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Poll: What contributes most to frustrating you in translation projects?
Persoa que publicou o fío: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:04
PERSOAL DO SITIO
Dec 29, 2019

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What contributes most to frustrating you in translation projects?".

This poll was originally submitted by Thomas Johansson. View the poll results »



Md Mahadi
 

Anastasia Kingsley Kinkusic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Membro (2011)
English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Low-quality originals Dec 29, 2019

When translating a smartphone photo or similarly looking poor quality original, it’s frustrating to get into the flow of the translation.

Md Mahadi
Anna Herbst
José Manuel Miana
Yaotl Altan
Daryo
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:04
Membro (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (computer hiccups) Dec 29, 2019

First of all, I don’t frustrate easily. Then, I have been working with my customers for such a long time that we both know what is required to get things done. Regarding new clients I’m the one who gives them a quote and a deadline for the job. I must add that I always have a good look at the project before accepting it and I don’t work with cumbersome portals. That being said, what can be really annoying and frustrating for me are computer hiccups…

 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 23:04
Membro (2016)
English to German
Other - tools and procedures that kill productivity Dec 29, 2019

What frustrates me most is when my productivity is unnecessarily limited by tools, procedures and restrictions, for example by online CAT tools where I cannot use the keyboard for all features, where I cannot use voice recognition, where I cannot export the target document for using external spellcheckers, where I am forced to use a useless internal QA tool that produces 99.9% false alarms, where I have to mark hundreds of false warnings as ignored, or job assignment systems where I have to clic... See more
What frustrates me most is when my productivity is unnecessarily limited by tools, procedures and restrictions, for example by online CAT tools where I cannot use the keyboard for all features, where I cannot use voice recognition, where I cannot export the target document for using external spellcheckers, where I am forced to use a useless internal QA tool that produces 99.9% false alarms, where I have to mark hundreds of false warnings as ignored, or job assignment systems where I have to click through check lists for accepting or delivering jobs even if they are only 20 word jobs, and so on.Collapse


Gabriella Vento
MSc Jonis Buzi
Yaotl Altan
Muriel Vasconcellos
Jan Truper
Anja Hajek
Robert Rietvelt
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:04
Membro (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Nothing, really. Dec 29, 2019

Low rate projects are rejected, poor quality originals as well. Tight deadlines are not accepted, and any technical issues only indicate that it's most probably time to take a break.

José Manuel Miana
MSc Jonis Buzi
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:04
Membro (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Incompetent revisers Dec 29, 2019

These are even worse than low rates.

MSc Jonis Buzi
Yaotl Altan
Joe Ly Sien
Robert Rietvelt
Daryo
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Rather sooner than later Dec 29, 2019

It's ok that many non-businesspersons who learn about my $0.25+/word rate are almost shocked in disbelieve, later asking whether my direct clients might need someone too. I used to their (suddenly) different tone, attitude, and behavior. However, I talked to several colleagues who in private did admit they also modestly charge their clients--including 'greedy' agencies!--the same or higher! They are no "pure" translators.

Perhaps, it's exactly the very understanding that bu
... See more
It's ok that many non-businesspersons who learn about my $0.25+/word rate are almost shocked in disbelieve, later asking whether my direct clients might need someone too. I used to their (suddenly) different tone, attitude, and behavior. However, I talked to several colleagues who in private did admit they also modestly charge their clients--including 'greedy' agencies!--the same or higher! They are no "pure" translators.

Perhaps, it's exactly the very understanding that business requires (1) decent specialists in certain fields with (2) biz awareness and (3) foreign language skills what separates high-flyers and bottom-feeders. And those who are not ready to seriously fight for their biz and rights are no competitors and go lower.


As for me, I really can't complain for there're very few decent specialists who can run their biz properly in several languages (countries).
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:04
Membro (2008)
Italian to English
My answer Dec 29, 2019

Q. "What contributes most to frustrating you in translation projects?"

A. Having to do things that have nothing to do with translation, such as: converting PDFs to Word; re-formatting fonts, text boxes, etc.


Jennifer White
Nadia Silva Castro
Viviane Marx
 

Vuka Mijuskovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 23:04
English to Serbian
+ ...
distractions Dec 29, 2019

I hate to do anything but translate when I translate. "The journey's as rich as the places you go"

 

maryblack  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:04
Membro (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other - poorly written originals Dec 29, 2019

When the original is full of inconsistencies and frankly incomprehensible phrases (confirmed by native speakers), what am I supposed to do with that? I always turn in this kind of text with a disclaimer... GIGO

Muriel Vasconcellos
Wout Van den Broeck
Jan Truper
Josephine Cassar
 

Daniela Slankamenac  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 23:04
Membro (2011)
English to Serbian
Long or messy instructions Dec 30, 2019

Occasionally I get projects accompanied by a couple of pages of instructions. This combined with tight deadline can frustrate me.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:04
Membro (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Dec 30, 2019

maryblack wrote:

When the original is full of inconsistencies and frankly incomprehensible phrases


Amen! There's nothing worse.

Low rates don't frustrate me because I don't agree to work for them.


Anna Gorska
 

Philip Lees  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 00:04
Membro (2008)
Greek to English
TANSTAAFL Dec 30, 2019

The excessive use of undefined abbreviations, which take a disproportionate amount of time to track down. Especially when the author of the source text has used the same abbreviation to mean two different things, and/or two different abbreviations for the same term.

Josephine Cassar
 

mroed
Local time: 23:04
Italian to German
+ ...
Just for curiosity, dear DZiW Dec 30, 2019

Why is it so important to you to constantly stress how much money you earn?

Tom in London
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:04
Membro (2018)
French to English
oooh a rant thread! Dec 30, 2019

I hate any tech stuff that comes between me and my translation. As others have said, having to deal with pdf format, but also things like having to join segments in a CAT tool so I can re-order the info to cater to the English mindset. It's great that I can do it but it's also scandalous that I have to.

And also dealing with customer queries. I do prefer customers to ask rather than just change my translation themselves, but when I get a guy asking me why I didn't leave the suspens
... See more
I hate any tech stuff that comes between me and my translation. As others have said, having to deal with pdf format, but also things like having to join segments in a CAT tool so I can re-order the info to cater to the English mindset. It's great that I can do it but it's also scandalous that I have to.

And also dealing with customer queries. I do prefer customers to ask rather than just change my translation themselves, but when I get a guy asking me why I didn't leave the suspension points in (in French they are overused, where in English we'd just put "etc.", basically any time they can't be bothered to think whether their list is exhaustive or not) going through the entire text, checking each instance in the source text and having me prove that there was something in my text to indicate "etc." every single time (at least seven instances in two pages)...

And proofreaders who change my translation back to a word-for-word translation... why bother to get someone who's specialised in transcreation if you want a target text that sounds French? And having to explain that while the word "badass" might look offensive to people with a less than fluent command of English, it's actually a really cool word when you're describing fashion items for teens!

And clients whose billing system is so byzantine that I'm still haggling over a €30 bill from April because someone can't get their head round the fact that I translated two different files, each of which were billed as minimum charge, for the same person in the same month, and when I suggested putting them both on the same tab (to save *them* money) they said it was a different account so not possible for them.

And potential clients who forget to specify until you start working that while they got you to do a *translation* test, they will actually be requiring you to proofread machine translation. And while the translation test was performed using a fantastic translation tool with a wonderful spell-check and various other features designed to facilitate working with Words, they are now expecting you to use their user-hostile software that has clearly been designed to make everyone's job easier EXCEPT THE TRANSLATOR'S. Oh, and who hire you in early December then freak out when they learn that you won't be available at Christmas.

Apart from all that, I absolutely love my job!

[Edited at 2019-12-30 10:00 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-12-30 10:00 GMT]
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Tom in London
Robert Rietvelt
 
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