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Dieses Thema hat 7 Antworten
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 Allgemeine Fragen
Selkie Offline




Beiträge: 33

19.04.2006 17:13
Verschlimmbesserung Antworten
Dear translation collegues,

This morning I recieved a "correction" of one of my translations which contains a number of errors in both spelling, terminology and style. Things like: "the reasons why such and such has increased" that really get my goat. Apparently this "corrector" told the customer that my translation was poor and that "whole sentences had to be scrapped and rewritten". Some of the points are just questions of style, which I, when I do corrections, am careful not to call into question, though I might tweak it a bit to better suit my taste. The version I have now is worse imho and I am annoyed that my translation was subjected to this reworking. Has any of you ever been in this situation? What did you do? Aside from the mistakes he added of course, what do you think of the ethics of the person who rewrote my version? What do you do in cases of a clash of styles?

Mary (nz/A) Offline




Beiträge: 73

19.04.2006 21:30
#2 RE: Verschlimmbesserung Antworten

I'd be annoyed too - especially if the smarty-pants "corrector" was a non-native speaker. You could always correct the corrections if you wanted to show the person who originally ordered the translation that your work was indeed correct, and of superior quality to that produced by the self-appointed expert. But you might be wasting your time - it depends on whether your reputation is at stake here. The "corrector" might just be trying to get the contracts instead of you, and needs to find "supporting evidence" for his (or her) dubious cause.
If it is just people in my office reworking my texts, I usually let them know that they are wrong for whatever reasons, but that if they wish to write it another way, by all means. It's not my problem in that case.
In the case of a clash of styles, I try not to correct the other's style - unless it is German style. Often people copy-paste texts from various sources together and present it as one document, in which case I change everything to my own style to make it consistent.

hm -- us Offline



Beiträge: 4

19.04.2006 23:08
#3 Re: Verschlimmbesserung Antworten

Hi, Selkie. (-: As you know, IANA professional translator, so please take this with plenty of salt, but could it be that both you and the so-called corrector had some points right and others wrong, as well as the ones in the middle that are really questions of taste? Before you protest (and if the corrector really introduced errors such as spelling mistakes I think you would be entirely justified in doing so), you might just triple-check what you submitted. Is there any chance you could have handed in the wrong file, like an earlier draft, or simply overlooked a few errors yourself?

>>recieved
>>both spelling, terminology and style

Those count as errors: spelling, and 'both' used with a series of three items. Since spelling isn't always your strongest point, I assume that you do systematically use spell-check, and look up a lot of words, in addition to visual proofreading. Even so, it could just conceivably be that one or two things that looked to you at first glance like misspellings, or vice versa, weren't. And on rereading more slowly, you yourself might see a few things that you would rephrase on a second pass.

>>to better suit my taste

Some people might object to the split infinitive.

>>"the reasons why ..."

That's one of my pet peeves too, and though I'm not at home with my own books this week, I'm sure you could cite evidence against it if you felt it was worth the trouble to look.

Hard to know about any other issues. As you say, we might all have slightly different opinions on any particular point. But motives for the other translator to exaggerate areas of disagreement are certainly thinkable: for example, if the customer was already dissatisfied for any reason and wanted that bias confirmed, or if the other translator was trying to drum up business, or just miffed at being given a translation to correct rather than just the original (we've seen enough complaints from people who prefer to work from the German themselves rather than correcting at second hand).

I guess what I'm saying is that if the person honestly thought it was a poor translation, and if in retrospect you can graciously concede at least some of the points at issue, then he or she was justified in saying so. But if he or she took every opportunity to find or even invent fault, and you can politely but firmly disprove at least several points, then it wasn't very ethical. Without seeing all the changes in context (and no, I'm not saying we need to see more here), or just how the other person phrased his or her comments, it's hard for an outsider to form an opinion. As long as you've examined the changes point by point yourself, you should go with your own gut feeling.

Either way, if the customer is already dissatisfied, it may be a waste of effort to try to change his or her mind. Sometimes it's just a matter of chemistry, as with a doctor or a hair stylist or anyone providing a service -- one person's sheep is another's goat, and this customer may just not be right for you or vice versa. On the other hand, it could just be the other translator who's cranky and inflexible, and they may find that out on their own eventually. If you disengage politely, they might still come back to you sometime when they're in a bind, which would give you another chance to show them why they ought to hang onto you. (-:

Catharina. Offline



Beiträge: 22

20.04.2006 00:27
#4 RE: Verschlimmbesserung Antworten

Hallo Selkie, tut mir Leid, dass du dich ärgern musstest! Es ist schon sehr enttäuschend und mehr als ärgerlich, wenn man einen Auftrag, den man selbst nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen übersetzt hat, in noch schlechterem Zustand zurückbekommt und einem dafür auch noch schlechte Arbeit vorgeworfen wird. Im Prinzip kann ich die Sache eigentlich nicht beurteilen, weil ich den Text, um den es geht, nicht kenne (und wahrscheinlich würde ich's auch nicht beurteilen wollen, weil es sicherlich eine Übersetzung ins Englische war, und da mische ich mich nicht ein ;-)).

Generell finde ich, dass Korrekturaufträge eine sehr undankbare Aufgabe sind, und ich mache so etwas nicht sonderlich gerne, aber ab und zu bekomme ich auch solche Aufträge. Meistens gibt es dafür auch einen Grund: entweder der Auftraggeber möchte einfach noch mal sicher gehen und den Text vorbehaltlos von jemand anderem lesen lassen, was ich eigentlich in Ordnung finde, oder es besteht von vornherein eine Unsicherheit gegenüber dem Übersetzer, weil er vielleicht das erste Mal für diesen Auftraggeber gearbeitet hat oder der Auftraggeber den übersetzten Text aus welchen Gründen auch immer so nicht akzeptiert (oder was auch immer, es könnte tausend Gründe geben). Wie dem auch sei, bei solchen Aufträgen versuche ich meistens, mich auf die Terminologie und die "korrekte inhaltliche Wiedergabe" zu beschränken, ohne dabei den Stil zu berücksichtigen oder zu verändern (wenn möglich), der ja sowieso subjektiv ist und ich den Text ansonsten auch gleich noch einmal neu übersetzen könnte (was ja viel zu zeitaufwändig wäre -- was ein Korrekturauftrag ohnehin schon ist). Am Ende würde ich aber möglichst vermeiden wollen, dem Auftraggeber gegenüber zu äußern, dass es sich um eine schlechte Übersetzung handelt, so etwas ist einfach unfair gegenüber den Kollegen und gehört sich meines Erachtens nicht (in manchen Fällen geht es aber nicht anders, allein schon aus dem Grund, die eigenen Kosten rechtfertigen zu müssen, aber auch das kann man tun, ohne einen Kollegen anzuschwärzen).

Selber wurde ich auch schon "Opfer" (*g*) von Korrekturlesern, aber ich bemühe mich, diese Korrekturen als konstruktive Kritik aufzunehmen und mich nicht gleich aufzuregen, was man ja sehr leicht tut, wenn man kritisiert wird. Es ist ja auch möglich, dass ich mal einen Fehler mache oder die Version des Korrekturlesers möglicherweise sogar besser ist (manchmal erblasse ich tatsächlich vor Neid ;-)). Konstruktive Kritik ist immer willkommen, allerdings halte ich nichts davon, wenn Korrekturleser sich selbst profilieren wollen, indem sie im Grunde korrekte Übersetzungen lediglich durch einen anderen Stil oder einfach durch Verwendung von Synonymen "ver(schlimm)bessern".

Wenn du der Meinung bist, dass deine Übersetzung nach der Korrektur definitiv schlechter ist, dann hast du allen Grund, dies deinem Auftraggeber auch mitzuteilen und musst dich dem Urteil des Korrekturlesers keinesfalls beugen (so weit kommt es ja wohl noch!). Ich denke, dass du das auch tun solltest, nicht zuletzt, um den Kunden nicht zu verlieren.

(f5) Jetzt hat meine Antwort so lange hier rumgeschlummert, weil ich zwischendurch abgelenkt war, und jetzt sehe ich, dass hm--us auch schon geantwortet hat und ihre Antwort sich teilweise mit meiner überschneidet. Überprüfe deine Übersetzung doch einfach noch mal im Hinblick auf die Korrekturen und gib deinem Auftraggeber eine Stellungnahme dazu ab, dann kannst du ein ruhiges Gewissen haben.

Chin up! Das ist nicht so schlimm, wie vor Gericht gegen die eigenen Nachbarn aussagen zu müssen. ;-)

Selkie Offline




Beiträge: 33

20.04.2006 08:12
#5 RE: Verschlimmbesserung Antworten

Thanks to the three of you for your comments. Yes, hm, spelling is not my strong point, which is why I always work with a paper copy, since I can never see all the mistakes on screen. Thank goodness for spell checkers! And my forum writing style differs from the style I use in my work. The errors added by the corrector include the mispelling of at least one medical disorder, the use of "abiding place" for "place to live", "caring agents" in lotions, the wrong use of tenses, etc. The list goes on and on. If only it were a case of split infinitives, then I could live with it. This is not the first time I have been "corrected", but it is the first time baseless claims have been made about the quality of my work.

Yes, he at times found a better expression than the one I had used and found one very valid mistake in my text. (One in 40 pages) I took 8 pages as an example and commented on the changes, including pointing out where the new version was better. But there were at least 3 mistakes for every improvement. I have no problem with a customer who does not care for my writing style - tastes differ. But if I am to be judged, then it had better be by someone who actually knows what they are doing, not someone who claims a level of competence that they clearly do not have. At any rate, I made my standpoint clear. I may have lost a customer, we shall see. As lothe as I am to draw a line in the sand, I felt I needed to this time, and did so politely but firmly.

hm -- us Offline



Beiträge: 4

21.04.2006 06:49
#6 RE: Verschlimmbesserung Antworten

@Selkie: Good for you. Knowing all that, I'd say you definitely did the right thing. If it loses you the customer, he or she is no great loss. Hang in there. (-:

BBee Offline



Beiträge: 1

23.04.2006 12:55
#7 RE: Verschlimmbesserung Antworten

You did the right thing, Selkie! It's happened to me too and basically what it was all about was money. They wanted to make me look bad so that as a consequence I would humbly offer them lower rates. I didn't and they moved on. It was years later that an old colleague (old in both ways, we go back a long time and she's pushing 80) dropped me a line and mentioned that this former customer of mine approached her to see if she was still interested in doing work. She was, and because she was so pleased to be contacted and to pass her time, she did it for nearly half my price.

Selkie Offline




Beiträge: 33

23.04.2006 13:26
#8 RE: Verschlimmbesserung Antworten

Thanks, BBee. I will tell my husband. He was convinced that they were doing it for the same reasons, for they also asked if I would come down in price. (I said no.) Maybe it's my blue eyes, but I had a hard time believing someone would be so underhanded. He will feel quite justified.

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