Following my post advice to a translation student, a reader has asked me what I would do in the following situations:
You send your translation to the client. The client is not happy. You know the translation is good, how do you convince him/her?
This happened to me only yesterday. My client, an agency I’ve been working with for 8 years, sent me a translation I did in December. The client had corrected roughly 75% of it and the agency asked me to comment on the changes. When I looked at them, I saw that the reviewer had changed the majority of the technical terms that I had used in the text. These had been given to me in a reference document which I had been asked to use for consistency. I also noticed that several mistakes had been added to the text.
I wrote a report detailing the various types of changes, underlining that the terminology used was no longer consistent with former French translations and that the new text should be proofread, as it contained a few mistakes.
You are asked to edit a translation before it gets sent to the client; it’s full of errors, what do you do?
If it comes from a new client, I never accept an editing or proofreading job without having a quick look at it first. Too many companies hire unqualified people to do translations and I don’t want to correct a document that should be retranslated from scratch. If the job comes from a trusted client and it is really bad, I will first contact the client to explain that the translation isn’t of an acceptable standard and that I will charge them higher than my usual rate as the work will take longer than it should.
For more difficult situations, see 10 Tricky Situations Translators Might Find Themselves In and How To Get Out of Them.