Anyone for some TEP?
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Oct 10, 2010

G'day everyone

In our line of business there are some pretty peculiar acronyms that translation agencies tend to use. I recently learnt "PFA" (please find attached). Another one that I often encounter is "TEP" (presumably translation-editing-proofreading), which for the most part simply is a signal that the agency intends to send the translation to the end-client as-is, with no further quality control applied. Sometimes the "P" in TEP means that the PDFs that were created from your translation will be sent back to you and you'd be expected to recheck everything at no further cost.

In my opinion, agencies should not use such abbreviations when dealing with freelancers, simply because it may lead to poor communication. A few of my clients use "ETA" for "deadline", even though ETA clearly means something completely different (estimate time of arrival, often used in the travelling and tourism industry). I don't use such abbreviations myself, but then, I have an image to worry about.

My question here, however, is a bit of a moral one... how do you feel about being asked to do a TEP, and do you think that one person can do both T and E? Or, is it possible that agencies asking for TEP believe that you're not a freelancer but a pair of freelancers? What are your experiences with being asked to do TEP?

I have had a few agencies (usually middle-man agencies) asking me to submit my translation as two separate documents, with the one being the 'edited' version, in which I should make a few changes to make it appear to some end-client as if the document had gone through quality control, but that borders on dishonesty (in fact, often it is simply dishonest).

However, some clients do not want you to be dishonest, and still ask for TEP from a single translator. What do you think about that?

Samuel



[Edited at 2010-10-10 18:53 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:13
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TLAs Oct 10, 2010

I thought ETA was a Basque separatist movement !

AFAIK and IMHO all of my translations are TEP, although I hadn't realised they were, until now. ATM they all go through a rigorous process of QA before I release them. Isn't that just called "VGT" (Very Good Translation)?. WHat you're talking about sounds very nefarious. Maybe I should split up my work into three phases and charge for each phase?

Too many TLAs altogether!

Over and out, TTFN , and CUL8R!

[Edited at 2010-10-10 19:10 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
TEP and VGT Oct 10, 2010

Tom in London wrote:
ATM they all go through a rigorous process of QA before I release them. Isn't that just called "VGT" (Very Good Translation)?. WHat you're talking about sounds very nefarious.


Well, I can't imagine that agencies asking for TEP would think that delivering a non-VGT (i.e. one that the translator simply translated and not checked at all) can be a valid option. So clearly the E in TEP must mean something more than just checking your own work.


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Roberto Lipani  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
Italian to English
+ ...
TEP... Oct 10, 2010

Good evening Samuel,
I appreciate the topic of this forum, for it is an occasion for me to share my personal experience. As you correctly said, TEP stands for "Translation, Editing and Proofreading" and I think the agencies use this achronym to indicate the type of service provided.
In my personal experience (I deal with documentation for a Company) Translation and Editing are always combined: I always have to make an exact copy of a document in another language.
Being here at proz.com since May, I learned that, many times, translation and editing are considered as two separate services (as if the capability to duplicate a document identical to the original was an added value. Actually, I think it's part of the skills acquired with time and practice.
I personally considered that editing and translation can be combined, i.e. a single person can deal with both.
To be honest, I find it difficult to understand why should a freelance work in a team....to increase throughput? Or for a matter of time needed to carry out a long project?
Surely, you have much more experience than I have in this field. It is always a good thing to share opinions
Many thanks to the time for reading these few lines

Take care

Regards

Roberto


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:13
English to French
+ ...
VGT Oct 10, 2010

Tom in London wrote:
AFAIK and IMHO all of my translations are TEP, although I hadn't realised they were, until now. (...) Isn't that just called "VGT" (Very Good Translation)?


Exactly my thought!
(Tom, please I'd need a glossary for TTFN and CUL8R)


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:13
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Translation Level Agreements Oct 11, 2010

Tom in London wrote:

...

Too many TLAs altogether!

Over and out, TTFN , and CUL8R


And I'd have thought "TLAs" stood for "Translation Level Agreements" defining the various quality standards being discussed here

Steffen


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:13
German to English
EN 15038 Oct 11, 2010

Hello Samuel,
I've never heard of TEP before, but don't work much for agencies. If someone is claiming to offer translations that satisfy the international norm listed in the title, then the revisor has to not only be a second person, but also a certified translator working in the languages involved. If someone is asking you to falsely document that a translation has been revised by a second person, that is probably illegal.

My understanding has always been that agencies are responsible for this type of revising - and the few agencies that I have worked with were of the same opinion. If you are responsible for organizing and paying for an external revision, you should be getting unusually high rates from the agency or middleman (it is an expensive service).

That said, I agree with the other posters, that this part of the norm is nonsense and fully disconnected from the reality of freelance translators and their clients. No one has time for this and no one wants to pay for this; sometimes it probably results in a slightly better translation, sometimes in a worse translation, but it almost never seems like a reasonable use of resources.

Like Tom and the other answerers, I carefully check my own work and only work in target languages and fields where I can vouch for my work.

Sincerely,
Michael


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Certified translator Oct 11, 2010

Michael Wetzel wrote:
If someone is claiming to offer translations that satisfy the international norm [EN 15038], then the revisor has to not only be a second person, but also a certified translator working in the languages involved.


I wonder how often the original client (or original agency) checks whether the QA'ed stuff they receive, have been QA'ed by such translators.

Are you sure about the "certified translator only" point? I don't have access to the final version of EN 15038 so I can't check (one has to pay a lot of money for it), but according to one of the final drafts there is no requirement for translators or revisers to be certified in any way. Unless I'm missing it... can you tell me which paragraph says so?


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:13
German to English
You're right Oct 11, 2010

Hello Samuel,
5.4.3 and 3.2.3: Revisers should fulfill the same requirements as translators.

But, you're right:
While the competencies are "shall" (= required), the means of proving competency are "should" (= preferable, but not required) and also include the possibility of five years of experience without any certification.

At least in this point, there is no difference between the draft you linked and my published version (DIN, Normen für Übersetzer und technische Autoren, 2nd edition, 2007). The introduction to my edition is misleading on this issue: "qualifiziert" is used in its general sense and not in the specialized sense generally used in the norms.
Thank you for catching my error, but before someone starts discovering any irony here: I do not translate anything related to law, norms, etc.

Sincerely,
Michael


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