again, as an apology for the translator's carelessness.)
The client is quite now, and the agency does not want to talk to the client about the whole business because than the truth would come out.

If I were you, I would steer clear of this agency.
A very similar case happened to me once, with an agency located in China - somebody in their office (either the PM or the DTP person) who obviously did not speak Hungarian decided to modify the translated text using two sets of review comments. They played "mix and match" with the comments, implementing some of them, and ignoring others. Replacing words without bothering with the necessary conjugations, inflection, and such things - what are those for, anyway, huh? Needless to say, the end client was furious. And so was I when they told me that the client rated my translation unacceptable... All became clear when I asked them to show me what they sent to the client. It was not my translation.


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James O'Reilly
Germany
German to English
+ ...
Proofreader Check List as MindMap Aug 23, 2008

Make them aware of the following browser-based mindmap, which addresses
the proofreading process in best practice manner in accordance with EN15038,
and make it a requirement for further collaboration:

http://www.mindomo.com/view.htm?m=41e9d425ec624c0bb20494e1faa7dff4

Recommendations for improvements are welcome. It helps to keep the monkey
business outdoors...


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