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Off topic: Unqualified customer's reviewers
Thread poster: George Rabel

George Rabel  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 22, 2007

I am sure this topic must have been brought up many times here, but I have never seen it. If it has, will someone please offer me the links? If it hasn't. I'd love to hear your stories about perfectly good translations you have delivered, and the absurd, misinformed, unqualified comments you received from the customer.

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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 06:31
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Given vs. Considering Feb 22, 2007

I have a recent one for you, George: my "given the status of xxx" was redlined and changed to "considering the status of xxx". There were quite a few unnecessary red lines of that type marking up the page - quite an arresting sight.

The same proofreader corrected another word to "condcuted", as in: "The threshold values from which a genotoxic effect was shown in studies conducetd in experimental animals..." was his/her version, improving my own "The threshold values where a genotoxic effect was shown in studies done on experimental animals..."

This test, the first I've done in years, was returned to me with a note explaining that "Unfortunately, the results are not good enough for a further collaboration, as our clients require a very high standard from (XXX Translations Inc.)"

Ah, well...

Nancy


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:31
German to English
+ ...
http://www.proz.com/topic/66234?post_id=512402 Feb 22, 2007

I know I discussed this a bit in the above link and I think some other people commented. It is a huge problem here in Germany, where many customers are bloody notorious for thinking they know better when a lot of the time they actually don't.

Don't let the b******* grind you down!;-)

Cheers,

Sarah


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 06:31
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
That must be it, then Feb 22, 2007

Sarah Downing wrote:
It is a huge problem here in Germany


You've sold the problem, Sarah

Nancy


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:31
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Active voice Feb 23, 2007

One grader in a language class had some comments:

a. The active voice is preferred, and you should use it in preference to the passive voice. I therefore have changed the sentence, "The project should be completed by early May." to "Early May should complete the project."

b. The word "liaison" is overused and is jargonny. I have therefore changed your reference to "The United States Military Liaison Mission to the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany" to "The United States Military Discussion Mission to the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany".

c. What do you mean claiming that this text is illegible? I can read it fine. (The word "illegible" appeared in the target text as a translation of the German word "unleserlich". In other words, the source text made reference to something illegible; I could read the source text fine.)

Well, I'm glad that class is over.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:31
English to French
+ ...
Hilarious! Feb 23, 2007

Paul, you made my day!

Thank you!



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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:31
French to English
+ ...
I've only been speaking English for 45 years after all..... Feb 23, 2007

Yes, Sarah's comment certainly struck a chord. I've mainly had problems with Swiss clients who seem to think that they can speak English better than me... after all, I've only been speaking English for 45 years, so what would I know?! The times I've had to justify my usage of certain peculiarities of English grammar or vocabulary.....

I've also had a few cases recently of agencies doing so-called quality checks (no problem with that), but then sending their results back to me with ridiculous things changed (catered for to provided for, which to that, for example). Now obviously the editor may have a different style and it's their prerogative to change the document to reflect that style, but I really don't think I need to know about it. Grrrr!

Onwards and upwards and I definitely second Sarah's final remark!


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:31
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
"I can English" Feb 23, 2007

The kind of (mainly German-speaking) people we're talking about here all belong in the "I can English" [sic!] (Ich kann Englisch) category, or so it appears

Steffen


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Melzie
Local time: 12:31
French to English
+ ...
tenses Feb 23, 2007

The best one I ever had was a website where all my past simple was 'corrected' to present perfect. After 10 years I'm almost over it. I think the worst thing about it was that he put my name to it...

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:31
German to English
+ ...
Some of both! Feb 23, 2007

I have had the pleasure of the best and the worst German proofreaders.

In some cases, non-native English speakers from Germany have read my work and made absolutely useful corrections concerning nuances of language that I was grateful for. There are some excellent and careful editors/proofreaders out there.

Then there are the rest! I can English - yes! A few cases I remember from when I worked in Germany: the Englishwoman in a company translation dept. who had "gone native" and insisted that "calendar" was spelled "calender." The IR people who didn't like the way "unqualified audit opinion" sounded (apparently too negative), because they were thinking of the general language meaning of "unqualified"!

I think sometimes the corrections come with different flavors of English, too. I would have changed Claire's "catered for" to "provided for" for a US audience. Many German speakers are trained in British English, so I've had my Americanisms changed to reflect that, too.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:31
French to English
+ ...
US vs. UK differences Feb 23, 2007

Daina Jauntirans wrote:

I think sometimes the corrections come with different flavors of English, too. I would have changed Claire's "catered for" to "provided for" for a US audience. Many German speakers are trained in British English, so I've had my Americanisms changed to reflect that, too.


I think you've hit the nail on the head there, Daina. There are obviously many differences other than spelling between US and UK usage and when a client blythely asks for US or UK English, I think they often overlook that. I'm happy for a US editor to edit my translations for an American audience and would expect a UK editor to edit a text intended for the UK - however, you do wonder how many times agencies ensure that that's what's actually happening.


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George Rabel  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"landmarks" for "puntos de referencia" Apr 18, 2007

So, this is a a travel site, and apparently someone who works for them looked up the word "landmark" in a dictionary, and now thay want to change all of the instances where "landmark" was translated as "puntos de interés" for "puntos de referencia". Their problem, as long as they pay....

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PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:01
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
immature translators or reviewers May 1, 2007

I've faced such proofreadings from immatures in Nepali language, wherein they simply do the corrections to show their proficiency, which they have not!)
I just want to laugh on such proofreadings and don't care anymore now. Also, I've seen many immature profiles on www.proz.com; by which I can say that outsourcers and agents should carefully select the translators/proofreaders. In India/Nepal, fake certificates can be arranged. So, beware and don't trust on their words only. Rest, it's your luck!
Best of Luck!
WARM REGARDS!
PRAKAASH
+919312616506


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Robin Salmon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:31
German to English
+ ...
Motives of complaining customers May 1, 2007

I also find that some customers who complain themselves are obviously just after a discount.

I had to justify some points in a translation to an end customer, most of which were definitely borderline. When he wrote that my translation of "Hauptquartier" (headquarters) should be "headquarter", I thought I had to draw the line. My response - "Zurück in den Englischkurs, Jung!" (Back to the English course, lad!) - seemed to do the trick, as I didn't hear anything after that.


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 13:31
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
simple rule - "claims for quality shall be substantiated" May 23, 2007

If you have a contract or a framework agreement, or a detailed PO (or planning to sign/have it with any of the clients), try to squeeze in one simple sentence "All claims for quality shall be justified and substantiated by a competent person" (this would mean having the same or higher confidence than you). Well, if the client or its reviser just changed something upon "the matter of preference" basis, OK. But if they claim for errors and mistakes (esp. inventing such various absurds), then very simple - "please provide the substantiation/explanation, at least a general one, about the real or supposed mistakes: 1, 2, 3, here and there, and WHY you think it is a mistake". Same with verbal agreement, but, of course, written agreement is better. So, if they ever write or send the "substantiation" (but most of such clients simply shut up after the above-mentioned "proposal" for substantiation), and if it is a total nonsese and irrelevant to your job, you counter comment stating that this is not a mistake, here all is correct in translation, etc. and that is it. Maybe it is a little bit of a time waste, but better to spend some time on that instead of hanging up in the air and getting some absurd comments just for cutting down the agreed payment. And such super illustrative exaples as Claire indicated are out of any questions as it is just a change to the text upon the desire of the client (their problem what they do with the text later as long as the translation was OK) - for such simple do not involve into any dispute. That is it.

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