How many times will we correct translation if requested by the client.
Thread poster: Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:51
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Nov 5, 2002

In a recent translation, I was told to correct text 7 times in 3 days. I wonder how much we serve to desires of the client while the client was fully mistaking about instruction to modify words again and again without sufficient technical/academic/business background. The request just upset the translator (who is by virtue a professional). Any comments.



Antonella Andreella (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
German to Italian
+ ...
Forever... Nov 5, 2002

provided the client pays for each single modification, if he did not suplied specific instructions on how to handle/select terminology, glossaries, etc...



It\'s a hard life icon_smile.gif


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
English to German
+ ...
As many times as they like - in principle Nov 5, 2002

Before incorporating changes, I run an analysis against the preceding version (easy using Trados), and apply a sliding scale. This reflects the amount of work caused by the revision (I generall check the entire document, since change logs or revision marking are notoriously unreliable), and works as a very effective \"limiter\"...


Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:51
Member (2004)
German to English
I know how you feel! Nov 5, 2002

Yesterday I submitted a corporate design document on which I\'d worked very hard to get a good English style. The agency sent it back with the original German text highlighted stating that I hadn\'t translated everything. When I checked each occasion they had highlighted was a style decision that I had taken. So I emailed them back telling them that I disputed their comments. They requested that I go back and make the text \"more German-sounding\" because that is what their client would want. I refused and told them if they wanted that they should pay for me or someone else to proof-read it because I wasn\'t making my translation worse so that a German could find every word in the English version! I got so angry. The agency wrote back that it was ok and they didn\'t need proof-reading (or rather they wouldn\'t pay for it!) Moral of the story: try to negotiate a solution but put your foot down when necessary! Of course if the agency had said they wanted a German sounding document before I started the translation I could have made a different set of adjustments when doing the job!


United States
Local time: 04:51
French to English
+ ...
to correct or not to correct Nov 5, 2002

Hi everyone!

I empathize with fellow professionals but, in my mind, this simply brings us back to the inherent problem of who is judging the translation.

This problem exists in the proz kudoz system. Askers make the selection when they themselves haven\'t a clue.

Agencies or companies requesting translations are incapable of appraising our work.


I believe that we all need to work toward some type of standardization criteria.

Another problem is that some translators, with high-level degrees in their field, may have an excellent grasp of a subject matter but may lack native language skills to match. This could result in stilted, awkward phrasing.

The example Gillian has raised highlights the difference between a word-for-word translation and a smooth translation which flows. Isn\'t that exactly what they are paying us for? Otherwise, they could go with the machine translator.

Please do not take offense. I am just bouncing ideas around.

Thanks, Rita



Paul Roige (X)
Local time: 12:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's extra work Nov 5, 2002

Charge by the hour, good deterrent. You\'re a professional, respect is required. Yours icon_smile.gif


Local time: 12:51
English to Italian
+ ...
clients... Nov 5, 2002

On 2002-11-05 19:33, RHELLER wrote:


You\'re absolutely right.

Two months ago I translated a paper about philosophy. That translation took me two weeks because I wanted it to be perfect but the client sent it back telling me I did some mistakes. I told her (in a very kind way)to explain me my mistakes...she never replied to my question. The moral is: two weeks of hard work, no payment, no replies!


BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
The difference between a "correction" and a "change" Nov 5, 2002

Hello all,

I would like to add my two cents by saying that there is a huge difference between \"corrections\" and \"changes\".

A \"correction\" is fixing an error made by the translator (omissions, typo\'s, grammatical errors, etc. fall into this category).

A \"change\" involves changes in style, additions, deletions, re-wording and such.

There should not be any charge for the first (corrections due to errors made by the translator should be free of charge.) However, when the client capriciously changes the text, imposes his \"style\" on the translator and expects him/her to make these CHANGES without being charged, they should be charged.

This, is the reason why I always use a Translation Agreement I designed myself. On the Agreement I stipulate a few simple terms and conditions which I believe are essential and useful both for the client and for myself. The terms and conditions include a formal Estimate, turnaround time, method of payment, formatting charges (if the document requires special formatting, usually a flat fee), communication charges (if any), postage fees (if any), and last but not least I include a brief sentence explaining the difference between \"corrections\" and \"changes\" and tell them that I charge for the latter either per hour or per word.

If the client is serious they will sign the Agreement and forward it to you according to your instructions. I NEVER start a job without prior WRITTEN authorization. (Ever heard...\"oh we don\'t need it anymore\" after you\'ve finished a job?

Good luck and best wishes,



Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Never had the impression that they argue to get a discount Nov 5, 2002

It happens that customers start finding mistakes in your translation when they have to pay. The problem is always the same : stick to the original text or take some freedom with it. Saying the same without using the same words. The problem for us, translators, is that we are always trying to make a good translation, an easy to read text. But for instance in the english/... pairs, there are so many texts that have not been written by natives that the result is a poor technical text. And after that you get an french/german/italian specialist who finds your translation poor. And what about those who try to get a discount or send you a horrible mail stating that there are mistakes in your text and then never give you a sign... or a payment.

Hard work .... but so rich, so agreeable that the day after we have forgotten the problem....


Antonella Andreella (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
German to Italian
+ ...
And here we are Nov 6, 2002

who\'s going to proofread poorreaders?





[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-06 10:13 ]


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