Mixed GDPR or extra fuss?
Thread poster: DZiW

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 2, 2018

About a year ago my British colleague of mine asked me to help with a "weird" bulky Russian .docx (a dissertation to be translated into English) she couldn't handle properly: it loaded too long, the spellchecker was permanently disabled, the search didn't work, the cursor moved rather slow, and Word often hanged up and closed.

Shortly, a quick glance and copy-pasting as unformatted text revealed it was a mix of similar English and Russian letters (eETyoOpPaAHKxXcCbBM -- еЕТуоО
... See more
About a year ago my British colleague of mine asked me to help with a "weird" bulky Russian .docx (a dissertation to be translated into English) she couldn't handle properly: it loaded too long, the spellchecker was permanently disabled, the search didn't work, the cursor moved rather slow, and Word often hanged up and closed.

Shortly, a quick glance and copy-pasting as unformatted text revealed it was a mix of similar English and Russian letters (eETyoOpPaAHKxXcCbBM -- еЕТуоОрРаАНКхХсСьВМ). At first I though it was an OCR fault, confusing the fonts/facetypes, but a random character of letter replacement even in the same words gave me a hint, so I checked a few phrases for plagiarism--everything was fine. I recommended her to ask the client for the original, which came as PDF--and with mixed letters too!

Eventually, she explained the issue to the professor; he was surprised and a little upset, yet agreed to pay extra for re-OCR, wasted time and troubles. We just extracted pages as pictures to OCR the text properly: the mission accomplished!

However, in June another colleague asked me how to fix "mixed languages" texts and I gave him the same pieces of advice--to contact the client or print it as a PDF and OCR. As far as his agency refused to pay extra or to provide a legible original, it was a real nuisance because of its size and a complicated layout... He missed the deadline, of course.

In August my friend's partner got a couple of manuals in French to be translated into Russian--and guess what? Welcome to the club!

Recently I got an email with a "once-in-a-lifetime business offer", where they used a similar approach to mix letters. Asking my direct clients I learned that there's no such an instruction, but a local company policy, a malware, or badly cracked PDF software could trigger such a mess. Just a localization and fonts issue, perhaps?

Did you see such? Is it but a perverted "data privacy" idea, a lettermining, or there's something else?

TY
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
the explanation was quite simple: raw data vs processed information Oct 4, 2018

They are four different agencies managing the projects together, with an anti-indexing measures for 'internal use' gone awry...

meanwhile, an administrator of such agency thanked for the letter and remarked they had had no questions about the issue since implementation--for more than three months! It implies about a hundred of other translators silently and sheepishly re-OCRed compromised files at their time and costs... Funny


 


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