Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When to charge, when to not/Facturer ou ne pas facturer

Was able to observe and learn about a new process during a recent industry show – had a pleasant chat with the exhibitors and left them my card. Lo and behold, a few days later received a request to quote on the translation of their website. I was even provided some French text which they said would help me in the work.

I had a good look at the site and evaluated the length and complexity of the material. I then proceeded to look at the French material supplied to discover that it was a very well done translation of the English, done by the author.

Intrigué, j’ai decidé de comparer les deux textes ligne par ligne pour me rendre compte que c’était là bel et bien une traduction fidèle de l’anglais. Pourquoi me demandait-on de traduire ce qui était déjà fait? Intrigué, j’appelle le client et lui pose la question. Il me répond : « je suis ingénieur et non pas traducteur et je voulais m’assurer que tout était bien fait. »

The author told me that we was not comfortable with his translation and needed a certified translator’s blessing that everything was ok. I explained what I had done and confirmed, that from my vantage, no redo was necessary and that I would gladly confirm this in writing. I had performed a revision and would bill him for that instead of giving him back his translation with my comments and charging him for the actual translation.

He sounded amazed. As for me, a feeling of peace and happiness filled my heart for having helped a client and saved him money at the same time. Has this sort of thing happened to you?

Dépanner un collègue est gratifiant, surtout si on peut lui éviter du travail et des frais supplémentaires. Vous-est-il arrivé quelque chose de semblable?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Exposition-ese in French and in English/Texte en franglais d’une exposition

Picked up a brochure at a recent business conference which described the purpose of a particular exposition. Dépliant publicitaire donnant les grands traits d’une exposition industrielle :

« De la même manière, on remarquera sur le XXX Montréal que les promesses Santé sont plus mesurées. Des discours empreints de naturalité où le végétal, qu’il soit légume ou fruit, a une place de choix. Les promesses très techniques et complexes ont presque disparu, ce qui, de fait, apporte à ces produits des valeurs de plaisir ou de praticité qui leur faisait parfois défaut. »

Here is the English version along with my corrections & suggestions in italics. It is one thing to use English words, English syntax has to be used as well. The wording is sometimes stilted and sounds more like a treatise than an advertising text.

“In that spirit, XXX Montréal’s Health promises are (more gauged) scaled back. Approaches (boasting naturality) emphasizing natural plants, vegetables as much as fruits, are the center of attention. Very technical and complex promises have been (evacuated) almost disappeared, which thus (confers) gives to these products (values of) pleasure and practicality values that where sometimes lacking.”

What do you think? Commentaires?

Unhappy translation customer – Client mécontent d’une traduction

A fellow visitor to a recent business exhibit shared with me her disappointment and bewilderment when an established client complained about the quality of a translation that had been done by a freelancer the visitor’s company had hired.

Un collègue visiteur d’une récente exposition industrielle partagea avec moi ses déboires avec le travail fait par un pigiste que son entreprise avait engagé. Alors que le même client avait été satisfait du travail fait auparavant (par le même pigiste), il trouva cette fois-ci le travail inacceptable. Il fit donc appel à un autre traducteur pour lui fournir une autre opinion, ce qu’il fit et trouva la traduction acceptable.

The translation target was the Quebec market and the client requiring the translation was from France. The visitor explained that they had worked with this client for a number of years and had used the same freelancer but for some reason, the translation provided this time was not acceptable. A third party was asked to supply a third opinion and found the translation appropriate.

Dealing with a member of a professional association such as ATIO (in Ontario), the problem may have been solved differently. This is the explanation that I supply to my clients so that they know exactly what recourse they have:

“Any dispute between the Certified Translator

and the Client concerning the quality of work

may be submitted to the Evaluation and

Arbitration Committee of the Association of

Translators and Interpreters of Ontario for an

objective professional evaluation. Both

parties undertake to abide by the decision of

this Committee. If the work is considered

unsatisfactory, the liability of the Certified

Translator shall not exceed the amount of

the fees requested for the work.”

J’ai pu expliquer au visiteur l’avantage que présentait l’utilisation d’un traducteur agréé. En effet, l’association prévoit, en cas de besoin, la nomination d’un groupe d’évaluation qui est en mesure d’évaluer la traduction et donner un avis catégorique sur sa qualité.

In the case of my visitor colleague, his company appeared to have reached an impasse and could not see a way of satisfying the client. Not having studied any of the details, I could only offer to my visitor my own services which would be base on my long and extensive use of quality control systems to set translation quality benchmarks and criteria.

L'entreprise de mon interlocuteur se trouva dans une impasse. La seule solution que je puis lui proposer était de lui fournit une évaluation parallèle, basée sur mon expérience et mes travaux dans le domaine du contrôle de la qualité. Au moins mes analyses seraient sujettes à un contrôle de l'ATIO, si cela était nécessaire.