the client has modified the final text
Thread poster: IvetteSC

IvetteSC
Colombia
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 8, 2016

Hello everybody,

I have translated a research article for a prestigious university in my country, I was told the article was going to be published so they asked for translation and proofreading. But after I delivered the final text one of the researchers modified it, deleting some words and marks that may change the meaning or make grammar mistakes.

My concern now is the responsibility I have as a translator, should I send a letter or email to get an exemption from mistakes or misinterpretations?

I can guarantee the quality of the text I delivered, but this person altered the product so it's not "my text" which they're going to submit.

What do you suggest?


 

Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:04
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Hi Jan 8, 2016

Well, I would not bother, since I have the original files.

Good luck.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:04
German to English
If you've been paid ... Jan 8, 2016

... and your name isn't listed as a translator, just forget about it.

As long as I've been paid, I honestly don't care what happens after I deliver a translation. Getting bothered is only a matter of pride. I stopped falling in love with my translations decades ago.


 

Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 03:04
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Do you offer post-delivery service? Jan 9, 2016

IvetteSC wrote:

Hello everybody,

I have translated a research article for a prestigious university in my country, I was told the article was going to be published so they asked for translation and proofreading. But after I delivered the final text one of the researchers modified it, deleting some words and marks that may change the meaning or make grammar mistakes.

My concern now is the responsibility I have as a translator, should I send a letter or email to get an exemption from mistakes or misinterpretations?

I can guarantee the quality of the text I delivered, but this person altered the product so it's not "my text" which they're going to submit.

What do you suggest?


Did you offer and/ or promise post-delivery service to the university and did your rate include such service?

If not, you do not have to do anything after delivering your work. Forget it.

If yes, then, it means, you should deliver your promise about post-delivery service.

My rate includes 3-month post-delivery service. It means, after delivery, I should have responsibility in adjusting, fixing, and/ or correcting my target document if my client ask me to do it, as long as there is no change in source document. Higher rate means better service. If you charge higher rate, then you usually also offer post-delivery service ranging from 1 to 6 months, depending on rate.

[Edited at 2016-01-09 05:24 GMT]


 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 05:04
Japanese to English
+ ...
Exactly Jan 9, 2016

Kevin Fulton wrote:

... and your name isn't listed as a translator, just forget about it.

As long as I've been paid, I honestly don't care what happens after I deliver a translation. Getting bothered is only a matter of pride. I stopped falling in love with my translations decades ago.


If your name is not attached to it, it makes no difference in the world what they do with it after.

If I mix a record for someone and they go in afterwards and make a bunch of changes, it's only my business if I can somehow be associated with it. Otherwise I really don't care.


 

Denise Phelps  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Happens all the time Jan 9, 2016

I work almost exclusively with academic texts, and the situation you describe is very common. Don't worry about it. Once they've paid you for your translation, it's theirs and they can do what they like with it.

BUT: keep your original translation. If the article is for publication, it will probably go through peer review, and you may get an angry email from the authors 6 months later saying that the article has been rejected for publication due to poor use of English (or whatever language) and demanding a refund/free revision. Which is when you pull out your original translation (assuming this is flawless), indicate the erroneous changes that were made to it before submission and tell them that you cannot be held responsible for the modified paper the authors submitted but will be happy to revise it for them for X fee.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto what Denise said Jan 9, 2016

It's happened to me twice recently. The clients come back chastened, tails between their legs, for a second revision after a scathing review by the Journals in question and I tell them exactly how silly they've been. I also have a disclaimer, stating that I'm not responsible for any changes made after the text is delivered.

I even have a disclaimer message as a footer to my emails:

"(Translator or Company Name) accepts no
responsibility for any modifications
made subsequently by the clientele."

[Edited at 2016-01-09 18:13 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not quite... Jan 9, 2016

Denise Phelps wrote:

--- you may get an angry email from the authors 6 months later saying that the article has been rejected for publication due to poor use of English ...


I've never had "angry" authors - mine are always contrite and apologetic. In fact, I have so many academic clients because word got round that when I've translated or corrected texts for them, they usually get accepted for publication right away. Some journal reviewers always ask for the English to be revised, as a sort of knee-jerk reaction when they see that the authors' surnames are Spanish. I know for a fact that many of these reviewers themselves are not native English speakers, so it's not something I worry about.

[Edited at 2016-01-09 18:17 GMT]


 

Adrian MM. (X)
Local time: 22:04
French to English
+ ...
Track changes Jan 9, 2016

Track the changes made (if you have a complete revised patchwork) and keep it as a separate file for the end-users' and - in the event of any negligence claim, Heaven forbid - any professional indemnity insurers' reference.

[Edited at 2016-01-09 22:49 GMT]


 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 22:04
German to English
+ ...
Happened a few times Jan 10, 2016

tome . My approach was to inform the client that there were mistakes in the changes they had made. At least they then know there's a problem.

 


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