The Spanish example is simple awful: non-existent words, repetition, etc, etc. No customer would accept that. Translation is a profession, not a hobby. It's not something you can do just following some tips. Specially if those tips are given by someone who knows nothing about translation.


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    Natalia Manidis

    Thanks for your feedback. 

    I should have specified this in the exercise but this is actually a Latin American Spanish translation — perhaps this is the reason for some of the problems you identified? Anyway, I've asked one of our Senior Translators to review it and make changes if necessary. 

    The lesson was created with the assistance of a group of professional translators and we've received positive feedback from translators with many years' experience. Of course, it won't be to everyone's tastes and we'll keep your comments in mind as we develop future lessons. 


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    I live in Latin America, I'm a professional translator (I have a degree in translation; translation is not a hobby for me) and I don't think any client would accept a tranlation with "invented" words. That's not Latin American Spanish; that's not Spanish at all. And it's not a matter of taste.

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    Which words do you imagine are "invented"?

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    Young Hwan Choi



    You sound quite disgruntled and frustrated. Before comment, I want you to know that I'm a Korean translator working on KOR-ENG translations for Gengo. I take pride in the translation work that I do; in fact, I take pride in almost everything and I think it's a right that everyone is entitled to.


    Well, I'm frustrated that I stumbled on to this post a few months late. But anyway, here it goes.


    Your statement: Spanish example is simple awful: non-existent words, repetition, etc, etc. No customer would accept that.

    My two cents: As much as this forum was created to promote an open, horizontal communication among translators and Gengo employees, complaining at such degree and in such frank manner is not nice. I'm not saying you should not complain; actually, you should if there are things that need to be corrected. However, this kind of complaint should be sent directly to Gengo, not posted here and create a negative atmosphere. What would be the tangible damage that you could inflict on Gengo should one of our customers, or even translators, see this? Let alone the intangible damage.

    Gist: Please be nice.


    Your statement: Translation is a profession, not a hobby.

    My two cents: No one talked about translation being a hobby (well, at least, you think there are people like that). I can’t tell if someone is taking translation as a hobby or not but what I do know is translators who take pride in what they do will definitely prevail over people who don’t.

    Gengo talks about speed, accuracy and quality of translation and if the company is really serious with what it’s doing, it is a matter of time for Gengo to remove these hobbyists from the bandwagon.

    (This is off-topic) I see advanced web technologies disrupting the translation market and the pace at which they advance has never been faster - which is scary. These technologies are making translation something that any netizen (this is an invented word) can work on as a hobby - they are undermining the value of translation. We're in the era of Web 2.0 and what can we possible do?

     I think we can at least adapt to change and accept that fact that there will be hobbyists in the translation market. I can't think of a clear solution. Gengo will find that out.


    Your statement: It's not something you can do just following some tips. Specially if those tips are given by someone who knows nothing about translation.

    My two cents: Nothing can be done just by merely following the tips given, whether they are provided by a novice or a professional. This is common sense.

    I'm astonished by your audacious implication that Gengo knows "nothing" about translation. I would appreciate it if you could explain how you came to that conclusion. It's risky to venture into something (or anything) that you don't know about. I'm sure Gengo, as business-minded as they are, did their own research before launching a web-based translation service like this - I'm believe that they know "something" about translation and they are putting that together as lessons they've been giving out recently.

    You should know that Gengo raised $6.8 million (as of this writing) and it has Atomico, London-based venture capital firm led by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, as one of its investors. Check out the press release section for more details. Of course, this does not, in any way, justify that Gengo is cool and great and all that, but it is a reminder that they were recognized as promising individuals (a company collectively) who have a clear business goal and value proposition. I wouldn't invest in someone or something who/which cannot promise me benefits.

    Gengo is a start-up and I'm interested in seeing how they grow in the bloody web-based translation market.

    Regarding the tips that Gengo has given out, please give them some credit. Gengo put its people, time and money into making these tips to help translators do a better job. Personally, I like the simplicity and aesthetics (overall design) of the handouts. If you don’t like it, you can ignore it. I'm finding the lessons to be quite useful.

     And, I hate doing this but, your statement "Nothing can be done just by merely following tips given," sounds awkward.

    Gist: Give Gengo some credit.


    I'm not trying to be the good guy here – I don’t intend to (good guys suck). I just felt the urge to comment on your castigation, which I think went a bit too far, against Gengo even if it's after months have passed.


    Would love to hear back from you.


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