Please help!!! Problems with source in the middle of a confirmed project
Thread poster: MariusV

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:54
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Apr 24, 2012

I got into a really weird situation. It is weird because I took a job - just "a usual technical translation of 9000 source words" (as the PM of the agency mentioned), we agreed on everything, I got the files, took a look, and "OK, nothing special, just the usual technical user manual", agreed on the deadline (9000 source words during a week is quite all right, isn't it?), got the PO, and started working.

And my mistake was that from the "look into the source files" all seemed to be OK, and only when I started the real work, it turned out that the English source is either a terrible verbatim translation from German, or, even worse (and now it really seems to be so) - a slightly edited machine translation. The client is a normal and reputable translation agency, now I am done with 60 % of the project, but I already missing the deadline. OK, I did not explain nor complain to them about the source expecting to translate it using my common sense and knowledge of the area (it is actually translation, but "re-writing" the source in translation based on the technical comprehension). Of course, the job takes much more time and effort than it usually be with a decent source text as to simply comprehend some places is really difficult, let alone from the technical side. And now I feel I will miss the deadline again. And I do not know what to tell to the client.

Do you think it would be a good idea just to tell the situation straightforwardly and/or refuse the job even after completion of it by over 60%? Because I think they will get really angry on me and will not extend the deadline (moreover, that the end client seems to be quite a nervous person, at least judging from the first request for deadline extension).

OK, my fault to take a job with a terrible source, my fault of not notifying the client earlier hoping that I will manage somehow and I always keep my deadlines (I have a really nasty feeling now not only because of that, but because I think I will ruin cooperation with a good client). Any advice under such a situation, because I am really got totally exhausted and mad...



[Edited at 2012-04-24 06:04 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vitals  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:54
Member (2008)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Familiar feeling... Apr 24, 2012

Labas, Mariau.

1) Any possibility to find a colleague or two who could help you finish this project? This way you will lose/share some money, but will keep the agency. (Now that you probably have a TM on this, it will be easier for your colleague to deal with it).

2) If you do not have anyone close at hand, try to post this job on Proz.com?

3) If the source does not make sense, do not MAKE it make sense. It will save you a lot of time. The quality of the sourse deserves the quality of the target...

4) When the project is submitted, I think it would be worth mentioning the poor quality of translation to the agency (with examples in a separate file). This way you would still be on the safe side if they try to ask: "Why doesn't this make sense here?"

Maybe some of it can help you. An awkward feeling, I know... Been there, seen that... In my case, thank God, the client agreed to postpone the deadline till a later time.

Have a nice day.

Vitalijus


Direct link Reply with quote
 

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:54
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, but Apr 24, 2012

Hi Vitals,

Thanks for your advice. Asking for help from some colleague is too late. Regarding Proz - I do not think I will find anyone here (it is my personal belief). Of course, we cannot make golden threads from straw, but I cannot work on the principle "crap in - crap out" (well, having a lot of time, can make ends meet even from the most terrible source as I know the area, but there is no time for that, as all those clients are always rushing). Do you really think it would be a good idea to ask for deadline extension for the THIRD TIME and only now to mention the issues about the source (having in mind that I did not mention that before, where I could say in plain text "Guys, only now noticed that the source is awful, I need to renegotiate the deadline or I refuse the job" ?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vitals  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:54
Member (2008)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
I think... Apr 24, 2012

Well, I still would think that some help from the side could let off your pressure, even if it is too late, and even if the client gives you an extension - it can take longer than you think so someone else help would be good.

As for the "third extension", give it a try. Do you have any good examples of terrible source text? You could say that the part you are dealing with now (this last part) has definite problems with source text. Therefore, needs more time. You could also ask some questions, like "What does this mean?" and give an awful peace of source for them to see the problem (if it is the language they know).

As a last resort you could offer a discount for the "3rd extension".

As for the quality - I do not mean exactly what you said. I think that the polishing we all like to give to our translations to look fine and dandy is not deserved by such sources. Let it make sense, but do not spend too much time on polishing it up.

Really feel sorry for you, but hope that it will come to a good end.

Geros dienos.
VS


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 20:54
Chinese to English
If you can explain it to us... Apr 24, 2012

You can explain it to them. The agency probably will believe you, and will be grateful for the work you've done.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:54
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
The sooner the better Apr 24, 2012

I think the sooner you tell the client about the problems with the source text, the better. If you don't, the client won't understand the reason for the delay and will be inclined to blame you. Tell them now! I expect they'll be glad to have what you've done so far rather than nothing at all, and they may well agree to extend the deadline again in the circumstances.
Best of luck,
Jenny


Direct link Reply with quote
 

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:54
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Apr 24, 2012

Thank you, people. Just followed your advice and told the client in plain words about the situation. Of course, they were not very happy, but at least agreed to extent the deadline "for the last time".

Btw, can it be really true that for "popular" language pairs like German-English, etc., more and more machine translations are made? Because there are such sentences in the English source, that are 1:1 identical to the German language sentence structure (not even speaking about the meaning where it makes no sense at all in many places). I have heard that the latest version of Trados even has a "google translate" function? Is it true??? Or is it more like my "conspiracy theory"?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
AnneGeorgiou
Local time: 14:54
Not a conspiracy theory... Apr 24, 2012

Hi Marius...
Glad you are mentioning it- machine translations are raising. I have come across this issue as well. It is the easy (and free) solution. I am also fed up with it....


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

Please help!!! Problems with source in the middle of a confirmed project

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search