Dear independent contractors


Hello. My name is Jaewoong Lee. I am an independent contractor in the Kor-Eng pair.


Two weeks ago, I was reviewed in a completely unprofessional manner. Gengo Translator Team stated that I translated the source text that did not exist when, in fact, they existed. Moreover, they were six Korean characters in total (i.e., three words in Korean). Even after I explicitly pointed them out in the source and target text, the only response I received was blank space highlighted yellow.


Add to that, I have not heard back from them for over a week after I sent a reply titled “Fire me if I’m wrong. If not, correct it!”.


Additionally, another job (704 words) was reviewed two minutes later. It was about not using the direct (literal) translation method. I said that the translation that did not use the direct translation method was not incorrect. I have not heard back from them.


I have received this “only-use-the-direct-translation-method” review all my years at Gengo. Without any native Korean staff, they do not understand how to translate Korean. With the aforementioned first review, I have confirmed that they are not going to change even if they are wrong. That means they are going to lower my quality score and I can no longer translate jobs properly at Gengo.


Since then, this led me to rejecting almost every job because I know I will be penalized for either fixing any grammatical/spelling mistake in the source text or properly translating any job that is incoherent with contextual information. For example, I know that F [client name has been removed for privacy reasons - Lara] (my client who selected me as a preferred translator) meant A even though F wrote B based on my 2½ years of translation history with them. But I get penalized if I translate it to B. Considering Gengo reviews are to provide feedback, what are they doing?


Looking at 95-96% user satisfaction proudly disclosed in Gengo open data, I would like to hear directly from you, the rest of independent contractors, what you think with regards to this case. Do you think Gengo is providing professional services? Do you think I am wrong just like the new Face of Gengo who said “Gengo...family-business atmosphere”? Have you ever encountered a situation like this year after year in another language pair? Please let me know should you have any question or need additional information and I will ask Gengo about it as my translations belong to them. Thank you for your time.




Jaewoong Lee

1 comment

  • 4

    I work in the English-Simplified Chinese language pair and I Totally agree with your opinion. I just received a low mark because the reviewer does not feel "smooth".

    The language review process is TOO bewildering and discouraging to translators. 

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