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I've recently seen a slew of standard translation jobs for ZH (simplified)>EN. I was excited to get started until I noticed they are "group jobs", or translations broken down in to a few words and/or paragraphs at a time. Upon reviewing them further, I noticed they seemed to be fore a website, on the topic of skin care and skin care products.

However, the website is not available for review, so that it becomes very difficult to imagine where and in what context a particular phrase will appear, which (in my opinion) could have a significant effect on its translation. For example, the line "女孩子一起比较护肤品" (not actually a line to be translated) would be translated very differently depending on whether  it were part of a slogan, a caption to an image of this occurring, or if it were the title of a tab or menu selection etc.

Undoubtedly, a competent translator is expected to have the ability to recognize context and tone, and respond by tailoring her/his translation accordingly, but the worst part is, any errors produced by this would reflect very poorly on me as the translator working on the job essentially "in the dark". 

It seems that the people at gengo could minimize or eliminate a lot of potential errors and/or misunderstanding by requiring that people submitting translation requests give a brief introduction of the context of the translation and make themselves available to be contacted with questions about the translation should they arise.

As it stands, I think it would be irresponsible of me, as a translator, to take on translation of a website (or software, or printed text on a product or container, or instruction manual for such) without being able to see the original text layout and what the final result will look like, specifically because these kinds of translations have special context, where the specific placement of writing might have an effect on how it should be translated.

I would like to hear other translators' thoughts on this, as far as how they have handled such situations. I would also like to be advised by an administrator on the historical management of this kind of situation and whether such conflicts/errors have in fact arisen in the past.


Thanks for reading, and I look forward to helpful responses.

3 comments

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    ffynnon.garw

    I had a similar problem with a slogan. The customer requested it to be translated in tune with some other add on youtube. He left a link to the website. But the link did not work. I tried to guess the trademark, all in vain. So I translated the slogan to my best judgement and left a comment explaining the issue with the link and possible inconsistency of the translation. Never got a reply. My translation was automatycally accepted after 5 days. I did my best!

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    carla m.

    Same problem right now in the En-IT  combination. Six tiny jobs, probably taken by 4 or 5 different translators (unless one of them was able to take 5 jobs, I only managed to get one). There were no comments from the client about the tone of the text, so now maybe different translators used different pronouns (for example in Italian there is a difference between singular and plural "you"). It would have made much more sense to have those six tiny sentences put together in one job. I sent the client a comment explaining how I translates the text. As Svetlana says: I did my best!ave

     

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    carla m.

    that should read "how I translated the text", of course...

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