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Blog post: What freelance translators want from translation companies
Thread poster: Mike Donlin
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Unedited since a week

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Polysemy Apr 24

define:criminal
1...
2...
3...
4. DISGRACEFUL
I agree with Jocelin that 500%+ margin is but disproportionately outrageous, whereas fair pricing and greedy inter-middlemen eliminating will significantly sanitize and organize the translation industry.

On the other hand, a literacy campaign for business awareness is enough to make profiteers rethink their sly approaches, enabling the real end clients directly choose the best options available.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
For the record Apr 24

Andrew Morris wrote:

@Chris, have you seen my work? My client portfolio? Have you talked to my clients and my accountant? Or that of the other translators you presume to judge? Until you have, how can you possibly have an opinion on them?

I have said enough times now that I'm happy to debate ideas, but your ad hominem approach is getting a little tedious. Can we please, I repeat, grow up?

If you listen to someone like Chris Durban (guru???) on translation, she often talks about service, getting out and meeting direct clients, working in collaboration, adopting a mature set of "business skills" in ADDITION to the actual quality of the text. Which is partly why she is where she is...


For the record, this is not the original post to which I objected. Like some other posts from Andrew Morris, it has been quietly edited.

Some text added, some deleted, a smiley inserted, presumably in an attempt to make it less offensive.

Which suggests that he knows he did wrong. But still he does not apologise, cannot back down.

What also doesn't show up here, besides the stealth editing, is the string of aggressive private messages that have accompanied the public abuse.

Sensing his underlying insecurity, I've tried giving him a second, third, fourth chance, but now I've had enough.

And what with Lincoln Hui last week accusing me of being a liar, a fool, a monkey and mentally disabled (twice), I'm wondering where the moderators are?


Natasha Ziada
Mirko Mainardi
Robert Forstag
IrinaN
IT>EN Legal
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
Stuck record Apr 24

For the record, when Chris S and I first locked horns in my very first post on this Forum, he sent me a message complaining about MY language: precisely what he accuses me of today. And demanding an apology. I did not feel it was merited. And still don't.

So when I saw the word "guru" being abused today – a word that is pretty loaded in our little microcosm – I did the same, but not asking for an apology, just strongly voicing an objection. I don't feel that all disagreements ha
... See more
For the record, when Chris S and I first locked horns in my very first post on this Forum, he sent me a message complaining about MY language: precisely what he accuses me of today. And demanding an apology. I did not feel it was merited. And still don't.

So when I saw the word "guru" being abused today – a word that is pretty loaded in our little microcosm – I did the same, but not asking for an apology, just strongly voicing an objection. I don't feel that all disagreements have to be carried out in public. So some go private – only to be made public again for the gallery, it seems.

I often edit my posts. That's what writers do, but NOT to change the basic meaning in any way that is dishonest. Today I added a paragraph as an afterthought, which enhances but does not change the original. If that is against the netiquette here, I commit to not doing so again. I'll make a separate post next time.

My brief experience of this Forum has proved to me time and again that there are people who can dish it out, but are unable to take it. And then run crying to Matron, dismayed that they have suddenly been on the receiving end.

To tell you the truth, I don't really care what you or your gang think of me, Chris. I'm not seeking your approval or your go-ahead to do my work. And I can certainly live without your "chances".

I have had easy-going, professional conversations online, day in, day out for YEARS, without the slightest need for sarcasm, aggression, putting people down, or questioning their credentials, in a series of highly successful and long-lasting groups. I have many thousands of people who can testify to that, as opposed to a mere handful of exceptions with whom it didn't work out.

And I continue to do so in the calmer waters of Facebook and LinkedIn every day, in groups that belong to or are sponsored by ProZ.com. As anyone can come and see for themselves.

I am genuinely baffled as to why conflict, in the hands of some people, seems to be the default mode here. If it were just in my posts, I would indeed take a long hard look in the mirror, (which I have done anyway) but I see it across multiple threads where I have not said a word. It's ingrained in the culture.

Certainly not all posts, and certainly not all people. I've had some interesting and engaging exchanges with some very decent professionals. But yes, I have seen a minority culture that's loud, vocal and dominant.

So maybe in my posts I exacerbate the problem, but I certainly didn't cause it. There are people here who are infamous for being disruptive, (I have it on good authority), and who became notorious years before I ever showed up.

This is my last contribution to this thread, either as a writer or a reader.
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another point to add to the list... Apr 24

It has happened to me recently more than once to be contacted by a translation agency with a British address only to discover later that said address was a virtual one…

Josephine Cassar
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:15
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Fair assessment of test translations Apr 27

This may sound a bit weird, but I found that most agencies fail to ensure impartial/fair assessment of the 'unpaid' test translations they require from potential new translators. This is because they ask their regular translators (without paying them of course) to proofread/assess the test pieces, and those translators, more often than not, go out of their way to sabotage the efforts of a newcomer (as they don't want to see a rival vying for the precious translation jobs).
Agencies should
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This may sound a bit weird, but I found that most agencies fail to ensure impartial/fair assessment of the 'unpaid' test translations they require from potential new translators. This is because they ask their regular translators (without paying them of course) to proofread/assess the test pieces, and those translators, more often than not, go out of their way to sabotage the efforts of a newcomer (as they don't want to see a rival vying for the precious translation jobs).
Agencies should hire proofreaders/assessors with whom they have never worked before to make sure test translations are assessed fairly/impartially during the onboarding process. It's bad enough not getting paid for your trouble, but to see your efforts wasted at the hands of an incompetent and malicious 'person' is really frustrating.
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Robert Forstag
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:15
Member (2018)
French to English
Not happening Apr 28

Baran Keki wrote:


Agencies should hire proofreaders/assessors with whom they have never worked before to make sure test translations are assessed fairly/impartially during the onboarding process.


And just how could an agency place any trust in an assessor they've never worked with?


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:15
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
By simply asking them to proofread/assess the text Apr 28

Kay Denney wrote:

Baran Keki wrote:


Agencies should hire proofreaders/assessors with whom they have never worked before to make sure test translations are assessed fairly/impartially during the onboarding process.


And just how could an agency place any trust in an assessor they've never worked with?


This kind of 'sabotage' happened to me at least 4 times in the past (and in each case it was the agencies that approached me). In the 5th case I've had enough and asked the PM to hire a third party with whom they have 'no financial relationship whatsoever' (i.e. a translator not included in their database). They finally agreed and found another Turkish translator to proofread my test. The original translator (their regular Turkish translator) commented that "I lacked the required technical knowledge but otherwise my translation was grammatically fine" (I must point out that I spent 2 to 3 hours translating a 300 word document on a Saturday with exhaustive Googling where I had to confirm a few times that I wasn't a robot, meaning I delivered them a perfect translation in every sense, and that 'lack of technical knowledge' bit was the only 'subterfuge' he/she could have used to nip my efforts in the bud) Anyways, the second proofreader (the outsider who never worked with that translation agency) commented that the "translation was very good in terms of subject matter knowledge, grammar, syntax etc. etc.".
So what do you make of this then? Do you think the agency should place any trust in their regular translator who originally proofread my translation?


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:15
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Inverse relationship Apr 28


I must point out that I spent 2 to 3 hours translating a 300 word document on a Saturday with exhaustive Googling where I had to confirm a few times that I wasn't a robot, meaning I delivered them a perfect translation in every sense,

With no other information, based on this sentence alone, I'm more inclined to believe the first reviewer. The accuracy of a translation is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent Googling, and spending 2-3 hours on a 300 word document is not a good sign.


Kaspars Melkis
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:15
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Believe what you want Apr 28

Lincoln Hui wrote:


I must point out that I spent 2 to 3 hours translating a 300 word document on a Saturday with exhaustive Googling where I had to confirm a few times that I wasn't a robot, meaning I delivered them a perfect translation in every sense,

With no other information, based on this sentence alone, I'm more inclined to believe the first reviewer. The accuracy of a translation is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent Googling, and spending 2-3 hours on a 300 word document is not a good sign.


I am not the fastest the translator in the world, and I certainly like to take my time to Google the terms and sentences to get the most accurate and well-researched translation possible. In the end the agency added me to their database on the strength of the second impartial translator's assessment (by making a complete fool of the first one). I don't care much for 'inverse proportions' or other fancy sounding lingo. You're, of course, free to believe whatever you want.


writeaway
Andrew Morris
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
depends Apr 28

Hui, in a non-techy, specific, archaic, and philosophizing jobs many words and phrases--not to mention names, dates, quotes, and expressions--often may require additional researching (time and efforts) to get the right context. For instance, not knowing a personal, cultural, and situational peculiarities, you may translate it not only incorrect, but even the wrong way round--meaning the opposite! Furthermore, one should re/check several independent sources, let alone use approved official... See more
Hui, in a non-techy, specific, archaic, and philosophizing jobs many words and phrases--not to mention names, dates, quotes, and expressions--often may require additional researching (time and efforts) to get the right context. For instance, not knowing a personal, cultural, and situational peculiarities, you may translate it not only incorrect, but even the wrong way round--meaning the opposite! Furthermore, one should re/check several independent sources, let alone use approved official translation of some quotes and documents.

While some 100 words an hour is rather slow for my language pairs, it may be pretty fast for other languages and jobs.
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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:15
Member
English to Italian
Tests Apr 28

A test translation is NOT your everyday translation (for a number of reasons). Everything else follows from that.

To go back to the original topic for a minute, when an agency asks for a free test, they should at the very least explain what they want exactly (translation, transcreation, adherence to some specific guidelines, stylistic preferences, etc.) AND provide detailed feedback.


IanDhu
Carlo Nonni
 
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