I am requested to evaluate myself
Thread poster: Arnaud HERVE

Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
English to French
+ ...
Jul 17, 2009

Hi, after finishing a job for a client, I have received a spreadsheet to fill that really puzzles me.

It consists in a list of criteria to evaluate... my own work (!) :

- Accuracy -> checkbox
- Style -> checkbox
- Formatting -> checkbox

and so on...

I can imagine being requested, as a proofreader, to evaluate the work of a colleague, or a colleague proofreader to evaluate my translation, but what is the meaning in evaluating myself?

Am I to check every box to state I'm perfectly ok? Or am I state myself that I was "bad" at this and that? Maybe I should add a severe comment saying that I should be sanctioned for doing this and that?

There is also a question of time, and value for time spent. It was a 10k words job, and now I am doing something else with a tight deadline for another client. Should I spend hours scrutinizing that 10k words for free? The P.O. consisted in translation only, and there was no mention of extra work after the deadline.

I am really puzzled and wondering what is the meaning of all this. It seems against ethics and also against any professional rationality to ask someone to evaluate himself. Anyone experienced that before?


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:09
Dutch to English
+ ...
Ask the client Jul 17, 2009

The answer will be more useful than any speculation offered here.

Could well be intended for the proofreader and have been sent to you by mistake, but whatever the case, only the client can really answer your question.

I have a client that has a checklist I have to fill in each time, sign and send back -- helps to keep tabs on QC -- but that is sent to me with the job, not afterwards. Maybe they meant to send it to you with the job and just forgot?




[Edited at 2009-07-17 08:16 GMT]


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Gemma Sanza Porcar  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Auto-feedback Jul 17, 2009

Dear Arnaud:

This has been always called "auto-feedback" and its aim is to evaluate yourself for your own improvement. It´s a good practice if you take it as it is.

Many enterprises take it as a necessary exercise for all its staff to assure they have a right willingness to become better and better professionals because we always can do it better. Perfection doesn´t exist!

Take your time and do it! Unless they don´t pay if you don´t fill it in. This is coercion or a mistake.

Greetings,

Gemma


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Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No mistake Jul 17, 2009

The client confirmed it is not a mistake, and he really wants me to checklist my own job.

I still find it uncanny.

Can it be some kind of evidence to be used against me?


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Gemma Sanza Porcar  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No help Jul 17, 2009

Sorry but I can´t help you in this point.

I new and defend this practice in academic and forming sectors, but not in translation.

Good luck!

Gemma


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
That's not an evaluation Jul 17, 2009

All it requires is for you to put a tick as you do those things. Many of them are items that come with a second reading.

It just shows you what the client expects you to do. (I think the practice is recommended by ISO...)


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:09
Dutch to English
+ ...
Well, that depends ... Jul 17, 2009

Arnaud HERVE wrote:

Can it be some kind of evidence to be used against me?


Did you meet all the job criteria or not?

If you simply tick off the boxes and it later transpires that you didn't run a spell check and check for double spaces (for instance), then the client would be well within its rights to ask how you reached that conclusion.

So, either you did a proper job (according to the checklist) or you didn't -- only you know the answer. Go through the list and if there are things you honestly know you can't tick off, sort them out.

As I've said, I normally have these checklists with the job, and they help to keep a tab on things you should be looking out for. You have one now and can keep it next to you to help with the next job for this client. It's actually quite handy for QC, although most of the things are common sense anyhow.


[Edited at 2009-07-17 09:25 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly Jul 17, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:
Arnaud HERVE wrote:
Can it be some kind of evidence to be used against me?

Did you meet all the job criteria or not?

I agree. I would only tick the boxes of the things I am sure about. If you are not sure and are still on time, you might want to revisit the document and redeliver it, along with the form with all the checkboxes ticked. As apparently the checklist was supplied after the delivery, I'd say the customer should be open to a redelivery after checking all those things.


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Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I think so Jul 17, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:
Did you meet all the job criteria or not?


I think so. On the files I proofread I always find a spelling mistake or two, even when the translator is obviously very good. So in a 10k job I can admit there could be mistakes.

Especially with late sending by the agency, tight deadlines over the week-end, and difficult OCR formatting, which the PM was well aware of.

I also know that some agencies try to make profit by not doing the proofreading, send the results immediately as such to the end client, and then demand a lower price from the translator if the end client complained of something.

However, some threads on Proz turn into a psychological accusation of the translator, and I prefer to keep on the legal and objective aspect that the translation was delivered as expected, the PM was informed by mail of any difficulty, there was no mention of the checklist either in the preliminary discussion, sending of files to me or in the P.O., and I received it after the job was completed and accepted.

Also from an objective point of view, if the PM wants a new delivery, or a lower price, I assume he can tell me directly. Reviewing the whole document would have objective economic consequences for me, since I am working on something else now. It certainly deserves an explicit request and a new deadline.

However that is not the problem. The issue is why asking ME to tell that I was very good, or very bad, which in both cases makes little sense to me. It would have made more sense, as other posters said, if the checklist had been sent to me with the files to be translated, to help me as a roadmap during my work, and to be sent with my delivery. But in this case it was not part of the job.

[Edited at 2009-07-17 10:13 GMT]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not the way I see it Jul 17, 2009

In the context I explained above:

Arnaud HERVE wrote:

I also know that some agencies try to make profit by not doing the proofreading, send the results immediately as such to the end client, and then demand a lower price from the translator if the end client complained of something.


Some agencies provide more services than just translating (DTP, for one). I don't do DTP apart from bolding, underlining and other standard Word functions. Now, if I need a diagram scanned from a PDF inserted into the document, this is my chance to put that into a comment... just by way of example. (I'll admit I have a client who does this, but this intention is made clear by the fact that they put spaces for comments on the checklist form).

Also from an objective point of view, if the PM wants a new delivery, or a lower price, I assume he can tell me directly. Reviewing the whole document would have objective economic consequences for me, since I am working on something else now. It certainly deserves an explicit request and a new deadline.


Receiving the document after submission may have caught you flat-footed. The procedure I'm talking about is one set forth in the PO. Since these are procedures I usually do on second reading, anyway, they're just made "official" by a checklist.

Your client may have some problems in communicating this, or in implanting a new system if it was not done before. Maybe you could suggest improvements...


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
It has happened to me as well Jul 17, 2009

Arnaud HERVE wrote:
It consists in a list of criteria to evaluate... my own work (!).


I suspect that your client is simply an agent who is working for another agent, who in turn has a required quality assurance procedure. Your client needs to hand in a translation and an evaluation. The better the evaluation, the better the translation, in the eyes of that other agency. Is this dishonest? It doesn't feel right to me, but it has happened in a few cases to me already. Interestingly the pass/fail level if often very high, so that only a few minor errors can cause a translation to "fail".


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 09:09
English to Croatian
+ ...
Feedback on the translation process? Jul 17, 2009

Could it be related to the client wanting to get a feedback from you on potential issues you encountered during the translation process and also issues related to the overall project structure? Perhaps they need it for future improvements.

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
French to German
+ ...
Lack of transparency Jul 17, 2009

We would not be assuming forth and back in this thread if some clients cared to inform us why they actually need what they ask us for. It is clearly not a sign of trust towards a translator when an agency makes such requests without explaining their reasons - the worst being, of course, that they do it upon request of the end client and didn't bother themselves to go any deeper into that matter.
Transparency, as far as I can remember, is also part of a good quality assessment system. This brings us not closer to it.

Laurent K.

[Edited at 2009-07-17 11:51 GMT]


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:09
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Not an evaluation per se Jul 17, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

As I've said, I normally have these checklists with the job, and they help to keep a tab on things you should be looking out for. You have one now and can keep it next to you to help with the next job for this client. It's actually quite handy for QC, although most of the things are common sense anyhow.


[Edited at 2009-07-17 09:25 GMT]


I also have received these checklists and they have always been simply about certifying that I performed all the steps required, namely, spelling, formatting, adherance to client's terminology, and the like. Never about accuracy, though.


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